|Peak to Creek|
Schorschi Schauf, who lives for several years in the Ötztal, came up with the idea to organize a relay race through the whole Ötztal. The recipe is: 9 sports, from the mountain top to the bottom of the vally, from winter into summer.
There were some top active and former athletes such as the Tour de France winner Jan Ulrich, Girod'Italia winner Gilberto Simoni, as well as current top guns Ron Fischer and Severin Häberling mixed vigorously on the field! The race day started at 3:45 in the morning with the departure direction Sölden glacier. At the glacier athletes and officials were picked up by Snow Cats, driven up to the mountaintop "black edge" at 3340 meters above sea level. At minus 5 degrees and icy winds, we were able to enjoy a breakfast at sunrise. Exactly at 10 clock the shot form the startgun echoed around the peaks. 85 km and 7067 height meters waited for the athletes. The course was splitted into nine disciplines. Skiing, downhill biking, hill running, climbing, biking, ski touring, paragliding, kayaking and at last, the whole team in the raft from Ötz down to the Area 47.
Skiers came to the transfer with really tide gaps between each other. Mountain biker Wolfgang Eysholdt for the Blue Team had a lot of bad luck, while his back wheel exploded at the overtaking maneuver. He couldn't finish the race, what gave a Blue Team 5 minute penalty for the next run. Mountain runner Martin Mattle's attack from behind was a success. He gained 6 minutes to make his opponents, so Team Blue was back in the race. The climbers were about the same. Jan Ullrich stomped on the road for the Red Team with a good lead. The ski runner Alexander Setters from the Red Team, handed over to paraglider with 5 minutes lead. Stormy weather canceled the fight, so the paragliders had 1,200 meters in hight to run down the steep mountain. The paraglider Paul Guschlbauer of Team Blue sprinted down the hill and turned the gap from 5 minutes behind to a 5 minute lead. Severin Häberling was able to kayak the whole course with a good time cushion so he could make a solid safe run. Kayakers had to paddle from the lower part of the Wellerbrücke Section down to Ötz where the whole team jumped into the raft to paddle down th lower Ötz till Area 47 at the confluence with the Inn river.
At the end we got a great party and 5.000 Euro prize money for the first place. The real cool thing about that event was, that there were lots of freaks from different sports that came together, had a good competition and a super nice Party at the end of the day.
Text by Severin Häberling
Event page www.peaktocreek.at