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  • Deborah Kade

Jungfrau Marathon from Interlaken to Kleine Scheidegg

Updated: Oct 14, 2019


The Jungfrau Marathon is one of the best known mountain marathons in the world. The famous Eiger, Mönch and Junfrau mountains look down upon the runners as they start their 26.219 mile run starting in Interlaken and finishing in Kleine Scheidegg.

The runners have a climb of 5,960 feet (1,823 m) in elevation.


When the first marathon was held in 1993, it attracted runners from 35 different countries. Today's race saw runners from 60 countries.

The start of the race is in front of the Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel and Spa.


This is the second year they reversed the start. It is a beautiful day for the race with mild temperatures and no rain.




I usually only go to the start line to hear the alpen horns and watch the flag tossing. The Swiss National anthem is played 3 minutes before the race and then they begin the countdown.


You may need some pick me up before the start of the race.


I also made sure I had a flag to wave as the runners went by.


The street is lined with banners of past winners from the men's and women's group.



Watched the elite runners sign in for the race.






This man is the last man to cross the starting line. Two sweepers with a broom mark the end.



By the time I watched the last runner cross the start line, the elite runners had already gone around the town and past the Höhematte and were headed for Bönigen. I did see the next group come by.


Guess if you are a runner, you are constantly checking your time at a certain distance.



The first 10 kilometers of the course is flat. The runners started running toward the Interlaken West train station and then around the town before moving east to Bönigen, where the runners briefly run along the shore of Lake Brienz. The race proceeds southwards to Wilderswil at the 10 km mark. From there, the course heads up toward Zweilütschinen at 15 km. They stopped the cars wanting to go to Grindelwald as the runners had to cross the road at that point. Next, it was up to Lauterbrunnen at 20 km.


The course loops for 5 km south of the town before returning to Lauterbrunnen and then heading eastward up the alpside. This is the point at which it becomes very steep. The runners zigzag up the hillside and climb 450 m in the 5 km to Wengen.



Next, the runners turn southeast and upward over the Wengernalp, turning east and then northeast beneath the Eiger toward the finish line. It reaches its highest point of 7,234 feet (2,205 m) around the 40 km point. The course heads steeply downhill for the last kilometer to the finish at Kleine Scheidegg at an altitude of 2,061 m. At the highest point the runners are traditionally greeted by a bagpipe player.

This year, I decided to see what it was like in Wengen, too. There were so many people watching and cheering on family, friends and anyone else whom seemed to need a little encouragement. People clapped hands, beat drums, shouted hopp, hopp, hopp (that is what it sounded like to me), rang all sorts of sizes of cow bells and sang. It was like a big party! So much fun!!!



What a view the runners had!!!!


The band from Thun played in Wengen as well as in Interlaken.



Recognized some runners from the start line as well as in Wengen.








Kathy and the owner of the Swiss Made Shop also were standing outside cheering the runners. We recognized each other at the same time. Both asked where Michael was. Unfortunately, he isn't joining me until September 21st. It was nice to catch up on news.

They had a water stop nearby where I was standing with Kathy. Kids were having fun handing out cups of water. They didn't mind getting wet.




The announcers in Wengen were right across the street from where we were standing. They announced Robbie Simpson, the winner in 2016, from Great Britain at 2:56.31.0 hours had won the race. Andrew Davies also from Great Britain came in second with a time of 3:01.37.6 and Birhanu Mekonnen came in third at 3:03.48.9. A Swiss woman , Martina Strähl from Horriwil came in first with 3:14.36.4, Michelle Maier from Rosenheim, Germany came in second at 3:29.25.0 while Micela Segalad from Winterthur, Switzerland finished third.



Behind the Swiss Made Store, they have the cable car which goes up to Männlichen. They are new cars. I would not enjoy riding the one where the people are on top. Would not mind the closed one.



After the race and a shower, the runners, family and friends returned to Interlaken. Entertainment was featured both in the tent and outside on the Höhematte. The runners could have food and drinks; check their official time; pick up a photo and a few other things.

Outside entertainment featured bands. I know they are a special type of band that dresses in costume but that is all I know.

The first was from Thun. They also played in Wengen.





The second...



The third represented Interlaken.



Fourth


Fifth

This band has played in years past. They have always been my favorite due to their leader. Unfortunately, they have a new one this year. It didn't matter as they sounded so well!




After each band plays a few tunes, they all came together as a group and played a few more songs. They even played my favorite tune where all the sections are featured. I was standing next to the drummers and they overshadowed the others because of where I stood.

I went to my favorite Italian restaurant for dinner, Citta Vecchia, in Unterseen.

This is a rusticana pizza, a favorite of Michael and me. Delicious!!!


My eyelids are closing so I will say good night from Unterseen. Until tomorrow.......


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