Hello, on July, 16th 2011, you’ll be organizing the Bärenfels 65 km Trail. Can you tell us where it is located?
The race is located in the West-Southwest region of Germany. France and Luxembourg are only about 50 km away. The start will be outside the small town of Neubruecke next to the forest.
How old is the race and why was it created in the first place?
Robert (the founder of the race) always dreamt of organizing his own race in his famous training area. It started in 2002 during the holydays with a 7.5 km race where only few friends were invited.
As this first event was very successful, the trail followed in 2003. With growing experience we added a marathon in July and a 50 km trail in Spring.
What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?
The region there is very hilly and although the highest point is only about 500 m high, the overall elevation gain during the race is about 2000 m for the 65 km trail. There are only few flat sections but many ups and downs.
The biggest part of the course is within the forest but you will also pass a stone mine and open fields and have beautiful sights. You will run on forest paths, grass, single trails, stairs and rocks. Many participants told us that this is one of the most varied courses they have ever seen.
How many runners do you expect on Saturday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?
In sum we expect about 250 participants for our event. About one third will try to finish the 65 km, the others will take part in the marathon or half marathon. All runners start together to have the chance to decide for the shorter distance while running.
We plan to attract international runners having fun running on different surfaces and those who enjoy beautiful landscape. Even if the German trail running championship already took part on our course and some of the best German ultra runners regularly visit us most participants do not count seconds. The liberal time limit of about 12 hours allows even walkers to finish the trail.
Do you organize other races during the Week-End? If so, on what distances?
As already mentioned we also offer a marathon and a half marathon on the same day. Children will have fun running our 2 km mini trail.
At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?
July is one of the hottest and sunniest months in Germany. At race start it may have mild temperatures of about 15 degree centigrade. During the day temperatures can go up to about 30 degrees. However we already experienced rainy days with temperatures below 20 degrees. Since most of the course goes through the forest there will be much shadow.
Have you planned festivities around the race?
There will be a pasta party on the evening before the race and of course there will be enough food and refreshments in the start/finish area. Maybe we will have grilled chicken or ice cream.
The race finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Neubrücke before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?
As we expect hot weather conditions it may be a good idea to drive to the near lake Bostal to refresh in the clear water. The famous ‘Felsenkirche’ (a church built in a rock wall – we married there) may also be worth a visit.
In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Bärenfels 65 km Trail?
Interview with Gernot Helferich, in charge of the technical tasks for the organizing committee such as website maintenance or results management on race day.
The race is organized by the Baerenfels-Team consisting of the famous German ultrarunning family Feller and some of their relatives and friends. Almost all team members are passionate runners who give the event a very personal touch. Race founder Robert Feller has won the German 100 km championship with his team six times.