Mozart100 2018: A Trail Running Festival in the city of Classical Music Festivals!

Once again, Advendure was present at the Mozart100, as a guest of the Organiser and as official media sponsor of the Ultra Trail World Tour. The Mozart100 festival includes 10 different trail races, with headquarters in enchanting Salzburg, perhaps the most touristy destination in all of Austria. This is no coincidence, of course, since the city’s historic centre - with medieval architecture and fortresses bringing to mind knights in shining armour, a calm river traversing the centre, and a modern web of tourist shops, outdoor restaurants, body beer gardens and interesting museums and period homes - is very attractive to visitors. However, this is a destination for the well-off tourist, with prices well above average by Greek standards.


To return to racing matters, the event included the following - no less than 10 - different races:


mozart 100: Ultra-Trail race, 103K with an ascent of 4600 m

mozart Ultra: Ultra-Trail race, 61K with an ascent of 2000 m

mozart Marathon: Trail Marathon, 42K with an ascent of 1500 m

mozart Light: Trail race, 31K with an ascent of 1142 m

mozart Half Marathon: Trail Half-marathon with an ascent of 800

mozart City Trail: 13Κ with an ascent of 300 m, inside the city

mozart 100 Relay: Relay race for teams of 4, covering the Mozart 100 route

mozart Ultra Relay: Relay race for teams of 4, covering the Mozart Ultra route

mozart City Trail team competition: A relay race for teams of 3, covering the mozart City Trail route; each team members runs the route once

kids mozart race: Children’s races; 400, 400 and 1200 metres



Now I will try not to bore you further with numbers and descriptions; besides, details of the routes and other information are available in Advendure’s very informative article from last year. I would like to focus more on certain aspects that need attention and which occurred not only from the interesting discussion we had with one of the race organisers (and heart and soul of the race), Josef Mayerhofer, and from my personal experience in running the race.


This was the Mozart 100’s 7th consecutive year, making it the longest-standing trail event in Austria; this year, it saw an increase of 30% in attendance, with 1,304 runners, continuing a consistent growth trend.


Event with vision and future….The organizing team (Mayerhofer & Friends Ultra Trail KG, Verein mozart 100® - Salzburg Ultra Trail) and our host, Josef Mayerhofer, told us, at the special dinner held for elite runners and the media, that all profits raised at each event are reinvested in providinf additional benefits in the subsequent year's race (NB: this year there was and opening ceremony for the 1st time, as well as a kids' race. Obviously, this means that none of the organizers have earned any profits over the last 7 years. This is because they intend to perfect the race over a 10-year period, and then start to make a profit, as they revealed. A far cry from Greek reality, don't you think? In fact, when I called him the organizer, Josef corrected me politely, stating that he simply practices his hobby professionally.



The Mozart100 motto is “more people into trails” , and it practices exactly what it preaches. It can introduce any runner, whether a complete rookie or an accomplished old-timer, to running or dirt tracks, trails or mountains, as well the whole philosophy of trail running. In other words, it offers a smooth transition through a range of routes including several "runnable" kilometres (but not asphalt roads), beautiful landscapes, lakes, rivers, etc., all of which distract the mind from the physical fatigue and any bad thoughts. And all of this wrapped around the city of Salzburg - what more could you ask for...



That said, they have no plans to change the race routes, or even to add another, longer race (e.g. a 100-miler), as many organizers do nowadays, making their events harder as the years go by. The aid stations, and many other positions, are manned by volunteers. The concept of volunteering, however, is very different in Austria. All of the volunteers are actually paid for their services.  And this is where Greece can be said to have the high ground...



One very entertaining event, along the lines of other large races abroad, was the morning run organized on the day before, by the race's big sponsor, Compressport - a 3k run within the city with no entry fee and free Compressport wristband for all participants.


Although the people involved in the race were very happy and willing to help and provide anything we asked for, the city did not seem to be in tune with the race's atmosphere. However, this did not take anything away from the positive climate prevailing throughout the event, thanks especially to the ubiquitous Claudia Kolussi, who was the heart and soul of the race.  



The headquarters of all of the race events was Kapitelplatz Square in Salzburg, where a massive stage had been set up. The race secretariat had been set up in a custom-made shelter (a new addition this year), which was also used for the awards ceremony, the opening ceremony, the presentation of elite athletes, the comprehensive race briefing in English and German, and the closing event, which included live music and various other entertainments.



The finish line was decorated with the usual arch, but also with a red carpets, with photographers waiting for all of the finishers and a big screen showing each runner's arrival.  



To conclude, the organizers of the Mozart 100 deserve many congratulations for their exceptional organizing ethos and the result of their efforts, which is a "bouquet" of races for all tastes, and for the 7th consecutive year.



Strengths of the Mozart100:


- The amazing race route. It is surrounded by incredibly beautiful lakes and rivers, and is perhaps the prettiest I have ever run.


- Salzburg itself. Finishing a race inside this beautiful city, combined with the opportunity to visit the sights before and after the race, is not an opportunity that comes along very often.


- The 'easy' route. No 100+k race is ever actually easy, but all of the event's races are designed to offer a smooth introduction to the philosophy of trail and ultra trail running, offering soft and not very technical terrain, without pronounced ascents and descents.


- The race's registration system, which offered significant discounts if you registered early (not to mention the optional Advendure package, a very cost-effective solution).


- The satisfactory signposting, without any excess.



Weaknesses of the Mozart100:


- It is common practice, nowadays, for races to provide all runners with a souvenir, usually a T-shirt. Here, you had to buy the race T-shirt, for 40 euros no less. This was also true of the finisher T-shirt, which cost 30 euros. Both T-shirts were, of course, by Compressport, so the quality was excellent, but still...


- Although the aid stations had generous quantities of various snacks, there was no proper cooked food, which, as we know, is necessary in long races, especially for the slower runners.  It might be a good idea to have a pasta dish or some food at the main aid station in Fuschl.


For the record, 7 Greeks took part in the race and all of them did very well, achieving exactly what the race offers: their first three-digit race distance finish, with a smile. Even the one runner who did not finish the race, could have easily continued, and is already planning to return to Salzburg, as are many others.  Until next year, then, until we return to Salzburg and the Mozart100 with its enchanting routes.


The results of all of the races are available here.


Christos Katsiropoulos

English Translation: Sofia Vlavianou



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