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Tessa Mellinger

von Tessa Mellinger

August 20, 2018


Legend Karwendelmarsch: With these tips you are ready!

At the end of August, the time has finally come again: The Karwendelmarsch takes place! This year the "legend" celebrates its 10th anniversary. A march through one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the Alps, with a sense of community and goosebumps. A total of 2,500 runners and hikers take up the challenge and cross the Karwendel from Scharnitz to Achensee on August 25. No less than 52 or 32 kilometers and countless meters of altitude must be conquered. Of course, one should prepare a little for this challenge. That's why we interviewed endurance athlete Adrian Niski: He tells us about his first Karwendelmarsch experience and gives runners and hikers helpful tips. Whether for the preparation, during the run or afterwards: With this info you are ready for the Karwendelmarsch!

Adrian is originally from Hohenlohe (Germany) and is studying education. The Adidas Terrex Trailrunning athlete has dedicated his free time to sports: first to triathlon, today mainly to mountain running. Soon he will fulfill his dream of living in Tyrol - the Karwendelmarsch is probably the best start for this! He likes to share his experiences, which he has gathered in many years of mountain running, with other hobby athletes and professional athletes.
Further down you will find Adrian's tips for runners and finally his tips for all hikers who will be marching the Karwendelmarsch.


Adrian, how did you come to the Karwendelmarsch?

After my first Ironman long distance in 2014, I had set myself new goals for the coming season. Through a hiking vacation with my parents, I discovered my love for the mountains. After some research on the internet I came across the Karwendelmarsch - a great time and with a little more than a marathon and not toouu many altitude meters it was good to master for a triathlete - at least that's what I hoped. So in 2015 I participated in the Karwendelmarsch. At the time I thought, "This shouldn't be so difficult!" - but unfortunately my imagination diverged somewhat with reality.

Sonnenaufgang beim Karwendelmarsch

Sunrise at the Karwendelmarsch

What experiences did you have?

Probably the most memorable moment was the sunrise below the Falkenhütte - it was one big play of lights. Running in the group, I could not keep my enthusiasm to myself, as I was not used to such a backdrop. The enthusiasm changed in the second ascent to disillusionment. I had not imagined that it would be so hard. I had planned my race totally wrong and had to pay for it after the narrow and was neatly "passed to the back". Directly at the finish there could be nothing better than the Achensee. There I jumped in to cool off and took a much-needed nap on the shore.

Pertisau, Achensee_Tirol Werbung_Aichner Bernhard_Keine Ortsangabe

Pertisau, Achensee

Why are you so keen to take part again this year?

This year the Karwendellauf will take place for the 10th time, and with the move to Tyrol there would be no better debut than to participate again in the crossing of the Karwendel, which ultimately brought me to running in the mountains. In addition, I can meanwhile some kilometers and altitude meters in the legs, with which I will hopefully not again experience such a slump, as in 2015.

Karwendelmarsch: Tips for runners

What tips can you give runners (beginners / pros)?

52km or 32km can be quite long, which is why planning your food and fluid intake plays a very important role. It is also important to have some longer runs with altitude in your legs.

What equipment should you take with you?

Here it depends largely on the pace that is run. The fastest, who run just over the four-hour mark, usually take a softflask (which is a small, very light plastic bottle) and a couple of energy gels. They can then refill the sorftflasks at the aid stations. The slower you run, the more equipment you should take with you, because especially the "thirsty stretches" between the aid stations will be longer. Accordingly, remember to bring enough fluids and food - a light trail running backpack will help here. In addition, poles can be helpful, especially on climbs they give support. In addition, a light windbreaker can be pleasant in the morning hours when it is cold.


What tips do you have for training?

My best training tip I can give is to have fun running! That helps immensely to stay motivated and to do a constant and continuous training. Long runs are also important, as they are the foundation for such a long race. In addition, I would also recommend somewhat faster and more intense runs on the flat every now and then, which makes the flat sections - and especially the last flat kilometers to Pertisau - easier.



How else do you prepare well? Do you have any advice on refreshment points, nutrition and blisters?

Before you tackle the adventure of the Karwendellauf on 25.08., you should get to grips with the exact route and profile plan in the days before. This is the only way to calculate the estimated running times and thus your food and drink intake, which plays an important role in a long run. If you have a trail running backpack with you, you can take one or two delicacies with you and treat yourself to them during low phases of the run. If you get blisters, usually only one thing helps - a firm tape or blister plaster. If you are not sure about your shoes, these things should be taken along in any case, so that the run does not become a torture.


What's the best thing to do about the excitement the night before?!

A healthy amount of excitement is actually quite good. However, consistent preparation helps you go into the last night confident. Also, rituals are important to calm and encourage you, as long as that's not a bottle of wine.

One more question about nutrition: what do you eat for breakfast the morning before a run like this?

Breakfast should be light food. I myself eat two bananas and drink tea and an energy drink. For most of us, toast with jam has proven to be good - but everyone can decide for themselves what tastes good and is good for you! The last three to four days before the race you should switch to a lighter diet and increase the amount of carbohydrates - "carboloading" is the term here. However, this is a very comprehensive and in-depth topic that I cannot go into in detail here. For hikers and hobby athletes it is also rather unimportant.


Endurance athlete Adrian Niski

And the recovery afterwards? 😉

I will certainly jump again directly into the Achensee after the run! For a quick regeneration it helps to eat something directly after the run - fortunately there are the very good aid stations for that! Sauna helps the muscles - and the soul - by the way also for fast regeneration.


Training for the run: The most beautiful routes in the Seefeld region - Tyrol's high plateau:

For all motivated runners there are some great running routes in our region - with many meters of altitude or flat, but always with a magnificent view! Click here for the trail running routes.

Karwendelmarsch - March: Tips for hikers

What tips do you have for hikers?

For hikers, it means that it can be a long day - prepare accordingly and take longer tours in advance so that you are prepared for the many hours.


Which equipment should you take with you? And what should you leave at home?

The choice of equipment is very individual from hiker to hiker, but one thing is clear: the less you take with you, the less you have to carry. This becomes noticeable on a 52km tour - your neck, back and knees will thank you. However, the essential things should not be missing:

  • Well fitting backpack
  • Additional clothing, such as a windbreaker for the cool mornings or a rain jacket
  • Comfortable shoes!
  • First aid kit & cell phone
  • Enough drinking and food to last through the food stations
  • Head protection, sunglasses & sunscreen
  • Sticks
  • A nice hiking partner
Karwendelmarsch Gramaialm 2017-Achensee (3)

Karwendelmarsch Gramaialm 2017 - Achensee

What hiking tips do you have for preparation?

To prepare, you should definitely go on one or two longer tours. You should test the items and the material that you take with you - especially the shoes. If you pack one or the other item too much, you will notice during test tours which ones you can safely leave at home, or which ones not. Also make sure that your clothing does not rub or chafe, otherwise it will be very painful over such a long distance. A T-shirt might be the better choice than a top, so that the straps of the backpack do not chafe, in addition, the shoulders are then more protected from sunburn 😉


What's the best thing to do about the excitement the night before?!

Again, I repeat myself: a healthy amount of excitement is actually quite good. However, consistent preparation helps you go into the last night with confidence. Also, rituals are important to calm and encourage you, as long as that's not a bottle of wine.

And the recovery afterwards 😉?

I will certainly jump straight into the Achensee again! For a quick recovery, it helps to eat something after the march. Fortunately, there are also the very good supply stations. Sauna also helps tired hiking legs and muscles to recover - and is simply good for the soul!


Preparing for the Karwendel March: The most beautiful hikes

Pack your backpack and test your equipment so that everything fits on the big day: In our region there are countless beautiful hikes that will prepare you for the Karwendel March. These are our most beautiful summit tours that will get you in the mood for the Karwendel March.


We wish all runners and hikers a lot of fun at the Karweldelmarsch!

More important information about the Karwendelmarsch can be found here:


Karwendelmarsch - Facebook

Karwendelmarsch - Instagram

The video: Karwendelmarsch 2017

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