4 Extreme sports

Georg Piazza at the finish last year. © Wisthaler

The Ultra Race will be an exhibition run by the former winners

Around two weeks before the 10th edition of the extreme mountain run along the Horseshoe Tour in the Sarntal Alps, the organizers have announced the first names of the top athletes taking part. There are no fewer than six former winners among the more than 400 registered participants in the Ultrarace to date.

On the 63 kilometer long route with 3550 meters of altitude - this year the royal distance after the cancellation of the 119 km - Georg Piazza inevitably slips into the role of favorite. The native of Val Gardena won on the original route last year and won the marathon in 2021. At this year's edition on August 26th, Piazza, who has already attracted attention with some top results this season, is looking for his third victory in a row. Piazza has competition from someone from Brixen: Helmuth Mair is not only the winner of the mixed relay that took place at the premiere of the South Tyrol Ultrarace in 2013 - Mair also won the always well-attended Brixen Dololmiten Marathon two years ago.


For the women, Regina Spieß is the big hunted on the 63 kilometers. The local hero from Sarn has already triumphed at this distance once. That was in 2018, after she had finished second in the previous two years. Spieß celebrated her greatest success last year when she won the 119 kilometers for the first time. This year, Spieß is returning to his roots, so to speak.

Will Edeltraud Thaler's winning streak hold?

The marathon distance is no less prominent. The Austrian Daniel Rohringer, the winner from 2017 and 2018, is attacking here and is now aiming for a hat trick. One of the most successful Spartan athletes in the world wants to prevent this. Luca Pescolldungg challenges Rohringer over the 45 kilometers with 2750 meters of altitude. The Gadertaler was also successful once in the South Tyrol Ultrarace. Two years ago Pescolldungg decided to take the 27 kilometer long route.

For the women, the bookmakers are asking themselves: Can Edeltraud Thaler win en suite for the fifth time? The grand dame of the South Tyrolean running scene from Lana holds the course record of 5:07.50 hours, which she set in 2021 with her third victory. Last year too, there was no way around Thaler, who made her much younger competition look old.

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