SoNUT 2020 (DEU) – 62K

DEU – Soonwald Nahe Ultra Trail (SoNUT) 62k, 5th September 2020 (Photo by Organization, S. Wendel)

Location (start): Kirn / Rheinland-Pfalz / Germany https://goo.gl/maps/wtUo2ZzBdDiwDcyU6

Location (finish): Bad Sobernheim / Rheinland-Pfalz / Germany https://goo.gl/maps/kv1BVkcgxLcCcQLYA

Race Description

The race started in Kirn, next to the City Hall. The runners were divided in groups of ten, and each group started with one minute of separation. The first few hundred meters were flat, next to the brook on our left. Immediately, we followed the official signs of the Sonnwaldsteig (https://www.soonwaldsteig.de/), After ca. 1 km, I jalready joined many runners started few minutes before me and we took some stairs to gain hundred meters in elevation. At ca. km 2, we ran downhill next to the Burg Kallenfels and, after other few kilometer in the wood, we arrived next to Schloss Wartenstein (ca.5 km). The next 5 km were runnable, with short ups and downs. I really enjoyed this part. At ca. 10.5 km, we left the official Soonwaldsteig route for few hundred meters; just before the first refreshment point (km 12) we were again on the official route.

After crossing the street, we started a steep but short uphill and afterwards a nice section with passages through small tunnels. At about km 15 we ran on the left side of the Keltensiedlung Altburg (https://www.museumsportal-rlp.de/museen/keltensiedlung-altburg), characterized by old wood-houses. I was pleasantly surprised. At km 17, we started an easy long uphill sections running through forest roads and fields, until we reached the second refreshment point (ca. 21 km).

The uphill continued after the refreshment point for about additional 3 km. These were similar to alpine trails with several stones along the route, placed either on the ground or as the typical “ometti” of the high mountain paths. The highest point was at the Womrather Höhe (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Womrather_H%C3%B6he). For the next 4 km, we ran downhill before arriving at small bridge over a brook, where it began the next uphill section. It ended at Burg Koppenstein (ca. km 31): https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burg_Koppenstein. Along the last kilometers, we met several hikers. The following kilometers brought up to ran partially on the road (just few hundreds meters), partially across the fields. This section ended at the Alteburgturm (ca. km 37), basically leaving the Soonwaldsteig at this point. Just one more kilometer and we reached the third refreshment point (ca. 38 km). Here, Thomas and myself decided that it was a good time for a beer!

The following three kilometers after the refreshment point were along an easy forest road, marked with red and white stripes. At km 41 we took another official footpath: the Willigesweg Vital Tour (https://www.wanderinstitut.de/premiumwege/rheinland-pfalz/willigisweg/). From km 43 to km 47 there were continuous ups & downs, mainly in open fields. During these kilometers, the blister on my foot had already become very painful (it started annoying me around ca. 30 km) and quadriceps cramps also started. The last hundred meters of this section brougth us to the fourth and last refreshment point (ca. 48 km).

Immediately after it, the last uphill of the day began. In normal conditions, it is a runneable one. However, at this point, I had deep cramps on both legs and I could only barely walk. The same happened in the following 8 km, mostly flat and easy. Anyway, this is another story: let’s go back to the route. After a short downhill, a small footpath brought us to Kurhaus am Maasberg. We followed the forest road next to the golf field for about two kilometers; then a small passage through a tunnel and we reached the first houses of Bad Sobernheim. We ran one more kilometer to reach the Markplatz, turn left first along Pfaffenstraße and then Großstraße; turn right again in Poststraße and then the last two turns, first on the left in Botzbachweg and then on the right into the courtyard of the school, where the finish line was located.

After the arrival, classic pleasant celebrations by the organizers and by the other runners, according to the new situation driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the new situation, the beuty of trail running and pure sporting competition remained intact with most of the finishers applauding subsequent finishers in the following hours.

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Race Information

Official website: https://www.sonut.de/

Official Route: https://www.alltrails.com/de/explore/map/sonut–4?referrer=gpsies

Distance: 62 km

Cumulative Gain +: 2028 m

Cumulative Loss -: 2070 m

Max Altitude: 611 m

Start Date: 05/09/2020

Start Time: 8:30 a.m.

Start Point: Next to the City Hall in Kirn

Cost: 40€ (0,6 €/km)

Air Temperature (average): 20°C

Weather Conditions: cloudy

Dominant Ground: Footpath (first 38 km along the Soonwaldsteig https://www.soonwaldsteig.de/)

Ground Status: dry

Technical Difficulties: none

Refreshment Points: 4 (ca. 12 km; ca. 22 km; ca. 38 km; ca. 48 km)

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Race Results

Official results available on web: https://www.sonut.de/der-lauf/ergebnisse/

Starters: 102

Finishers: 92

Personal Absolute Position: 11

Personal Male Position: 11

Personal AGE Position (M40): n.a.

Ratio Absolute Position/Starters: 10,8

Personal Time: 7h19’12”

Personal GPS tracks:

Personal Registration Team: None

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Race Equipment

Shoes Type: Raidlight Responsiv Dynamic Shoes Black Blue (Size: UK 9 / EU 43; Color: Black/Blue)

Shoes km at the start: 45.3 km (Note: too short mileage before this race)

Anklet: not used

Socks: Thyo Special Trail (Size: 41-43; Color: Black/Blue)

T-Shirt: Raidlight XP Fit 3D (Size: M; Color: Dark Blue)

Shorts: Raidlight Trail Raider Short (Size: M; Color: Dark Blue)

Backpack: Salomon S/Lab Sense Ultra 8 (Size: M; Color: Blue)

Drink Equipment:

  • Salomon HydraPak Soft Flask 500 ml Speed (Quantity: 2)
  • Salomon HydraPak Speedcup (quantity:1)
  • Overstim’s Hydrixir Longue Distance (Flavor: Citrus Fruit Cocktail)
  • Note: at the refreshment points, I drank water, cola, isotonic drink and one beer

Food:

  • Overstim’s Energix Gel (Quantity: 3; Flavor: various)
  • Overstim’s Energy Bar (Quantity: 1; Flavor: Almond/Banane
  • Mix of walnuts, peanuts, almonds and red fruits
  • Note: at the refreshment points, I ate watermelon, banana-bread, orange, bread, cheese

Race Belt: Sports Akileine

GPS: Suunto 9

Headwear: Buff (Sbarua Trail) (Note: I had an additional buff to protect nose and mouth at the refreshment points)

Glasses: not taken with me

Trail Running Poles: not taken with me (Note: in general it would have been a good decision but, due to my not-optimal preparation, I should have taken with me. There were short steep passages where the poles would have been extremely helpful)

Headlamp: not taken with me (Note: it was required for runners expecting to stay more than 10 hours along the tracks)

Wind/Rain Jacket: not used (Dynafit React) but in the backpack

First Aid Help: not used but in the backpack (Note: it included a thermal blanket, mobile phone, money, ID-Card, patches, tissues)

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Beyond the race: COVID-19 rules

SoNUT was my first official trail-running competition in this strange and unusual year, dominated by the pandemic COVID-19. Therefore, everywhere, both organizers and runners need to deal with new rules and new situations. The rules applied at SoNUT 2020 were easy and simple to be followed. Personally, I also believe that they were effective. I try to list all of them here, in order to share this experience with other organizers and runners.

  • Limited number of runners (only 111 allowed) and organizers for the entire duration of the event;
  • Starting number distribution organized in a wide courtyard (outdoor) of a school, with one lane to enter and one lane to exit;
  • Organizators provided the starting number, pending a signed certificate/document where each runner stated his healh conditions in relation to COVID-19 synthoms. Note: it was required to bring the document during the 2 hours before the starting time; not to send it via e-mail the days before;
  • Everybody (runners and organizers) to cover nose and mouth (with a mask or buff) in the common areas (like in the courtyard of the school, at the start line, at the finish line and at the refreshment points);
  • Each runner to bring his own personal cup for the entire duration of the event. Note: the organizers also provided the cup at the starting number distribution;
  • Each runner entering the refreshment points should have disinfected his hands. Note: there was always an organizator ready to spray immediately the disinfecant liquid;
  • Each organizer to wear gloves and masks at the refreshment points;
  • Each runner could not take directly food and drink on his own. Each runner to request drinks and food to the organizers. The organizers provided the food on a paper plate. After eating, the runner to throw it in a bin at the end of the refreshment point. Note: personally I think this is a good approach to reduce the waste of food and to make sure that the litter is properly collected;
  • Start line organized in eleven groups, each made of ten runners. The groups started separately: one minute from each other;
  • Finish line moved from the main square of the city to the inner wide courtyard of a school;
  • No big award cerimony to avoid crowded places, but the first three runners (males and females) were awarded following all previous rules;
  • No shower at the end of the race, but spacious bathrooms with standard sanitizing material.

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Additional Information

If you want more information or technical details related to this event, please do not hesitate to contact me or comment below.

Kind Regards

Andrea De Filippo

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