We are not the only ones preparing intensively for the #ÖtztalerRadmarathon2020 but you are as well already in the middle of preparation programs.
Should I register at all? Do I really have enough time for training, job & family? In the course of the next 40 weeks we will take a closer look at the world of thoughts of an Ötztaler participant! #ÖRMDIARY
#6 "Book a hotel room quickly"
I thought about something today. Not a bad thought. On the contrary, a very clever idea. Even if I still don't know if I will be at the start of the 40th Ötztaler Cycle Marathon. It would be advisable and recommendable to book an accommodation in Sölden right now. That's exactly what I thought. Who knows if I will get a fine place to stay near the center in mid-March or even in June. If 4,000 starters will come to Sölden, probably not alone, the approximately 11,000 guest beds in the village will be fully booked in almost no time. No more vacancies available. Of course, I could also stay in the neighboring villages of Längenfeld, Umhausen or Oetz. But I don't want to. I want to be right in the middle of action and not only in the surroundings. I don't want to wait for a last-minute offer either. Book a hotel room quickly, that was my thought. Right now. Five months before the event will take place. A few days in Sölden. The strategy will pay off. Acclimatizing, visiting the Expo and social events, chatting, taking a ride on the mountain gondola, visiting the 007 Elements James Bond Museum at Gaislachkogl, climbing the Eastern Alps' highest road up to Rettenbach Glacier and enjoying the best scrambled pancake on Timmelsjoch. The longer I think about it, the more important it is to book a room. In the worst case, I'm in Sölden as a spectator.
#5 "The month of hope"
Leap year. 2020 is a leap year. However, February has one more day. That also means: waiting one more day. Waiting endlessly for a happy ending. The time until mid-March is an empty space. Full of hope. Will I be at the start in Sölden in late August? If it was up to me: yes. But I have no say. Lady Fortune holds the reins. She decides. Fate will determine. I am confident but at the same time I also expect a recall at the second drawing. It doesn't really make things easier or more relaxed. Uncertainty is a huge challenge at the moment. Mentally as well as physically. Another deadline until June? Oh no! I want to have it in black and white right now. So I could start the training program immediately. Putting into practice my New Year's resolutions. Being more determined and uncompromising. Pushing myself to the limit. Compared to my current mood, waiting for Christmas presents is like monotonous endurance training. Boring. Can't we turn time forward to mid-March, can't we just put the cards on the table now?
#4 "The fuss about starting places"
Why are there so many candidates for a starting place in the Ötztaler Cycle Marathon? The organization counts about 15,000 registrations. Why should I of all people get one of the coveted starting places? I have never won anything in my life. I have played the lottery for ages. Only blanks. I already wasted a fortune. There are said to be 4,000 lucky cyclists in Sölden. Plus loads of rumors. Some register the entire family, others register a team just to increase the chances to receive a starting place. I'm not a mathematician but what's the point? I already registered three times - am I now entitled to get a starting place? I really don't know. I lost track of things. Why are there so many candidates for a starting place in the Ötztaler Cycle Marathon? Why do so many want to take part in one of the most beautiful and well-organized cycling marathons in the Alpine Region? Couldn't some of them start somewhere else? To increase my chances of being there at the end of August? That would be very nice indeed.
#3 "The registration"
The apartment has been "decorated" with post-it for many days. A full collection of adhesive notes. Yellow, blue, red and orange reminders. February is brimming with reminders in my diary. As a precaution I doubled my mobile internet data. I already checked the line. 2 MB upload speed. Should be enough. My head is full of mnemonic rhymes. Siri on red alert. Permanent stand-by. The entire social environment is urged to remind me. I definitely don't want to miss the registration deadline for the ultimate Ötztaler Cycle Marathon. It starts on 01 February. I don't care if I have four entire weeks to register. I must do what an Ötztaler Cycle Marathon candidate has to do. I have to register. Right at the beginning of the registration period. I want to be a part of it. I have to be there. Name, address, e-mail, jersey size, club, bicycle brand. Everything is already meticulously listed in detail. My cheat sheet for late summer happiness in Ötztal. Then I go to church. To pray. In between I keep my fingers crossed for about 29 days. Until I receive - with a sigh of relief - the organization's e-mail.
#2 "Winter training"
Summer athletes are shaped in winter. Right now. Currently. As we have winter. Which non-cycling philosopher has spouted off this paradoxical wisdom? Outside it's cold, dark, windy and slippery. And there are still more than 7 ½ months left until 30 August 2020. What's more, I still lack the main motivating factor: a confirmed start place. If I want to weather out the Ötztaler Cycle Marathon - I should, no I must start the training now! Randomly. But why, actually? To conquer the 30 km up to Timmelsjoch Pass without standing on the bike? So that the last 10 km up to the feared pass height don't seem infinitely long, turn after turn, and that the subsequent climb to the toll station doesn't become a vertical obstacle? I am reflecting. Perhaps there is a piece of truth in this paradoxical wisdom. Maybe that's a first step. An important one. Maybe. Therefore I start my training now because summer athletes are shaped in winter just as the fabulous record times at the Ötztaler Cycle Marathon.
#1 "New Year's resolutions for Ötzi candidates"
More training. Even more training. Hard training. Even harder training. Bringing the climbs to perfection. Upgrading the material. Analyzing and improving your saddle position. And losing weight, of course! Losing weight. Increasing watts per kilogram of body weight. Optimizing. Changing your eating habits. No sugar. Much less sweets and saying no when it comes to alcohol. Ambitious Ötzi aspirants know very well that - in theory - the road to a personal record time at the Ötztaler Cycle Marathon is quite easy. Year after year. Before participation, after participation. Many could do it. Even more would do it. And some will be there. The varied New Year's resolutions of Ötzi aspirants are a kind of quiet challenges. They include desires and dreams. Wait! Something is still missing. A start place. It buys some time. Fortunately. And for the moment the New Year's resolutions will be postponed to March.