Too late to run the London Marathon?

Lech in the Austrian province of Vorarlberg at the altitude of 1,450 metres is establishing itself as a meeting point for the running crowd. Events such as the Lech high-altitude half marathon on 18 August or the legendary and now revived Trans-Vorarlberg-Triathlon on 26 August have become fixed dates in the diaries of athletes from around the world. With the new Höhenlaufpark (high-altitude running park) and those two top class competitions, this alpine village offers the best conditions for training and competing.

Do you want to run and perform, yet also appreciate and enjoy the landscape? Running there becomes something to be relished. The 21.7 kilometre long course takes you mainly along footpaths past the mountain peaks of Karhorn, Orneshorn and Mohnenfluh. Participants have to negotiate about 1,000 metres of ascent.

It’s not just participants in those events who will find Lech the best place to do their competition training. Various studies, including the Austrian Moderate Altitude Study (AMAS 2000*), demonstrate that spending a holiday at medium altitude has a particularly long-lasting effect when it is coupled with light sporting activities, such as walking, nordic walking or jogging.

Crystal Summer offers a week’s half board at the four-star Hotel Tannbergerhof in Lech including flights from Gatwick to Innsbruck, free activity clubs for children aged 4-12 years, free use of chairlifts and cable cars, tennis courts, entrance to leisure centre, hikers bus, guided walks and tours from £725 per person.

Crystal Summer (0871 230 8181; crystalsummer.co.uk)

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* The Austrian Moderate Altitude Study (AMAS 2000) was conducted between 1998 and 2000 under the leadership of Professors Dr. Egon Humpeler and Dr. Wolfgang Schobersberger who proved for the first time that an individually designed hiking holiday in the mountains guarantees truly effective outcomes.

What happens to your body when you perform active exercise in moderate altitudes (1500m–2500 m)? Some of the remarkable results of AMAS 2000 are as follows:

Optimisation of the cardiovascular system

Stimulation of metabolism

Reduction of body fat without dieting

Improvement of the quality of red blood cells and oxygen supply to the tissues

Reduction of harmful free radicals

Increased feeling of well being

Altitude also offers great relief for patients with allergies. The season of grass pollen shortens enormously; the mountains are considered free of allergens from July on. Mites and mildew are also not present. Hence, no harmful environmental influences will hamper your sojourn.


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