On the morning of the 28th of September, I got up early. An adventure awaited me. It was the day of the Little Mammut Wien (little mammoth Vienna) organized by Mammutmarsch.
Some months ago, I had signed up for the Little Mammut Wien, with its 55 kilometers.
It was the first time for me to join such a hiking event. It was also the first time in my life that I would go 55 kilometers at once, without any more extended break.
About the organizers of the Little Mammut Wien
The Mammutmarsch team perfectly organized the whole event.
They have a great statement and mission which I like to share with you:
Mammothmarch is an adventure. Mammothmarch means to blow up boundaries.mammutmarsch.de
We have only one mission: We want to show you that you can accomplish anything. No matter how much it hurts, no matter how impossible something seems to you, we’ll show you that you can do it!
Be on time for the Little Mammut Wien 55km
The start and also the course’s goal was at the ASV Wien Sportbad, Arbeiterstrandbadstraße, in the 21st district of Vienna.
The organizers asked everybody to be there at least half an hour in advance to get a participant’s booklet with all the maps.
If you had ordered a t-shirt, it was also enough time to get it without stress.
Since I was part of the second starter block, which started at 8:40, I decided to be there at approximately eight o’clock.
And so it was, I was there at eight o’clock, picked up the booklet and my new t-shirt, stored everything within my backpack, and waited for the start.
The hiking route
At 8:40, I started my first step to get the 55 kilometers done.
I went through the Donaupark straight to the Donauinsel. Then I had to cross the blue Danube via the Donaustadtbrücke to follow the course to the Viennese Prater.
I passed the Lusthaus (you can see it on one of the pictures below) and walked through the Praterhauptallee directly to the first supply station.
At this and the other two supply stations organized by the Mammutmarsch team, cookies, cereal bars, water, isotonic drinks, bananas, and much more were there to choose from.
They did an awesome job by providing all those food and drinks.
From the Viennese Prater, the route switched over to the Donaukanal, which I followed until Klosterneuburg.
Shortly before I arrived at Klosterneuburg, I realized that a big blister just started to arise on my right heel.
Therefore, I had decided to put a blister patch on it to mitigate more significant issues.
In Klosterneuburg was the second supply station. At this time, I had walked almost 23 kilometers already.
After a short break – by the way, I did rest only for 5 to 10 minutes at all three supply stations – I had to walk up to Leopoldsberg. That was the steepest part of the whole route.
Leaving the city – going through the woods
It was a real nature deep dive. You know, that’s one of Vienna’s many great things – Nature is just around the corner.
From Leopoldsberg, I followed the Höhenstrasse and went over to Kahlenberg.
Afterward, I passed the Vogelsangberg, Hermannskogel, and Schützengraben and arrived in lower Austria.
There I went a short time on a street through Weidlingbach. After leaving the road again, I headed back into the course of Vienna, following the Wurzeltrail around Simonsberg and back into the direction of Höhenstrasse to cross it again.
Entering the city again
In Neustift am Walde, I left the woods behind me. At this time, I already finished almost 38 kilometers and was close to the third and last supply station.
After the last supply station, I followed the Agnesgasse, the Sieveringer Strasse, and the Paula-Wessely-Weg and passed many vineyards on this part of the route.
I went back through Vienna’s nineteenth district down to Nussdorf, where I passed the blue Danube again. This time via the Schemerlbrücke and the Nordbrücke.
At this time, I already walked 50 kilometers. Therefore it was time to tackle the last 5 kilometers on my way to the goal.
The last 5 kilometers took me along the Donauinsel and, in the end, once again through the Donaupark.
At the end of my 55 kilometers hike, the organizers from the Little Mammut Wien 55km cheered for every finisher. It was an outstanding experience.
I was able to finish the whole course within approximately nine hours.
I would say that’s quite a good finishing time.
At least, I’m very proud of myself.
The weather on this Saturday was quite mixed.
Most of the time, it was cloudy. From time to time, it even rained a bit, but that wasn’t too bad. Once during my nine-hour walk, I thought it would maybe make sense to put a raincoat on my backpack, but then the rain stopped again, and I decided not to put it on.
The temperature during the whole day was between 15 and 17°C.
In my opinion, the perfect temperature for such a hiking event like the Little Mammut Wien 55km.
Besides the food and drinks I consumed at the supply stations, my provision during the Little Mammut Wien 55km were as follows.
My backpack has a reservoir that holds up to 3 liters. I filled it with 3-liter pure water and refilled it once at the third supply station.
To eat, I had two High-Protein bars and one Protein Brownie from Myprotein with me.
I also had three packs of PowerBar Power Gel Shots with extra caffeine (amazon.de) in my backpack and a small bag of salted peanuts.
In addition to the food, I had some liquid energy gels with me.
Exactly three pieces of Dextro Energy Energy Gel (amazon.de) and four parts of PowerBar Power Gel Hydro (amazon.de).
During the whole hike, I never had the feeling of being hungry or thirsty.
I think it was just the right amount of rations to carry with me.
Let’s start with the socks I wore during the Little Mammut Wien 55km.
They were just some normal socks. No special hiking or whatever socks. Which maybe also explains the blisters I got.
The shoes I’ve chosen to wear during this event were from Hoka One One. I decided to give the Hoka One One Stinson ATR 5 model a chance because the Mammutmarsch team recommended them on their blog.
Besides the blisters I got from them in combination with wearing the wrong socks, I have to say that they are super soft and comfy.
I extra bought hiking pants for this event. It is a Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Convertible Pant (amazon.de). I never thought that it could be so comfy as it was in the end. It’s a great hiking pant.
Underneath the hiking pant, I had put on calf compression stockings (amazon.de) because I had had a good experience with it during my former participation at other running events. I have the feeling that my legs do not get tired so fast when I’m wearing them.
The backpack I used is a CamelBak Fourteener 24 Hydration Pack, 100oz (amazon.de). I’m very picky when it comes to backpacks, but this one is great.
It fits well, has more than enough space to store and carries many things, and comes with a three-liter reservoir.
I had all the rations which I mentioned above in it. Besides that, there was my jacket, a second pair of shoes, a backpack raincoat (amazon.de), a reusable Rain Poncho (amazon.de), my Petzl Actik Core Led headlamp (amazon.de), some blister badges, some tissues, and the participant’s booklet within my backpack.
The watch which I’m using is a Garmin Fenix 3. For this event, I used it together with a chest strap. I can tell you, don’t use the chest strap for a hike like the Little Mammut Wien 55km. It chafed, and I got parts of my skin around my chest red and sore. That’s not pleasant.
Let’s see, maybe next time I will use hiking sticks also. But I don’t know yet.
The days after the Little Mammut Wien 55km
After I finished the Little Mammut Wien 55km, I was done in, but I was still having a good mood and able to smile (see the finisher picture above).
My legs hurt, and I had a big blister on each of my heels.
I did take public transport and headed home. Trust me; I was never moving so slow like on this way back home.
On the day after the Little Mammut Wien 55km and even till Wednesday during the following week, my feet still hurt because of those big blisters.
Besides the blisters, my legs were back to normal again already on Monday.
My next big goal is to be part of the Mammutmarsch 100km early next year. Therefore, I’ll sign up for it soon!
You may ask yourself, why is he doing such a thing. That’s easy to answer. The first time I learned about 100km runs was when I read the book “Can’t hurt me” from David Goggin’s. It’s really inspiring, so I thought I’d like to try a 100km march on my own.
If you are interested in which other running events I attended in 2019, you can find them and a short history of my other attendances on past events in this blog article.
You are curious why I share this experience with you, no problem. You can get a hint here.
If you want to know more about me or even get in contact with me, you can find more info on my contact page.