Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Der Weisse Rausch. St. Anton am Arlberg

Next Saturday April 25th, St. Anton am Arlberg will host a new edition of Der Weisse Rausch. "The White Thrill" ski race is talked about all over the world by Wintersport fans. Whether as participants or observers, this sporty and speedy spectacle is a cult. Each year the race attracts hundreds of international piste freaks. Several hundred skiers, Snowboarders, Bigfooters and Telemarkers meet on the Valluga at 2650 meters for the mass start. Participants cover a 9 kilometres trail through Valfagehrjoch, Ulmerhütte, Steißbachtal, Moos and finally St. Anton. The race is named after Der Weisse Rausch Film (White Ecstasy, 1931) directed by Dr. Arnold Franck starring by Hannes Schneider and Leni Riefenstahl.
The fastest manage the distance in just over eight minutes but a time between eleven and eighteen minutes is a good average. Above all, the elation on reaching the end counts just as much as the great sporting achievement. For most the time plays a minor role – finishing and having fun is the target. This sporty and speedy spectacle also promises great fun for the spectators. In the evening the courageous racers celebrate with an award ceremony and a big party which also marks the exciting conclusion of the St. Anton Spring Festival Week.
Der Weisse Rausch is also the first stage of the alpine triathlon "Arlberg Eagle". The overall winner must be ahead of the field in the ski race, in the half marathon (July 25th) and in the mountain-bike marathon (August 22nd).