Sunday, April 20, 2014
Der Weisse Rausch. St. Anton am Arlberg
Yesterday April 19th a new edition of Der Weisse Rausch took place in St. Anton am Arlberg .
"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.
555 international piste addicts joined the line-up this year 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.
1,300 metres in altitude difference, 150 metre climb and a record time of seven minutes, 40.6 seconds are the forces to be reckoned with: "The White Thrill" cult race demands everything of its’ participants , yet most are inexorably drawn back every year to compete all over again.
The race is named after Der Weisse Rausch Film (White Ecstasy, 1931) directed by Dr. Arnold Franck starring by Hannes Schneider and Leni Riefenstahl.
Paul Schwarzacher, member of the Austrian National Ski Team training team has triumphed a record winning nine times. The fastest time of seven minutes and 40.6 seconds, however, was set in 2012 by Florian Holzinger from Germany. Times between 11 and 18 minutes are a good average, but they lose their significance once the race is over. What really counts is crossing the finishing line, amply demonstrated by the many participants who compete in fancy dress and take a leisurely half an hour to complete the course.
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 Arlberger Jakobilauf half marathon (July 26th) and in the mountain-bike race: the Arlberger Bike Marathon (August 23rd).