A challenge for 365 days
What was born in December 2010 in some minds as a crazy idea, has since developed into a real event. VERTICAL-UP - the Streif uphill has gained more and more cult status.
The hype continues
At the first event of the VERTICAL UP in 2011 already 191 runners from 4 nations were at the start. In 2012, 333 runners were welcomed, and in February 2013, 429 starters from 17 nations were welcomed. In 2015, the magic 1,000 mark in starters was reached for the first time. The starting places were and are more sought after than ever. This year, the event is already taking place for the 8th time. On 24.02.2018 it's uphill again the Streif. There is now a limit of 1,000 starters.
Dear Anna, there is now a real VERTICAL UP tour, maybe you can tell us a little about it. - Yes, that's right, since 2016 there has been a VERTICAL UP tour that starts in Hinterstoder (Upper Austria), then continues to Val Gardena/Gröden and Madonna di Campiglio, back to Kitzbühel, and finally it goes to Wengen in Switzerland. I myself have been taking part for 5 years. The cooperation with the organizers in the respective places is a lot of fun and joy. The steady increase in the number of starters shows us that the interest of the athletes in our event is growing and it makes us very proud as a team that we have been able to establish such a good reputation outside Kitzbühel in such a short time.
What are the athletes and participants looking forward to the most? - The finish line, of course! To conquer the original Streif with 3,312 km and 860 vertical meters as fast as possible is only possible once a year.
What makes this event so special? - One of the many special features are the rules - because there are none! Free choice of material as long as everything happens under your own power. The main thing is to go uphill without an engine!
Can you tell us something about the different classes? - There is the "speed class", which is running on the original Streif, and the "backpack class", which is running or walking along the family Streif. Whether with touring skis, cross-country skis, running shoes with spikes, crampons, snowshoes, ski poles or barefoot....
There is also a course record uphill, as in the downhill? - Yes, the course record is held by Christian Hoffmann (AUT), Olympic Champion 2002 Salt Lake City and winner of the Nordic World Ski Championships 1999 Ramsau, with the incredible time of 30:29,1.
Is there a funny incident about the Vertical Up that you like to remember? - Absolutely, legendary was a participant in the speed class who started in a fluffy donkey costume and sensationally finished fifth. Great performance in the rather serious speed class.
Less serious is the backpack class, right? - Yes, this competition is also meant to be fun - each athlete tackles the family Streif VERTICAL UP at any pace and with a free choice of equipment. The only condition: A backpack including filling must be taken to the finish. The backpack filling is the starter package. But don't hurry, the winner will be the participant who comes closest to the average time of all participants.
Dear Anna, what do you wish for VERTICAL UP in the next years? - One wish has already come true: the children's VERTICAL UP competition. Up to the finish jump of the Streif and back to the start with the "Rutscherblattl". Fun for the kids! Another dream would of course be to have more classic World Cup courses in the tour.
What is particularly important to you at VERTICAL UP? - The athletes are particularly important to me; they have top priority. They should do well and want for nothing. Everyone should get up and down well.
You and your team have every right to be proud! What makes you particularly proud? - I am particularly proud that Olympic and world champions such as Christian Hofmann, mountain running world champion Andrea Mayr and extreme athlete Markus Kröll will be competing with us in Kitzbühel. This year also two top athletes from the ski touring national team of Switzerland, which we are particularly pleased!
The team around the VERTICAL UP
At the VERTICAL UP itself, the 5-member organization team around Sebastian Obermoser, Alexandra Egger, Georg Aufschneiter, Michael Schönacher and Anna-Maria Millinger is supported by numerous volunteers. In total, more than 100 helpers are on site to carry out the VERTICAL UP. The course is secured by the ski schools Element3 and Rote Teufel. In addition, there are numerous supporters in the background, without whom the event would not be feasible.
The OC team will of course continue to do its best to maintain and further develop the quality and unique spirit of VERTICAL UP in the future. Important for this are also our partners like Bergbahn Kitzbühel, Stadtgemeinde Kitzbühel, Kitzbühel Tourismus, Kitzbüheler Skiclub, Raiffeisen Bank, LaSportiva, Gore Running Wear, Gerberei Niederkofler, Tirol Milch, Recheis, Suunto, Snowline, Mauracher, Kitz Guide, …