As far as their feet will carry them

Christian Cantonati, René Gorissen, Heike Schernthaner, Christoph Kohlberger and Christopher Schaden

You really need to be an Indian ascetic; sadhus, for example, consume pain until they have conquered nature. Heike Schernthaner, Christian Cantonati, René Gorissen, Christoph Kohlberger and Christopher Schaden are neither Indians nor ascetics. That said, being resistant to pain is not a bad thing if you want to survive the Grossglockner Ultra Trail, the “toughest trail in the world”, Heike says. 110 kilometers around Austria’s highest mountain, 6,500 meters up and down covering three federal states, past 14 glaciers and innumerable peaks.

The group of five from Bründl Sports prepared for the tortuous event together. And even though – let’s not get carried away here – they all signed up for the light versions over distances of 30 and 50 kilometers, hunger and thirst, cramps and tiredness still make themselves felt soon enough. Not to mention maltreated ligaments and tendons, which go with an experienced mountain runner just as much as the medal on a war veteran’s lapel. Each of the competitors has his ailments, any discussion with them revolves around injured limbs and the mindset that takes over when your body gives up. “I’m not going to win, but I’m not going to come last either, that suits me fine,” says Heike. Christoph Kohlberger, who has already covered the full distance, seconds that: “Anyone who takes part is a winner,” even if afterwards you ache all over. Christopher from Logistics says: “The only person you can ever beat is yourself.” Christian talks about “goals in life that make you more of a person,” when he thinks of the Alpine terrain. Only René is lost for words when it comes to describing his sentiments: “Sorry, just fantastic!”

Bründl Sports Team Trailrunning
Everybody who takes part is a winner.
Christoph Kohlberger

From bottom to top

Maurice Dommes, head of sales dept. Bründl Sports Spieljochbahn Talstation Fügen & climber

Maurice Dommes came to the Zillertal valley 11 years ago, not without an ulterior motive, he says. Located south of the River Inn in Tyrol, the valley is considered to be the one with the most activities worldwide, and judging by what one sees and hears, that is something that Maurice, who hails from Wernigeroder, has taken to heart. Skiing, tobogganing, fitness studio, but he discovered his true love in fixed rope climbing. His playground: The via ferrata in Talbach, where the routes quickly change to red and then to black, i.e., from difficult to very difficult. Where the cliff is almost vertical and far below the river thunders through the rocks. The 32-year old is in his element here, clambering like a gecko along the rugged walls, sashaying across ropes, nimbly pulling himself upwards; all seemingly in fast forward mode. Your average person easily needs one-and-a-half hours for the balancing act, Maurice completes the route in 20 minutes. He’s a real madman, in a positive sense, one who jumps over burning beams and crawls under barbed wire in a Spartan Race There have been other times as well. Back then Maurice, who trained in the hotel trade, was lazy, lived unhealthily, let himself go to pieces. Then, however, he followed his inner voice (the mountain is calling, and I must go) and, indirectly, started working for Bründl in Fügen. Today the head of sales department says: “Sport makes me more content, I can deal with customers’ requirements totally differently.” On top of which, he has overcome his fear of heights. The mountain is calling…

Maurice Dommes Portrait Klettersteig
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Take it easy

Andrea Höller, Head of the Men's Fashion Dept. Bründl Sports Flagshipstore Kaprun & Triathlete

She still has it in her.

At the Ironman 70.3 event in Rapperswill in Switzerland Andrea qualified for the World Championships in Nice. The head of the men’s fashion department has been taking part in triathlons for 20 years and is regularly one of the top finishers. Three disciplines are not as monotonous, she says. Although running, to finish with, “is pretty gruelling,” she adds. Has she ever considered giving up? The reporter is met with a look that says: Who on Earth sent the German? “You give up something for lent.”

No,” she says, “I would prefer a slow time to no time at all.”

Andrea Höller am Rennrad

Because unfortunately there are only 24 hours in a day, and competitions are not permanently on the agenda, Andrea, family name Höller and a youthful 47, has taken up a few other disciplines. Ski tours of course, crosscountry skiing, and going to the fitness studio. Together with a few colleagues She is a member of the WhatsApp group “running beauties”, and when it comes to raising money for charity in the Wings for Life World Run, Andrea also puts a few extra kilometres in. Oh, and then there’s cycling. Especially in summer, gladly in the morning, at midday, and in the evening. As preparation for the next triathlon. Though recently she has mostly only been training in two disciplines. “Taking things a bit easier,” is what Andrea calls it – and leaves for her lunch break, albeit with her racing bike.

Andrea Höller Portrait

King off the Road

Sándor Bánfi, Mitarbeiter Alpincenter am Kitzsteinhorn und Service Bikeshop Waidmannsheil Kaprun & Mountainbiker

Boss, I'm going to be there a bit late. When? In five days.

That could be the sort of conversation Sándor Bánfi has after he has descended one mountain in order to climb another. Sándor, who comes from the Mátra mountain region in Hungary works alternately in the Alpine Centre on the Kitzsteinhorn mountain and in the bike shop in Waidmannsheil. Skiing and biking are the two main focusses of Sándor, who has made Kaprun his home. For him, the two are inseparable. He trains ski instructors, is an avalanche rescue instructor, and he takes part in skiing competitions, for example the legendary “Trasslauf” race in Zell am See, which many say is tougher than the “Streif” downhill course in Kitzbühl.

Sandor Banfi

When the snow has melted Sándor gets on his mountain bike or his road racing bike. And he takes part in competitions again, not any old ones but the toughest mountain races. He mentions names like Sellaronda Hero, Ötzi Alpin Marathon, Glocknerkönig. Among them there are single trails covering hundreds of kilometers and with differences in altitude of several thousands of meters. Sándor prepares with his own trainer and trains almost every day; for the Swiss Epic, a five-day mountain bike race, or the Absa Cape Epic in South Africa, a sort of Tour de France for mountain bikers. Not forgetting the five classic one-day races, the so-called monuments of cycling. They are too are a firm fixture in the 38-year old’s tour calendar. If he carries on like this, they are going to put up a statue of him. The only question is, will he be on a mountain bike or a racing bike?

Sandor Banfi am Mountainbike