7 reasons for the Achensee Run
The Achensee Run, Austria’s most beautiful panoramic run, is truly a highlight for running enthusiasts. Every year in September, the international running scene is drawn to Pertisau. Runners have to conquer 23.2 kilometres and 171 metres of elevation gain as they circumnavigate Tirol's largest lake accompanied by breathtaking panoramic views. We have rounded up 7 reasons why this running event is so special.
The Achensee Run starts in Pertisau, from where the route leads on asphalt and gravel paths towards Maurach. And here it comes, the first WOW moment: The turquoise coloured water at the shallowest part of the lake, framed by reeds and backdropped by the stunning mountain scenery, providing a touch of Caribbean feeling during kilometres 3 to 4.
The race continues along the lakeshore from the Buchau towards Brenntengraben. At kilometre 6, you are roughly at the same level as Pertisau, only on the opposite side. You run directly along the lakeshore and look across the sparkling water to the village of Pertisau with a population of 600 backdropped by the Falzthurnjoch (2,150 metres). Now it’s time to make kilometres. The asphalt path is fairly flat with only a few slight inclines on the long lakeside.
Once you reach the Achenseehof, you're about halfway there. The Achenseehof has a shipping pier and affords stunning panoramic 360 degree views of the lake. This is a great opportunity to refuel your energy and motivation.
At the lakeshore near Achenkirch, Lake Achensee meets little Achensee, a separate bathing area where both swimmers and children can let off some steam in summer. In this area, there is one of seven feed stations and the relay changeover.
Now it's getting serious. Passing through a turnstile, you leave the wide path and continue along the narrow Gaisalmsteig. The challenges of this leg? Roots, rocks, steps, and precipitous terrain next to the path that leads towards Lake Achensee. Full concentration is required to move forward safely as the climbs gradually over 150 metres of elevation over a distance of five kilometres. Overtaking is hardly possible, and most people don’t even want to. On the plus side, the steep sections offer gorgeous views of the lake and the Achenseehof on the opposite shore, encouraging you to keep going.
The Gaisalm mountain hut, which can only be reached by foot or by boat, is beautifully situated in a small bay in Lake Achensee. When you arrive here, you have already mastered 18 kilometres and the most difficult stage of the run. After a quick refreshment at the drink station, you continue through the forest and over scree towards Pertisau.
After the Gaisalm, the trail gets narrow and continues along the lake without any strenuous climbs. Surefootedness is still required, as there are numerous roots, rocks, and bridges to tackle. Highlight: Running underneath a covered section where a small waterfall flows. At the end of the trail, you pass a turnstile before the path gets wider. The last few kilometres are on flat terrain along the lake promenade towards Pertisau.