The Achensee Run, Austria’s most beautiful panoramic run, is truly a highlight among 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 around the lake – including breathtaking panoramic views.
We have rounded up 7 reasons why this running event is so special. For route details and the elevation profile visit maps.achensee.com.
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 water at the shallowest part of the lake, framed by reeds and backdropped by the stunning mountain scenery. A touch of Caribbean feeling accompanies the runners during kilometres 3 to 4.
The run continues along the lakeshore from 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 (2150 metres). Now it’s time to make kilometres. The route is fairly flat on the asphalt path with only a few slight climbs along the long side of the lake.
No, it doesn’t light the way, but when you reach it, you know you’re about halfway there. Moreover, the place around the old lighthouse, including the jetty, is one of the points where the panoramic view over the lake in all directions is worthwhile. This is the opportunity to refuel your energy and motivation.
At the lakeshore near Achenkirch, Lake Achensee meets the small Achensee, a separate part that has been made accessible for swimmers and offers both children and athletes the perfect conditions to let off some steam in summer. Here you will find the relay handover and one of the seven refreshment stations.
Now its getting serious. You leave the wide path through a turnstile and head for the narrow Gaisalmsteig. The challenges on this part? Roots, rocks, steps and the sloping terrain next to the path towards the lake. On the climb, full concentration is once again required to move forward safely. In addition, the approximately 150 metres of elevation are built up over a distance of five kilometres. Overtaking is hardly possible, and most people don’t even want to. However, the climbs on the Gaisalmsteig also offer gorgeous views over the lake and to the other shore towards the lighthouse and this motivates you to keep going.
The mountain hut which can only be reached by foot or by boat, is beautifully situated in a small bay of Lake Achensee. If you arrive here you have already mastered the most difficult stage of the run and 18 kilometres. After a quick refreshment at the drink station, you continue through the forest and over scree fields 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 still numerous roots, rocks and bridges to tackle, such as one of the absolute highlights – the covered spot over which a small waterfall flows. The trail ends when you pass the turnstile. From here, the path gets wider and the last kilometres are on flat terrain along the lake promenade towards Pertisau.
Of course, it’s possible that the top runners don’t notice any of this because their focus is on the winner’s podium. For everyone else, however, these are the reasons why it is worth taking part in the Achensee Run and which motivate along the route again and again.
Achensee Run facts and figures Total length: 23,2 km Elevation gain: 171 metres Highest elevation: 960 m Relays: 14 km from Pertisau to Achenkrich 9,2 km and 150 metres of elevation from Achenkirch to Pertisau. Refreshment stations: 7 stations Registration & information: www.achenseelauf.at