I started the Baiersbronner Seensteig at Mummelsee for very practical reasons. It's closest to my home town in Baden-Baden - and due to current Covid-regulations there is a general curfew from 9pm to 5am. It was a beautiful and sunny day. I had put on some sun screen in the morning but forgot my hat and should have put on more sunscreen on rest of my body. After the initial climb to Hornisgrinde I enjoyed a beautiful sunrise. The entire trail I ran on my own. I only sporadically met other hikers, mostly around Hornisgrinde, Baiersbronn and towards the end near the Schwarzwaldhochstraße/B500.
Water and food was a challenge. I started with 6*0,5l flasks (3 filled with electroyltes, 3 filled with water). I only used 4 until I reached Baiersbronn where I stopped at a bakery to buy another 2l of water and a good Brezel (1l of which I filled with my electrolyte powder). Since the sun became quite strong in the afternoon, I could definetely have used another 1l of water towards the end. Even though there are so many lakes and rivers across the trail the only well with drinkable water-supply came towards the end of my loop at Saibeseckle. Note to self/recommendation for others: for future FKT attempts and in order to save weight I would bring a water filter bottle.
In terms of food I used:
- 6 GU Stroopwaffel Salty Chocolate
- 5 GU Bloks (strawberry/wild berry)
- 1 Cliff Bar (white chocolate/macadamia)
- 1 GU Energy Chews (orange)
- 1 GU Liquid Energy (orange)
I had brought way more cliff bars and bloks - just unnecessary weight.
I ran (a bit less than) 7 hours faster than the current FKT set by my Strava friends Nico Schifferdecker and Thomas Leier. But to be absolutely transparent: I'm not 100% sure whether my time qualifies as FKT. In their entry of the route, Nico and Thomas describe the confusion surrounding the exact length of the trail.
I strictly followed the original signs - and the "standard" variants - but due to wildlife protection there were a couple of detours. This is why I only logged 83,9 km. Apparently they are in place each winters season until the end of April. I missed one of the shorter (500m) "wild" variant after Baiersbronn because I did not pay good attention. Also, the long "wild" variant after Schliffkopf towards Ruhestein was closed due to wildlife protection. This latter "standard" variant is approximately 3 km shorter than the "wild" variant".
I can see a couple of possibilities. First, only the "wild" variant is accepted as FKT. In this case, future runners should be aware that no FKT attempts would be possible in the winter time as we all should respect the wildlife protection. Second, any variant is accepted as FKT in which case future runners will likely skip the wild variant for the standard variant. Third, we could create two different loops. Arguably, my loop should then be the "standard" loop and Thomas and Nico's loop the "wild variant" loop. I'll defer to the editor's judgement.
FKT or not: It was a lovely run on a beautiful, often technical trails. I hope my experience helps faster runners to set the bar even higher!