Inferno Triathlon 2023: 25th Anniversary Edition on the Schilthorn | Live Coverage by Jungfrau Zeitung

2023-08-19 11:37:30

Inferno Triathlon 2023 | 19. August 2023

This year’s edition of the Inferno Triathlon is all about the anniversary edition. For the 25th time, triathletes from near and far battle their way up the Schilthorn. The half marathon even celebrates its 30th anniversary. The Jungfrau Zeitung is present at the “Hell Ride” in the Bernese Oberland and reports live.

While the finish for the teams is in Mürren, the half marathon runners can go up the Schilthorn. Photos:, Rémy Steinegger/Inferno Triathlon/Manuel Glaser/Gina Krückl

2:07 p.m .: Hürzeler accelerates

A little more than 20 minutes after the first team, the leader in the individual category, Samuel Hürzeler, also arrives in Mürren. And things are looking pretty good with the eighth win for Wilderswil. Because he was able to extend his lead over Patrick Cometta to more than ten minutes. But a lot can still change in the last few meters … especially given the less than ideal weather conditions.

2 p.m.: Teams finish

The first participants in the Team Trophy and the Couples category have arrived at the finish line in Mürren. Not surprisingly, the Imboden Bike Youngsters team came out on top in the men’s Team Trophy – their time was 7:22.48 hours. The two first-placed teams in the Mixed Team Trophy were even faster: Hulftegg Stafette 2 wins ahead of Suuri Möcke. And then the first couples arrived at the finish line. The Dutch, who were sick at altitude, were able to defend their lead and won with a time of 7:21.17 hours

1.50 p.m .: The leader suffers

Samuel Hürzeler is on his way to his eighth victory at the Inferno Triathlon. But he’s not there yet. The photographer was able to take a picture of it on the way towards the Schilthorn … and yes, it’s damn hot and it definitely needs a lot of cooling off.

A cool down, welcome: Samuel Hürzeler will certainly not say no.

1.45 p.m .: Yes, we are still there

While the athletes are sweating quite a bit on the way to the Schilthorn, we were able to catch our breath. After the decisions in the half marathon and the pleasure trail – in the women’s category Johanna Steinmüller won ahead of Karin Jaun – it’s time to wait and see. The mountain run at the end of the Inferno Triathlon is tough and lengthy.

1.10 p.m .: Women’s duel

Even the fastest women have now arrived in Stechelberg. Last year’s winner Petra Eggenschwiler is still in the lead. But the lead from the second to the third transition zone has shrunk terribly. Alexandra Zürcher, who has been a permanent guest on the Inferno podium in recent years, has come close to the Solothurn. The two are separated by 30 seconds and it looks like everything is going to end in an exciting duel.

12.50 p.m.: Update pleasure trail

Now the second fastest man has also crossed the finish line. Tomas Buryska from the Czech Republic arrives on the Schilthorn almost 11 minutes behind Wildhaber and finishes the pleasure trail in second place.

12.42 p.m .: Next winner known

And there is another winner. After the half marathon runners, the first athlete of the devilish pleasure trail also arrived at the finish line. And his name is: Marco Wildhaber. Contrary to what was recorded in the meantime, he did not stop the run – there was probably something wrong with the time measurement. The 31-year-old from Thusis was able to defend his clear lead right from the start and crossed the finish line after 3:46.35 hours! Congratulations on the victory!

12:30 p.m.: Just under 6 hours

Now the first individual starter has arrived in Stechelberg. And how could it be otherwise, it’s Samuel Hürzeler. After 5:57.03 hours he reaches transition zone number 3 and now “only” has to fight his way up the Schilthorn. But after all the hardships so far, this is probably the hardest part of all…

Patrick Cometta is still in second place. His deficit hasn’t really increased or decreased since the move to Grindelwald. It takes Hürzeler a comfortable five minutes to cover the last 25 kilometers. Is that enough?

12.15 p.m .: The last “chunk” is still missing

The time has come. The first athletes have reached transition zone three and are already on their way, now on foot, towards the Schilthorn. The athletes in the Men’s/Mixed Team Trophy fought a neck-and-neck race. Imboden Bike Youngsters, who had some advantage in Grindelwald, arrived in Stechelberg almost at the same time as the participants of Hulftegg Relay 2. In the Mixed Team Trophy, the “Suuri Möcke” group has already switched to the final run – the gap is a little more than three minutes.

As soon as we know more, we will answer this question when the first men will start individually in transition zone three.

11.55 a.m .: The half marathon winner is also certain

A little more than 15 minutes after the fastest man, the fastest half-marathon woman also crosses the finish line. Her name is Judith Wyder and she comes from Kehrsatz. The 35-year-old covers the 21 kilometers in two hours, 21 minutes and 39 seconds. Her closest pursuer, Pascale Rebsamen, crossed the finish line almost three minutes behind and was happy about second place. We are excited to see who completes the women’s podium!

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11:40 a.m.: First finisher

And we have a first athlete to reach the finish on the Schilthorn! And as usual, that’s a half marathon runner, of course! Clément Durance from Niederwangen was the fastest in the men’s race and crossed the finish line after two hours, six minutes and 20 seconds. He was able to extend his lead over the competition in the final meters. The podium is now complete: Arnold Aemisegger from Triesenberg (Liechtenstein) came in second and Mekonen Tefera from Nidau ​​took third place – congratulations!

11:38 a.m.: Everything the same in the half marathon

Stopover number two in the half marathon is Seewilfure. And that’s where the fastest athletes ran past recently. Not much has happened at the top. In the women’s category, Judith Wyder continues to lead ahead of Pascale Rebsamen. In the men’s race, Frenchman Clément Durance is in the lead, followed by Arnold Aemisegger and Mekonen Tefera.

11.35 a.m.: change of leadership on the pleasure trail

The gentlemen from the pleasure trail have now reached station three, Mürren. But now Marco Wildhaber is no longer in the lead, but his pursuer Tomas Buryska. Wildhaber must have stopped the race because his time was no longer measured in Mürren. Buryska’s lead is now almost ten minutes over Thomas Schenk from Burgistein.

The women have meanwhile arrived at the Spilbodenalp at intermediate time number two. The German Johanna Steinmüller is still in the lead. She, too, with a comfortable lead. She has already outrun the second-placed, Karin Jaun from Unterseen, by almost seven minutes.

11.30 a.m.: Short impression video

11.20 a.m .: Last year’s winner in front

Now the women have also reached the second transition zone. And: Not really surprisingly, last year’s winner Petra Eggenschwiler is in the lead. After 4:42.56 hours she passes the time measurement and has made up for the deficit from swimming. Behind her follows the fastest swimmer from this morning, Barbara Bacher. However, the woman from Thun is already a good three and a half minutes behind Eggenschwiler – but there may still be a duel.

11.10 a.m.: Next pleasure trail stopover

The participants of the anniversary pleasure trail are also working like crazy. And the men, or rather the two fastest men, have already reached the Spielbodenalp. Nothing has changed at the top: Marco Wildhaber is still in the lead and has already extended his lead over Tomas Buryska to a comfortable ten minutes.

11.02 a.m .: There is also something going on in Mürren

Not only in the transition zone in Grindelwald, but also at the time check of the half marathon in Mürren, things are getting a little more hectic. The fastest runners have passed the time measurement. Meanwhile, Frenchman Clément Curance, who lives in Niederwangen, is making his debut. After just under an hour he reaches Mürren. But he has competition in tow: only a few seconds behind him follow Mekonen Tefera and Arnold Aemisegger from Liechtenstein – at this point a few greetings from the “Ländle” (I’m also from Liechtenstein).

There is also a top battle among the women: Rascale Rebsamen passed the time measurement in Mürren after 1:06.29 hours, closely followed by Judith Wyder. Behind them there is already a small gap to third place.

First intermediate station reached, but the half marathon runners still have a lot of hard work to do. Photo: Gina Krückl

Now it means for many: grit your teeth.Photo: Gina Krückl

10.55 a.m .: Hürzeler at the top

Now things are happening in quick succession here in Grindelwald. Serial winner Samuel Hürzeler is the first lone fighter to reach the second transition zone. And its lead over the competition is pretty comfortable. Patrick Cometta, fourth after the swim, follows a good five minutes behind. In the meantime, it will take a moment for the women to change.

10.50 a.m.: Change team drivers

After the Imboden Bike Youngsters, the next team athletes arrive in Grindelwald. The gap to the “young wild ones” is quite large. After four hours and ten minutes, the high-altitude Dutchmen leave the transition area with Felix and Florian Den Hollander, they start in the Men’s Couples category. Shortly thereafter, two participants in the Mixed Team Trophy also arrive. “Suuri Möcke” put in an interim time of 4:15.21 hours, her pursuers, “Hulftegg Stafette 2” followed a good two minutes later.

10.40 a.m .: The first are in Grindelwald

After almost four hours since the start, the first riders arrive in Grindelwald and switch to mountain bikes. Again it is a rider from a team, namely «Imboden Bike Youngsters». The “wild youngsters” with Samuel Müller, Jari Claes, Reef Ayden Levet and Rasmus Imboden needed 3:58.48 hours to get to Grindelwald. The arrival of the first men in the individual category is still a long time coming…

10.15 a.m .: First split times

The first intermediate times of the pleasure trail are here. And the two leaders have already worked out a good lead. For the men, Marco Wildhaber leads the field. He passed the first measuring station on the Tschingelhorn after almost exactly one hour. Follower Tomas Buryska from the Czech Republic got there a good 2.5 minutes later.

For the women, it is Johanna Steinmüller who was the first to measure. The stopwatch showed 1:14.16 hours. They are followed by two women from the Oberland, Karin Jaun and Cécile Lanz, but they are also two and five minutes behind.

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9.30 a.m.: Start of the half marathon

Now the half marathon runners have also started. Means: All registered athletes are now on the route. The common goal of almost everyone is the Schilthorn. A glance at the triathletes shows that the top men have already covered 75 of the total of 98 kilometers. But the last few kilometers are known to be the hardest. The men are currently heading towards Gschwandtenmaad and then to Rosenlaui. The women are a little further behind. The leading group has already covered 68 kilometers and will soon pass Schattenhalb.

The triathletes are fast. There is hardly any time to enjoy the phenomenal view.

9 a.m.: Athletes are on their way

The athletes have been struggling on their racing bikes for almost two hours now. The temperatures are rising, and one or the other muscle will probably have reported itself. Last year, the fastest needed around 3 to 3.5 hours for the 98 kilometers to Grindelwald. Means: The fastest will probably arrive at around 10.15/10.30 a.m. in the transition area in Grindelwald.

The participants of the pleasure trail are also on the move. A breathtaking 30 kilometers await them. As soon as the first intermediate times arrive there, we will inform you. Meanwhile, the half marathon runners have to be patient. They start at 9:30 a.m. A little more than 20 kilometers long mountain run, up to the Schilthorn, has to be completed.

8.25 a.m.: Start of the pleasure trail

On the occasion of the anniversary edition, the OC of the Inferno Triathlon came up with something very special. For 30 years of the half marathon, it was decided to define a pleasure trail with exactly 30 kilometers – one for each year, so to speak. Exactly this pleasure trail, where only a certain number of starting places were available, starts in a few minutes. The lucky 150 participants can expect 30 kilometers peppered with the most beautiful nature, great vantage points and, of course, strenuous obstacles. All that remains to be said is: good luck and enjoy the pleasure trail!

8:00 a.m.: Highlight video swimming

The data is processed, the video is ready. While the athletes are struggling on their bikes, we look back at the impressive crossing of Lake Thun – a fantastic sight, but certainly also quite exhausting for the athletes.

7.36 a.m .: Pedaling is the order of the day

It’s 98 kilometers that the triathletes are now waiting for – fortunately with temperatures that are still relatively pleasant. While other athletes get out of the water in Oberhofen and let the spectators cheer them on, others are already setting off on their bikes. The fastest lady, Barbara Bracher, even made jokes with the media representatives in the transition zone. We’ll get back to you as soon as the first split times in the bike race are there, and until then we’ll prepare one or two great impression videos!

Along the lake with a lot of spectator noise we went out of the water in Oberhofen.

Then it was time to move.

Thumbs up for this athlete – he’s clearly looking forward to cycling.

And she was the fastest lady in the water: Barbara Bracher from Thun. Photo: Manuel Glaser

7.30 a.m.: Off on the bike

Little by little, the triathletes trundle into the transition zone in Oberhofen. Incidentally, among the women, it was Barbara Bracher who completed the 3.1 kilometers in Lake Thun the fastest. Your opponents are still in the water. In the men’s classification, several athletes are already on their way to the bike. Behind Hürzeler, the Germans Philipp Widmann and Felix Schumann arrived in Oberhofen almost simultaneously. Patrick Cometta from Schlieren near Köniz, another Swiss, came in fourth. In the Team Trophy and Couples category, there are already a few athletes in the first transition zone… not that easy to keep track of.

7.20 a.m .: The first are here

So, almost 45 minutes after the start in “Strämu”, the first athletes have covered the 3.1 kilometers in Lake Thun. The fastest of all was an athlete from the team “over the hedge” (Team Trophy men). He completed the swimming distance in 42:59.2 minutes. Another athlete from a team (Auer Velo) followed closely behind. For the men, it was Samuel Hürzeler, winner of the Inferno 2021, who completed the swim the fastest.

Numerous spectators were already waiting patiently and excitedly in Oberhofen. Photo: Manuel Glaser

Posters were also waiting to cheer on their favorites. Photo: Manuel Glaser

Now it’s time to go to the transition area and get on your racing bike.

These two were the fastest in the water!

7.05 a.m .: «Hell ride», literally

Triathletes keep saying, “I don’t like it when it’s too hot!” But as we all know, you can’t choose the weather… And so the bitter news for all those athletes who detest the heat: It’s going to be really warm today! The temperatures at the start this morning must have been wonderfully refreshing, thinking about what’s to come during the day. Oh yes, here are a few more pictures of the incredible atmosphere on Lake Thun.

Two athletes lead the field of participants – but from the media bot it is not clear who it could be.

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This atmosphere: simply breathtaking.

And again: just enjoy!

6.45 a.m .: A mammoth program

A lot of effort awaits the more than 200 athletes in the next few hours. After 3.1 kilometers of swimming, it’s almost 100 kilometers on the racing bike. Then you switch to mountain biking, where another 30 kilometers have to be unwound. And last but not least, the exhausting 25-kilometer mountain run awaits. Anyone who gets through this is a winner in and of itself, but of course the athletes themselves will do everything they can to outperform the competition. We’ll get in touch as soon as the first athletes arrive in Oberhofen, and until then we’ll just let a few pictures do the talking…

What a brilliant morning mood in Thun with a view of the Schilthorn. Photo: Manuel Moser

The bathing cap is on and you’re ready to go.

The helpers are ready too.

Before launch, the best tactics may have been discussed.

The Jungfrau Zeitung followed the first section from the boat.

When you see it like that, you almost want to go into the water.

6.30 a.m.: starting gun

A few minutes ago, the athletes were off into the cool water. And that in a wonderful morning mood with the best view of the imposing mountains of the Bernese Oberland. The only small disadvantage: the wind blows a little. Means: Wavy water surface, which probably shouldn’t please everyone. The fastest swimmers will reach the first intermediate destination on the long way to the Schilthorn in about 50 minutes: Oberhofen Castle!

Before the start

It’s slowly getting light. But even before that, there was a lot of activity at the Thun lido. A short insight on video.

The program at a glance

The program

Fun Triathlon in Mürren

Date: Friday, August 18 Time: Start from 5 p.m., award ceremony from 7.30 p.m. Who: Pupils (born 2010 and younger), Juniors (born 2009 to 2004) and Open (born 2003 and older).

Inferno Triathlon, Individual

Date: Saturday, August 19 Time: Start at 6.30 a.m. at the Thun lido, finish at 8.30 p.m. on the Schilthorn. Who: Main Class (2005 to 1989), Age Class I (1988 to 1979), Age Class II (1978 to 1969), Age Class III (1968 and older).

Inferno Team & Couples’ Trophy

Date: Saturday, August 19 Time: Start at 6.30 a.m. at the Thun lido, finish at 7.30 p.m. in Mürren. Who: Category Team Trophy with four athletes (mixed, women, men) – each athlete completes one of the four sections. Category Couples’ Trophy with two athletes (mixed, women, men) – each athlete completes two of the four sections.

Inferno Halbmarathon

Date: Saturday, August 19 Time: Start at 9:30 a.m., award ceremony at 3:30 p.m. in Mürren. Who: juniors (2004 and younger), main class women/men (2003 to 1984), seniors I (1983 to 1974), seniors II (1973 to 1964), seniors III (1963 and older) .

Inferno Pleasure Trail

Date: Saturday, August 19 Time: Start at 8.30 a.m., award ceremony at 3.30 p.m. in Mürren Comment: One kilometer for each year, peppered with 3200 meters of altitude difference. The unique pleasure trail with 30 kilometers for the 30th anniversary. Registration is no longer possible.

relay race

Date: Saturday, August 19 Time: Start at 9:30 a.m., award ceremony at 3:30 p.m. in Mürren. Who: A relay consists of three runners. Categories women, men and mixed.

You can still register at:

Detailed preliminary reporting

Of course, an anniversary should always be celebrated in a special way. That was also the case with the Jungfrau Zeitung. Because in the run-up to the Inferno Triathlon we put a number of stories “on paper”. Whether an interview with the OC President Kaspar Grünig, a great photo series with impressions from last year or various portraits of unique Inferno athletes. There is Alexandra Zürcher, for example, who has regularly stood on the podium in recent years. Or Bernhard Eggenschwiler, who is at the start of the Inferno for the first time ever – and there is a special story behind it. Last but not least, there was of course an interview with “Mister Inferno” himself: Bidu Baumgartner, who is the only athlete to have completed all 24 previous Inferno Triathlons. Great reads to pass the time and will definitely set you up for the hours to come…

Sälü zäma

Yes, it’s already a year since the last edition of the Inferno Triathlon. And this year we’re celebrating a double anniversary: ​​the devilish triathlon is taking place for the 25th time, and the half marathon is even celebrating its 30th year – the Bernese Oberland is without a doubt in “triathlon fever”. While this entry is being created here, the athletes at the Thuner Strandbad are already in the starting blocks – it will start in a few moments. The half marathon runners and the starters of the pleasure trail can be patient (start at 8.30 a.m. and 9.30 a.m.).

As usual in recent years, the Jungfrau Zeitung will be there with several reporters for the unique event with a breathtaking backdrop. So, dear readers, you won’t miss anything about current events on the route, but also about the first finishes that are expected in the afternoon. We wish all athletes a lot of success on their mission and hope you enjoy reading along, cheering along … or whatever!

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