01 July 2016, 7am
3 Country Sparkasse Marathon
Sun 9 October 2016
The Three Country Marathon on Lake Constance is unique: the route runs through three countries.
The start is on the beautiful island of Lindau in Germany. From there it goes into Austria, then on through Lochau, Bregenz, Hard, Fussach, Höchst and over the Swiss border to St. Margrethen. Runners then return over the Rhine dam to finish in the stadium in Bregenz.
Sixty percent of the course runs along the shore of Lake Constance. Participants run along the largest open-air stage in the world, cross through reeds and woodland and at the finish in Bregenz’s Stadium they receive an enthusiastic welcome. As an exception, for the duration of the race their start number replaces their passport.
Marathon weekend starts on the Friday when the large Sport-Active exhibition opens its doors at 13.00 in the Festspielhaus in Bregenz. Runners pick up their race numbers there and it is where the pasta party is held.
Saturday is a day for talented youngsters. Approximately 3000 children will start the children’s marathon from the Bregenz Stadium.
The main event starts at 11.30 on Sunday in Lindau. The town’s mayor, Dr. Gerhard Ecker, will set off 7000 runners in three different races: the quarter marathon (10,9km), the Skinfit half-marathon (21km) and the Sparkasse marathon (42,195km). This year is 10th anniversary race of this unique marathon.
Music from George Bizet’s “Carmen” will be played on the Bregenz open-air stage. This is the largest Opera open-air stage in the world and in 2008 it was the location of the James Bond film “Quantam of Solace”. The equipment manufacturer Skinfit has a lot planned for where the marathon and half-marathon courses split just after the cycle bridge over the Bregenzer Ache River. Live bands and DJs can be found in Lindau, at the harbour in Bregenz, at the hub of the course in Hard, on the Fußacher Bridge and in the village centre of St. Margrethen. The turning point of the marathon is designed to raise the runners’ spirits.
Bregenz Stadium will be transformed into a cauldron. The finish is always described by the participants as giving them a “goose-bump feeling”. For this and other reasons the Three-Country marathon was chosen as Austria’s Marathon of the Year in 2014.