We are of course already planning the route for the BraveheartBattle 2017, but we’re not disclosing all details yet! All that we will say is this: The distance of approximately 25 - 30 grueling kilometers will remain the same and we’ll make full use every nasty centimeter that Mother Nature has spitefully created. Expect water, water, water – it’ll be ice cold, with marshy or rocky terrain and slippery banks, mountains with menacingly steep ascents and descents, rough trails with plenty of thorn bushes and nasty mud. Then there are the man-made obstacles – just wait until you see the cruel things that we concoct for you!
For those who don’t know about the BraveheartBattle, this is where they can find out how we put 2012’s Bravehearts through hell! As for those who were there, they can reminisce...
This was the most hellish course of 2012!
Braveheart arena (1)
The Braveheart arena (1) at the Sportzentrum Münnerstadt (Münnerstadt sports center) serves as the pounding heart of the BraveheartBattle. It’s where you will collect your starter kits and information (in the battle office), gather together in your teams and greet the other Bravehearts. It’s also where you will find parking spaces, changing rooms and showers, a media section, food and drinks, the medals of honor, finisher T-Shirts and stickers, the awards ceremony for the bravest of the brave and of course plenty of partying on the eve of the run and after the battle!
Before the starting gun goes off, we’ll get you pumped up for the run with heavy beats - the mood of the Bravehearts will be great and you’ll hardly be able to contain your excitement and anticipation! Traditionally, all of the runners kneel down before the race begins in order to be blessed for their journey through hell. We will continue with this tradition and keep the starting blocks for the next BraveheartBattle. It’s also possible that, like in 2011, we’ll put a few small obstacles in the way of your warm-up…
Into the hell of the Lauertal (2) - (5)On March 10, things got started at the arena and carried on northward towards Lauertal. To get there, participants had to go down the hellishly steep, 300 meter long “Killing Hill” (3) hillside which leads directly to the river valley. Depending on the weather, the path can be muddy, snowy, or frozen. At an incline of about 45 degrees, it’s a real killer – especially at the end. After a total of 22 kilometers and a variety of strenuous barriers that are both natural and man-made, the Bravehearts had to make their way back up this evil mountain. It’s a task that requires every last bit of resilience just before the finish!
The runners could finally warm up afterwards by picking up their pace over a fairly long distance. We placed kilometer signs along the entire course to keep motivation levels high!
At the end of a stage that was three kilometers, things got cold and wet in a hurry because the Bravehearts had to go through the Lauer river. There certainly aren’t any wimp lanes for these competitors, so they clenched their teeth and jumped in the icy water. Large rocks in the riverbed combined with a decent current didn’t make the first of many “Lauer Jumps” (5) especially easy, but we have no mercy…
Like a phoenix from the mud that shoots on to lofty heights (6) - (9)
The W + S Weingärtner “Eyes to the Sky” (7) obstacle brought the Bravehearts to their knees, as they had to tough it out on all fours through mud for several meters. It’s a grueling obstacle at a lively location with lots of spectators!
It continued with the spectacular 12 meter-wide “Brave Wall” (8), one of the trademarks and absolute highlights of the BraveheartBattle! This mighty obstacle demands courage and bravery from the Bravehearts, as it is a dizzying 6.5 meters tall and the summit is extremely exhausting because of its big steps! We always place the “Brave Wall” directly next to the bridge that goes over the Lauer river so that spectators have the best possible vantage point to witness your heroics. When you reach the wall’s highest point, the spectators on the bridge are able to look directly into the whites of your frightened eyes. The participants had to tackle this spectacular obstacle twice because it stood in their way on the return route to the BraveheartBattle arena. By this point, it becomes clear who still has enough guts to make another climb!
Those were the first five kilometers of 24, and the really hellish parts were yet to come!
Around the building yard (10) - (14)The course now carried on along the river and towards the building yard, where very difficult stations that were in close proximity to one another awaited the Bravehearts. First, they had to use the “Burma Dünisch” (10) suspension bridge to once again cross the river - those who are familiar with this obstacle know that you get extremely cold and wet feet!
The runners now had their first opportunity to leave the river behind, but this didn’t mean that the next sections were going to give their feet a chance to dry off! We placed several grueling hurdles in their way at the "Mürschter City Worker" (11) station, which is located at the site of the building yard. Next came the muddy hell of the “Neeb Fields” (12), which are successive three to four meter-deep pits that are filled with water. The runners could only make it through with the help of their fellow competitors – it showed how much camaraderie and team spirit the Bravehearts really have!
With chunks of mud on their feet, they carried on over concrete pipes and the arduous “Wood Wheels” (13) and “Der Baum, dein Freund” (14) climbing obstacles.
The Bravehearts then left the protective walls of Münnerstadt - now things were about to get really wild!
From the valley of death to the lake of horror (15) - (19)
The runners left the town on a long, flat stretch before the course turned in the direction of Reichenbach. This is where we made the Bravehearts confront the adversities of nature, as the “Death Valley” (16) awaited them. It’s a rough trail through a stream with rotten trees, rocks and thorny bushes on either side. Even though the incline is gentle, this section requires a lot of energy because you have to pay full attention to the path – otherwise, this deadly valley will get the best of you!
After this torture, we sent the runners through the electrifying “Coil Power” (17) crawling obstacle. Those who thought they could cheat and avoid going all the way down to the ground had some cruel punishment to deal with. You guessed it, right? ;-)
On towards the Reichenbacher cemetery, the course then continued through the “Gabold Fire” (18). This is where the Bravehearts really got a chance to warm up, as there were straw bales to jump over as well as car wrecks and roaring flames which made this section a real purgatory!
However, caring as we are, we then of course provided a “small” chance to cool off in the form of the infamous “Loch Ness” (19) – with its gloomy, cold water, it’s one of the BraveheartBattle’s toughest natural barriers! Under an obstacle made ??of sticks and tree scraps, the Bravehearts crawled through the mud in the 1 °c rain detention reservoirs where they had to swim and dive. Once they climbed up the other side of the muddy shore, it was time to go back down into the water – this happened several times in a row. The lifeguards had their hands full, as they had to fish Bravehearts who were shocked by the cold out of the lake. Many runners gave up after this station because they were overcooled and completely exhausted. Nevertheless, the real Bravehearts persevered and carried on!
No matter how cold it is, the Loch Ness will definitely be used as a station again next year. We don’t take any pity and there’s no lane for wimps – all off the Bravehearts have to go through it!
Once the runners escaped the damp depths of hell, it was time to carry on to the mountain of terror!
Up and down, again and again... (20) - (24)
Soaked to the bone and thoroughly cooled off, the Bravehearts were now facing one of the hardest and most dangerous sections of the course: the Michelsberg. You can be sure that they won’t be forgetting it anytime soon. On the way there, they had another thoroughly muddy section to contend with before crossing the fields and going through the “Boot Washer” (20), a small but distressing natural obstacle.
What followed was an unforgiving dose of cruelty, as the course elevated by approximately 1,600 meters over various stages and was punctuated by man-made obstacles. It began with the extreme outdoor “Hamburger Hill” (21) incline, an approximately 2.5 kilometer long mountain slope where we placed obstacles for the Bravehearts to struggle through.
The course continued along a steep, narrow trail through the woods to “Münnerstädter Höhe” (22). At this difficult stage of the BraveheartBattle, running was hardly fashionable – most of the participants were only able to manage a walking pace! A crawl and climb combo awaited them at the top. Then, to ensure they didn’t get too hot, they once again had to cool down in containers filled with water and straw.
The course then went past the ruins of the Michelskirche to a new, murderously difficult section which pushed even the toughest of Bravehearts to their limits. The “Heartbreak Ridge” (23) went straight through the woods over rough and smooth patches to the “Blank Höhe” (24) which, simply put, was sheer hell. Named after the mayor of Münnerstädt and adorned with posters of him, the path repeatedly consisted of extremely sharp inclines and declines. Without a firm grip beneath their feet, the Bravehearts slipped down the hill, against trees, against one another and over branches and bushes. The marked trail (to call it a proper path would be a euphemism) then shot up a steep hill before rounding a bend and then once again descending down the hillside. The Bravehearts had to endure this torture four times in a row. Those who ran with poor footwear or had only trained on nice flat areas weren’t going to conquer this brutal section.
Those who survived the Heartbreak Ridge without any broken bones could finally make the long trek back to the Braveheart arena.
Down to Münnerstadt on the wild side of the mountain (25) - (27)
Now don’t start to think that the race turned into a cakewalk! The route then took the Bravehearts down the edge of the Michelsberg and for once we didn’t put any obstacles in their way. Instead, we let them run, find their rhythm, improve their time, reduce their adrenaline and relax. OK, when they made it to farmer Edi’s cake and drink station, they had to show their appreciation by going through the barn and jumping over a few straw bales, but that doesn’t really count…
Then things got rough again, as a second “Death Valley” (26) awaited the runners. This nasty nature trail was by all means as excruciatingly exhausting as the first Death Valley, if not more so!
Old friends and a new castle (14) - (37)After about 18 kilometers, the Bravehearts made their way from the west and finally reached the obstacles on the edge of Münnerstadt which they had already conquered. From “Der Baum, dein Freund” (14),“Wood Wheels” (13) and over the “Neeb Fields” (12) as well as the “Mürschter City Worker” (11) station at the building yard, the course carried on back to the river. Finally, there was water again! The route went over the “Burma Dünisch” (10) bridge and through the “Schweinfurt” (9). On the second climb up the high steps of the “Schäfers-Brave Wall” (8), a number of runners’ legs trembled from exhaustion. Nevertheless, they fought on with courage like true Bravehearts! Things then moved along through the “Eyes to the Sky” (7) crawling obstacle. Instead of making the runners go through the river twice like in the first part of the race, we now sent them straight on to the new "Reifen-Müller Castle" (37) tire obstacle. Here, they had to climb over high tire walls and crawl through long, dark tire chutes.
The grand finale (37) - (1)Now only about two kilometers separated the Bravehearts from freedom, the merciful and long-awaited finish line in the Braveheart arena and the medal of honor which would officially confirm that they are real Bravehearts! However, before they could bask in their fame and achievement, a few difficult challenges were still ahead of them. At Lauer Jump 3 (38) and 4 (39), we let them enjoy another river crossing before facing the task of conquering the murderous “Killing Hill” (3). Compared to the first half of the race, we changed the route somewhat so that the challenge was even greater. After more than 22 kilometers and the brutal stations along the way, it was truly torturous!
When arriving at the top, those who had it in them gave it their all over the final stretch to improve their time, gather their team and enter the arena with their heads held high! But hold on a second – there was still a wall that stood in the way. The new “EVent Wall” (42) obstacle forced the runners to prove their strength and skill just before the finish!
They cursed and cheered, they were wet, sweaty and completely dirty and their exhaustion was evident on their faces. However, they were happy and they can be proud of themselves because they are