The "Race around Germany" is a permanent ultracycling race along the outer borders of Germany, one of the longest ultracycling routes in Europe and the longest ultracycling route within a European country. The route is around 3300 kilometers long, runs largely on roads with little traffic and has around 21000 meters in altitude. The participants can freely choose the time and the start or finish point on the prescribed route when registering. The event is offered in different categories, a set of rules prescribes the basic procedure and participants are controlled by an official race management using GPS tracking. The time limit at the Race around Germany is 12 days.
The Race around Germany has some differences compared to other bike races and ultracycling events, which on the one hand pose special challenges and on the other hand make the event so attractive. Anyone planning to start their personal Race around Germany should therefore be aware beforehand that the Race around Germany is no ordinary bike race - and not just because of the particularly long distance! The organizer of the Race around Germany is Dieter Göpfert, who organizes other sports events in Germany in addition to the Race around Germany. You are in contact with Dieter Göpfert for registration, for a subsequent briefing and, most likely, more often on the route. Otherwise, you are largely on your own at the Race around Germany and should therefore already have experience in participating in ultracycling races.
"At the Race around Germany there are no opponents to look out for."
Existing long-distance experience is also required when registering for the Race around Germany and must be proven. Furthermore, the rules for the event are very clear and easy to implement. After good preparation, the race against time around Germany then feels like any other ultra cycle race, only without opponents to orientate yourself on. The route leads alternately over low-traffic roads and often crosses larger cities where you can find food and drink as a starter without a support team. Most altitude meters are in the southern half of Germany. In the northern part, the wind is a decisive factor in how fast you move forward.
"Everyone has to find out for themselves whether the track or the constant feeling of racing against yourself is more difficult"
The Race around Germany has existed since 2014 and is still little known even in the ultracycling scene. The event keeps finding new participants, who often market their tour of Germany themselves via social media. The number of participants is still growing steadily and the race offers everyone who wants to complete the 1,100-kilometer Race across Germany from Flensburg to Garmisch-Partenkirchen is too short, a real challenge. The course records at the Race around Germany in the solo category are around 7 days (official times can be found on the event website: www.racearoundgermany.de).This could be interesting:
The current route sections of the Race around Germany will be sent to the participants before the start in several GPX tracks, each leading from time station to time station. There are a total of nine time stations on the route, which are at irregular intervals from one another and vary between 200 and 470 kilometers in length. The time stations only exist virtually and basically mean nothing other than that the race management has to be informed by SMS that the respective section has been completed. Due to the length of the route, the route must be adapted to changed road layouts from time to time. In principle, it mostly runs close to the external borders of Germany and sometimes also leads briefly across the border into the Netherlands, through France and along the German-Czech border. The route is driven clockwise.
On the 3300 kilometers around Germany, the route crosses 10 of the 16 German federal states. There are few major highlights on the route, but many beautiful landscapes, different cities, a view of the Alps in the south and a view of the sea in the north. Support teams can move very quickly on the autobahns in Germany and the good infrastructure makes it possible to react relaxedly to many situations during the race, because there are almost always supermarkets, bike shops or gas stations within easy reach. Depending on the season and the weather, Germany sometimes offers very pleasant conditions for spending days in a row on the bike, or it can get very tough at night. The temperatures are usually more pleasant in the south and in the Rhine valley than in the north of Germany.
In the southern part of Germany you will find the better road surface and a large part of the altitude difference. Many small climbs, turns and changes in gradient are exhausting and although the total amount of meters in altitude does not seem particularly large in relation to the length of the route, the route is often tough and unrhythmic to drive. The most difficult parts of the route are between the Ore Mountains and the Franconian Forest, between the foothills of the Alps and the Black Forest and between the Hunsrück and the Eifel. North of the Eifel, the route is flat for large parts and here the wind and sometimes poor road surface are more of a challenge. The route crosses the Elbe with the Elbe ferry between Wischhafen and Glückstadt, which is why the participants must calculate the ferry times in good time.
At the Race around Germany you can start from almost any point on the route, but for the sake of simplicity it is advisable to choose one of the 9 time stations. The starting point is also the destination at the same time. The start date and time can be determined by the participant himself in advance when registering. Breaks and sleep breaks can be taken at will, but time will continue to run until the goal is reached. In the solo-supported variant of the Race around Germany, an athlete, an escort vehicle and several supervisors form a team. Other vehicles can also be used, the support team can be changed on the way and it is permitted to take several bicycles with you. The event is also offered for teams of 2 or 4, with only one team rider riding a bike at a time.
In the solo, non-supported version of the Race around Germany, the athletes start without a support team and have to buy food themselves at gas stations, supermarkets or bakeries along the way. There are no gyms or other accommodation options on the part of the organizer, however the route passes through many larger cities, so it is possible to use hotels or other accommodation options. There is no rating for the Race around Germany, but an entry will appear on the official website if the event is successfully completed. Slipstream riding behind vehicles, other cyclists or holding on to vehicles will of course lead to disqualification.
The rules of the events aim to ensure the safety of the participants while still allowing as much freedom as possible. The route must be covered on the specified GPS track and the participants are randomly checked via GPS tracking and sometimes also by the race management. Among other things, the route can lead through unforeseeable construction sites: Here you have to decide at your own discretion whether you can drive through or whether a detour has to be taken. Anyone with long-distance experience may know that there are much stricter rules at other events and that it makes little sense to break the rules in a race without a rating.