Karl Aumayr's impressive victory at last year's edition of the Wings for Life World Run in Zadar has shown that we have a reason to expect big things from him in the world of ultramarathon and that, after ending it in 2015, he was right to revive his career by running in Croatia.
A bounty of beautiful stories has already come out of the Wings for Life World Run in Croatia and one of them has been written by the unsuspected new ruler of the spectacle in Zadar – Karl Aumayr. Not exactly the run’s favorite, this 36-year-old Austrian beat his competitors in grand style and broke the previous record of Robert Radojković by running the distance of 68.01 km, and under very demanding conditions.
The fact that this 2012 Austria’s national marathon champion decided to end his career in running three years ago, so that he could have more time for his daughters, makes his achievement even more impressive. Before this, he was running whenever he had time off work.
Aumayr has no regrets about his spontaneous decision to return to running in Zadar, after a friend had asked him to be his training buddy for the race:
“I never planned to become an ultramarathon runner, but I agreed to help him and as we trained I came to realize that I can manage distances longer than the marathon easily”. The plan for the Croatian race was to run a distance of 75-80 km, win and break the local event’s record.
Karl did not let the extremely hot weather on that May Sunday get in his way as he swept away his more renowned competitors, leaving them no less than 13 km behind and finishing in another city, at the Šibenik bridge.
“I felt extremely grateful when the Catcher Car appeared. Not because I’d won, but because of my great fortune in life – my lovely family and a healthy body. I felt like I could put my arms around the whole world,” the holder of the new record of the Wings for Life World Run in Croatia says.
Karl has nothing but words of praise to describe what he felt in Zadar and says the opportunity to make a change and help those who are less fortunate in life is what makes this race special. Also, he thought that the people in Croatia were phenomenal, supporting all athletes equally and creating an atmosphere that made him feel fantastic.
“When you’re running in Zadar, you’re not among strangers, but among friends you just haven’t met yet,” he says.
The next test of his promising future in the world of ultramarathon will be at the Wings for Life World Run at Sunrise, Florida, on 5 May 2019. This will also be a test of his ability to achieve a work-life balance, because while he wants to keep running, Karl also wants to see his daughters grow up and to be there for them.
“My wish is to enjoy life, do the things that I like and run the Wings for Life World Run again,” he says.
Since Zadar has left such a strong impression on him, Karl definitely wants to come back and try to set a new local event record in 2020.