Like a fine Swiss timepiece, CRR Martin Wolfer just keeps on ticking. Living a few miles southeast of Zürich, he is ever ready for the next grueling challenge among the beauty of his beloved Swiss alps, where he and his wife, Conny, vacation annually.
On July 2, Wolfer completed a rather unique race over varying terrain—the “Top20 Run.” Starting near Zermatt, at an altitude of 1,609m (approx. 5,261 ft.—think Denver, Colo.), the 22.1km (13.7-mile) course rose in the first 10km to about 2,300m (7,521 ft.), then leveled off for the next 6km, before climbing steeply over the final 6km to the finish at Gornergrat—elevation 3,101m (that’s about 10,140 ft.)!
Wolfer’s finishing time was 2:52:30. The other unique feature of the Top20 was that one’s place was determined by using an age-dependent factor. So, even though Wolfer is now 65 years of age, he came in 8th overall among the 143 men who finished, with an age-accounted-for time score of 2:13:46 (a 0.7754 factor having been applied to his actual finishing time).
With regard to the course, Wolfer said, “Above 2500m the air becomes very thin.” He could run over the initial 16km but admitted that, for him, ”in the steep part only walking was possible.” Understandable might be an understatement. So is the word impressive.
For those of you who weren’t around Creek Road in the mid- to late-1980s, while Wolfer was living in Newark, Del., he was one of the area’s preeminent racers, at one point holding both the Delaware 5K and marathon records in his age group! Back then, he could run around 15 flat in a 5K and had a marathon time of 2 hours, 28 minutes and change.
Nice to see that he is in good shape and still ticking off the miles, er, kilometers.