“Stunning, challenging and runnable – the WC routes between Innsbruck and Stubai make my heart beat faster.”

Ida-Sophie Hegemann

Ida-Sophie Hegemann

2022 was a year of changes. In 2022 Ida-Sophie Hegemann turned into an ultra trail runner, while also having her most successful season to date and succeeding where she least expected or planned to: After falling in Croatia, she won the K110 at the Innsbruck Alpine; then, during the CCC, the 100-km race during UTMB week, a contestant rammed his poles into her face and she had to give up due to persistent nose bleeding, yet, only a week later she won the Transalpine Run (in the mixed category) for the third time, before going on to win the “100” at the UTMB-World Series in Nice. “Success and failure were always following suit this year’” says Hegemann, who prefers to look at the positive aspects following in the wake of disappointments. “If the things that happened had not happened, I would not have won the races I won.”

To stick with the conjunctive: If Ida-Sophie Hegemann, a gifted future talent of the German Athletics Association (Deutscher Leichtathletik-Verband, DLV) who had already been training for the Olympic Games – her life-long goal – at the Lower Saxony Olympic center in Hannover, had not sustained a stress fracture of the right metatarsus, she might never have discovered trail running. “On my way back I successfully competed in a mountain run in Thuringia, which was followed by a sponsor inviting me to participate in a guest lap at the Transalpine Run from Lech to St. Anton am Arlberg. I’ve been addicted to running in nature ever since, and have let go of my Olympic ambitions instead.”

“For me, the World Championships in Innsbruck are the biggest contest possible. I would prefer for trail running not to become an Olympic discipline.”

The athlete from Lower Saxony, now living in Tyrol, does not support the idea of turning mountain- and/or trail running into an Olympic discipline as this would require for races to become more comparable and the community to comply with new rules and conditions.

Hegemann is someone who stays true to her own path. She moved to Innsbruck in 2020, where she is studying for her master’s degree in architecture as well as running and training on trails that, for her, are among the world’s most stunning. At the same time, she never neglects her speed training on level ground as she believes that too many meters covered in altitude will ruin one’s speed. To put things into relation: To her, 2,000 meters in altitude per week is as little as 100 kilometers covered in seven days. She runs for the international team of The North Face and plans on staying in the Alps, preferably working for an architecture practice in Innsbruck, even once she has completed her studies.

All of her future plans are overshadowed by one major event: The World Mountain and Trail Running Championships 2023 Innsbruck-Stubai are staged in Ida-Sophie’s adopted home from June 6 to 10, and she is determined to compete. While she did not want to participate in this year’s WC in Thailand – these title races have never been on her agenda due to annual planning, preparation time, trails, and climate – she does not want to miss Innsbruck-Stubai. “The Long Trail, parts of which lead through the Kalkkögel area, is a stunning route. It is generally very demanding, with lots of technical terrain, many up- and downhills, but also very runnable passages.”

Hegemann hopes to be on the DLV’s radar, the body in charge of nominations, and to be able to participate. Her goal would be to finish among the top ten – anything but would be unsatisfactory. “In case I won’t be nominated to compete for Germany, I will still participate in Innsbruck – for the IATF.”

Fotos: © Sportograf/sportograf.com

Short Bio

Ida-Sophie Hegemann, Germany, born on 21.3.1997 in Duderstadt, lives in Innsbruck and is a member of The North Face team. Successes (selected): 2019, 2021, 2022: First place at the Transalpine Run (female and mixed team); 2022: Winner of the K100 Nice Cote d’Azur by UTMB; winner of the P45 Pitz Alpine Glacier Trail; winner of the K110 Innsbruck Alpine Trail Festival; fastest known time on the Dolorama high route; 2020: fastest known time on the Stubaier high route; 2019: winner of the Salomon 4 Trail, winner of the Mont Blanc Marathon U23; 2018: winner of the Basetrail XL Salomon Zugspitz Utratrail.