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Lechtal Tourismus - Christoph Moosbrugger

Marcel Pelgrim

About 3 years ago, Marcel Pelgrim moved from the tranquil Westmünsterland to the original Tyrolean Lechtal. The long cherished dream of living in the mountains became reality in 2021 and Marcel came to the Lech Valley with child and children. In Vorderhornbach he has created a new home together with his family - here he is now really "Dahoam" and here he also no longer wants to leave. Nevertheless, from time to time he is still on duty with his referee's whistle in the German soccer stadiums as an assistant referee for the DFB - a stressful job that demands a lot from him mentally. Luckily, Marcel always enjoys coming back home to the Lech Valley and recharging his batteries while trail running on the lonely and wild paths of the valley.

We had a nice interview with the sporty all-rounder and learned some interesting info about running but also his life in the Lechtal.


Where are you from and why did you end up in the Lech Valley?
I come from the city of Bocholt in Westmünsterland (North Rhine-Westphalia), a region near the border in the Netherlands. Until our emigration in June 2021, we lived in a smaller, neighboring community, the 750-soul village of "Loikum". What brought us to the Lechtal? That is a longer story, with a happy ending. This much I can say in advance: For many years we had already had the plan and the longing to move to the mountains. We first moved to the Lechtal in December 2016. The whole more by chance! In the Allgäu we had found no more accommodation and so it became the Lechtal. At that time it took us to Elbigenalp. We spent a few unforgettable days with impressions that have left a lasting impression on us. Our love for the nature park region of the Tyrolean Lech Valley was kindled and a few more vacations and visits later, we were fortunate enough to sign the purchase contract for a building plot in Vorderhornbach. Despite the turmoil "around Corona" we were able to move as planned in June 2021. And this much should be said: We have not regretted it a single day so far.

Simone Knitel_Lechtal natural handicraft

What is your main job and how do you organize your everyday life in the Lechtal?
I actually come from the food industry and have been working there for the last few years in various companies in the area of "Quality Management Consulting". Until recently, I supported a German company more or less from my home office. Currently, however, my focus is actually on the activities around the establishment of my new self-employment in the Lechtal. My venture Opens external link in new windowRocks n' Roots Running - Lechtal is a trail running and running school, which should offer attractive offers for both guests and locals. Guided trail running tours, each with an adequate, individual level of challenge, are also part of the offer portfolio. I would like to expand the whole project over the next 1-2 years and make it known in the region. Basically, I see a lot of potential in this regard in the Lech Valley, because the region offers virtually everything that makes the trail runner and runner's heart beat faster. In addition, I hope to successfully complete my studies in "Sports and Training Sciences" by September 2023. Should that be the case, I plan to expand the portfolio accordingly. And then there's my work in soccer, which demands a time commitment that should not be underestimated.

Life in the Lech Valley - Simone Knitel

You are also an active assistant referee for the DFB and therefore travel a lot and often for work. Is that easy to manage from the Lech Valley or is it often difficult? Do you long for the peace and quiet of the Lech Valley after a turbulent and stressful game? To be honest: travel-wise it was of course a bit easier before! The proximity to the major cities of the Ruhr area naturally offered a wide network of possibilities and connections to long-distance traffic in this respect. But it was clear to me from the beginning that it would take a little longer now. For the duration of my remaining career I gladly accept this, as I regularly return to one of the most beautiful and pristine regions of the Alps. And yes, the peace and quiet I find in the natural surroundings of the Lech Valley is the perfect counterpoint to my wonderful but demanding job in professional soccer.

You have found a new home here in the Lech Valley - what connects you with the valley and why do you like being "Dahoam" here so much?
As already mentioned, my family and I fell in love with the Lech Valley on our first vacation. What I particularly appreciate is that the valley has still retained its naturalness and originality in many areas, without us having to live "behind the moon" here. I only have to take a few steps out of the house and I feel alone with myself and nature. I am always fascinated by how individual days or even the seasons change the character of a place here and thus it is always "re-experienced" for me. The way of organizing tourism here gently and in harmony with the existing resources of nature corresponds pretty much exactly to how I imagine sustainability in this context. Feeling "Dahoam" is an important aspect, especially when, like us, you have completely left your familiar surroundings and family and friends now live over 700 km away. It is all the more gratifying that the people of Lechtal have welcomed us so warmly and openly. An expression of the fact that we really feel "arrived" is certainly also the name that we have chosen for our vacation apartment. "Hoamatgfühl", that says it all, doesn't it?

Life in the Lech Valley - Simone Knitel

Where do you get your inspiration and ideas? Where/how do you draw new strength for yourself and where/how do you find relaxation?
It may sound a bit cheesy, but I actually draw a lot of strength and inspiration from my activities in nature. However, I can't spend a long time lying or sitting quietly somewhere, like at one of the wonderful lakes of the Außerfern. My "recreation" almost always has to do with activity. Unfortunately, my tours drift a little too often and sometimes unintentionally become a "workout". I see and enjoy it more when I am on the road with others. And there is so much to see, discover and actively experience in the region! I would like to mention the Baichlstein as a regular destination. On this small but fine "Aussichts-Bichl" I am usually at least 1 x per week and enjoy the view of the valley and the Lechzopf.

Running and especially trail running are your passion. In your opinion, what makes the Lech Valley a great running region? What are the highlights and what makes the Lech Valley stand out from other regions?
Honestly, I don't want to compare the Lech Valley with other "running regions" or say what is better or worse here. That is up to the subjective consideration of the individual anyway. But I can certainly emphasize what our Lech Valley has to offer for runners of all (performance) classes and preferences. The Lech Valley is so diverse in this respect that it always offers variation. I also particularly appreciate this in my everyday training. The valley, which is characterized by the Lechtal and Allgäu Alps, naturally lends itself to near-natural runs in the field of trail running. The trail infrastructure is so versatile that both beginners and ambitious runners can quickly get their money's worth. Experts and "pros" can let off steam on versatile and challenging high-altitude trails to the left and right of the Wild River. But also those who don't like high altitude and would rather dedicate themselves to more or less flat road or countryside running are offered countless possibilities here, e.g. directly along the course of the river. Everyone will find his place here and actually always in harmony with the other nature lovers who do not want to be so brisk.

You are also a trail running guide and running coach, and you also founded your own trail running and running school. Why do you think running is so important?
I am firmly convinced that it is definitely worthwhile to go running with a coach and guide. Especially trail running combines the sportive with the nature experience and in both points running with an expert trainer and guide can surely create an added value and the impressions can be made more lasting and deepened. On such a tour, the athlete is allowed to focus primarily on running and experiencing and does not have to worry about the important peripheral issues such as tour planning, etc.

Not only running is important, but sport in general of course! In my opinion, we as a society must manage to give movement a naturally higher priority again and encourage children and young people in particular to move more in the "real world" again. With relatively simple means and little effort, everyone can start "running". Nevertheless, one should of course be fundamentally "sport healthy". For those who have little or no running experience, a companion in the form of a running coach is recommended from the beginning, even if you do not want to become an ambitious competitive runner. A running coach will point out the mistakes to avoid in order to maintain the joy of running in the long run. He will also be a motivator on those days when you might not feel the desire yourself.

Running and trail running in the Lechtal

This year, you are supporting the Open internal link in current windowLechtaler Naturparklauf with your expert knowledge. What do you say about the running event and why do you think it's essential to sign up as a runner for it?
There are certainly many good reasons to participate on one of the offered routes! In any case, participants can look forward to great, natural routes in the Lechtal Nature Park, not only at the trail event. After the two-year Corona break, a very motivated team of helpers around the organizers of the SV Elmen will again ensure a family atmosphere and the best possible care for runners and spectators. Not to forget the commitment for the "good cause". Not top performances are in the foreground, but the "charity idea" which characterizes the event from the first edition fundamentally. "Running and doing good"; for me an optimal combination and motivation!

In your opinion, what are the most important aspects of Lechtal tourism? Where do you see opportunities, possibilities but also difficulties?
There are still many places in the region that are largely untouched by nature and that need to be discovered individually. In my opinion, the special character of the Tyrolean Lech Valley and its naturalness must be preserved in the further development of tourism offers. Nevertheless, we should also take advantage of the opportunities that arise from the trend toward a return to simple experiences in nature. We do not have to obstruct our unique nature here, but open paths and concepts in harmony with the available resources or keep them open! The trail network away from the popular main routes can certainly be expanded and still needs upgrading. Also the Opens external link in new windowLechtaler Naturparklauf is a great running event, which I gladly support with my know-how and I hope that the interest in the running region Tyrolean Lechtal is strengthened sustainably across the borders.

Other important and interesting links Marcel recommends: www.atra.club and www.lechtal-guiding.com

Schnitzerei Schnully




Anja Ginther

von Anja Ginther

May 03, 2023


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