Rainer Renauer and the Kaiser Maximilian Lauf

12. January 2018

The „Kaiser Maximilian Lauf“ is a cross-country ski race with the potential to become a legend: It is the ultimate race that brings professional sportsmen and hobby athletes together. We talked to Rainer Renauer, hairdresser and passionate sportsman from Seefeld, who will participate in this year’s race. But without any pressure to perform! An honest interview about motivation, performance and pressure in amateur sports and why more hobby athletes should participate in races.

Rainer Renauer: A multi-facetted character

The true Tyrolean Rainer Renauer is a fascinating person: He is a successful hairdresser, stylist and make-up artist in Seefeld and displayed his art at international fashion events in cities like Milano, Paris and more. Besides these jobs he likes doing sports – without any pressure or the need to perform well, but always having a lot of fun. With this inspiring thought, he seeks to motivate other hobby athletes to participate in more races like the “Kaiser Maximilian Lauf”.

The motivation

We asked him: “What is your motivation to participate in the Kaiser Maximilian Lauf?”. Rainer especially likes that it is an open cross-country ski race for everyone. But he disfavours that in Central Europe, the pressure to perform well is the most important thing to many. In other countries such as in Scandinavia, having fun and simply taking part is much more important. It is not about being the first finisher, but about participating at all. Rainer recently heard a great quote on the radio: “At least I am faster than all those who stayed on the couch!”

Can everyone participate in the “Kaiser Maximilian Lauf”?

The „Kaiser Maximilian Lauf“ is – especially because of the demanding climbs – a rather challenging race. But that does not mean that only professional athletes can compete! In the past years, Rainer has gained a lot of experience and explains: “A hobby sportsmen with at least a some endurance must not fear the race.” And he names two impressive examples: During the last weeks, Rainer trained with an amateur who just got into cross-country skiing. He is now going to participate in the 30-kilometre-race – astonishing! Another hobby sportsmen began his training in December and finished the race in under three hours. An admirable performance! These examples are a great motivation for all those who did not dare to participate in a race until now.

Tips and ideas for the preparation

We were curious: “How do you train best for such a race?”. “Regular workouts are the most important thing, of course”, Rainer says. That is precisely what he likes best: That one always has to do something. His philosophy: It is about the journey, not the destination.

He has got some helpful advice for all motivated hobby athletes:

“The summer is an important time in the preparation phase: Mountain hiking builds a solid base and leg muscles. Starting the training in winter is too late. But do not only focus on the legs, but also on the upper body, the shoulders and arms. This helps to do longer workouts when the winter has arrived: “You should be able to do a 6 to 7 hour workout because during the race, all kinds of muscles are demanded.”. For all those who still fear such long workouts: “8 hours of training feel like meditating”, says Rainer.

He also recommends beginners to mostly train with other beginners. Advanced skiers are faster, especially in climbing demanding ascends, which makes the training a little frustrating for both the beginner and the advanced.

About good and bad experiences

This year’s race is not the first one for Rainer Renauer and his training partner Elfi. A couple of years ago, he asked her if she would support him and cheer for him at the Euroloppet Ganghoferlauf – but her answer surprised him: “I am not going to cheer for you, I will participate together with you!”. Without any training, they both faced the race. Even though they were almost the last ones to finish, they were both happy and relieved to have been part of it!

Rainer’s worst race was a 12-kilometer- race. He is not made for short and intensive races and his body was tired for quite a long time afterwards.

“Can’t be done“ does not exist!

“If you really want something, you reach do a lot”, Rainer says. “You often stand in your own way.” In life, people often told him: “This cannot be done””. But he does not accept that.

However, this has not always been the case: When he was a child, he was always one of the last children to be picked as a team member in sports classes in school. All that changed at the age of 20 when he joined the Austrian Armed Forced and began to do sports here. He realized that he did like endurance sports after all. And the sport has taught him a lot: “You can see that you are able to make a change.”

Pressure to perform

“Central Europe is too performance-oriented”, Rainer complains. Other hobby athletes often tell him: “I do not want to be the last finisher or in the last third.”. Rainer, on the other hand, does not care about the time: He does not even know how fast he ran in last year’s race. Because that does not matter: He ran with all his heart and soul! He even enjoyed it so much that he already signed up in April for the following year.


Putting a stop to the pressure to perform well and starting to have a lot of fun in open cross-country ski races – that is what Rainer is seeking. And he surely shares this desire with many other hobby athletes!

We wish Rainer Renauer, all hobby sportsmen & professional athletes as well as all viewers a great and enjoyable race!


Things you might like as well:

Story: Josef Schandl and the cross-country ski tracks

Kaiser Maximilian Lauf

Euroloppet Ganghoferlauf

Interview: Laura Zobernig

Text: Tessa Mellinger

Fotos: Rainer Renauer, Peter März, Stefan Elsler



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