My nerves are starting to get to me. I just looked it up and my first mentioning of the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc date back to February 2013. Back then I mentioned it in the context of “dreams”. Now it’s about as real as it gets as I just noticed my race bib has been assigned. T minus 10 days.
I’ve never been a big fan of my own birthday parties. Don’t get me wrong: I’m all for the presents, birthdays or parties in general. Just not that fond of being a host and feeling like I have to talk to everyone present. So when Kim announced we’d be spending the entire weekend of my birthday “somewhere else”, I was kind of relieved & excited at the same time. All I knew was that I had to bring my running gear. And that we had to be somewhere at 9 o’clock and that it would take us about 1.5 hours to get there.
After doing pretty good at Havenloop Gent and Wings For Life and winning “Laat’em Lopen” the week after that, it was starting to get hard to keep the feet on the ground. It took the French Vosges about an hour to bring me down. 3 days later, If I may be so free to take the metaphor one step further, my feet were embedded in the rocks. Humbled. Amazed by everything around me.
It doesn’t always have to be about me. And even though I just ran a race (two actually), all this means nothing compared to what I want to tell you today. I might like to think I’ve inspired one or two people through my endless chattering about running or through this blog… this woman inspired thousands and thousands of people. And today, she ran her last Marathon as an elite runner.
Part II of the Dinant weekend: The running bit! Before leaving for Dinant, I’d researched my trail running options in the neighborhood. Turned out there’s a 42k/1100m+ trail being held each year that passes the Citadel called the Archi Trail Mosan. On top of that, the people of the organizing Athletics club offer the route on their website by means of a GPX file and on top on thàt, the route was passing 200m from where we were staying! So the plan was simple: Download the GPX file, upload it on my watch and follow the black line on the screen! Simple as that!
Ever since I ran that first marathon and started increasing the distances I was running, people have asked me when I was going to go for my first Triathlon. Just as often, I’d smile and reply that “I’d love to do one but I just don’t like swimming & cycling”. And that was that. And then last week, out of the blue, I went for a 86k bike ride.
The observative reader will notice the cheap persiflage of the title of Murakami’s awesome book right away, I’m sure. Yet, this is a different story entirely.
The end of the year approaches and as nostalgic people tend to do, I felt like making an (running-related) overview of what happened in the past year. It’s been fun. I’ve done stuff I’d never considered conceivable and took up stuff I hadn’t done in a long time. I explored new parts of the world and re-discovered old ones. I ran fast at times, slow at others. I cursed my body for being fragile, but then sincerely thanked it (with huge amounts of chocolate) when it didn’t let me down during some of the most extreme things I’ve done. 2014 – A year in miles.
With my two big summer goals getting closer every day (that’s what happens with things in the future), running has been dominating both my thoughts and conversations lately (sorry for that). The amount of things to take care of before…
A few months ago, Ryan Sandes and Ryno Griesel made an attempt to beat the course record of the Drakensberg Grand Traverse. Don’t take “course record” to litterally though: The DGT is an unmarked trail which crosses the Drakenberg mountain range in South Afrika. Unmarked, which means there is no real course. All we know is that it’s more or less 220k and really heavy.