Crêtes de Spa 2016
Running Crêtes de Spa 2016

Another year, another Crêtes de Spa. For the first time ever without my buddy Greg. Greg & I have run CDS together every year (except for 2013). The full version in 2012 & 2014 and, due to injuries & lack of shape, the 21k last year. This year no Greg however, which meant a change of game plan. On top of that, it would also be the final exam of our Start 2 Trail project!

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Bostrail Aalter – Coming home
Running Bostrail Aalter – Coming home

After being injured at the time of last year’s edition (which turned out quite memorable with Bruno running the entire 42.195 km in his heavy-weight, full length pair of jeans) there was no way I was going to miss out on the 2016 edition of the Bosmarathon in Aalter this year. A trip down memory lane: close to my parents, the majority of the trail is run on the trails & roads I pretty much know by heart from when I was still living with my parents.

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Tires vs. Shoes: a week in La Roche-en-Ardenne
Running Tires vs. Shoes: a week in La Roche-en-Ardenne

As part of a yearly tradition, Kim & her friends spend the week between Christmas & New Year in a house. A week of catching up with friends, doing some activities with the kids, good food, good company and quite some mountain-biking too. Your truly, however, does not mountain bike. Yours truly does not even own such bike. But I wasn’t going to let that spoil the fun or keep me from joining the boys on their trip!

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Houffatrail 2015: back off track!
Running Houffatrail 2015: back off track!

I don’t think I could have anticipated the impact quitting UTMB would have had on me. And for a while, I was in denial. The trip to Gran Canaria helped. A change of environment. Nature. Tons of hikes and a good run. I felt back at it. But the weeks after that trip, I lost my hunger for running. I guess you could call it running depression.

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Faster than a donkey
Running Faster than a donkey

Hm, yeah. I know. That title doesn’t sound impressive at all. But then again, it IS the name of this pretty rad race in Kuurne. Last year, I ran the race as pace maker for a Gwendolyn (who eventually won the race) and finished just over 1h20 myself, a personal best on the half marathon. Since, though, I improved that best at the Havenloop. Putting things in perspective, I was just back from Gran Canaria and had hardly put in any running at all since UTMB. So bottom line: I had no idea what to expect. At all.

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Under the Milky Way
Running Under the Milky Way

Some people called it bold. Some called it “not the smartest thing to do”. Others just called it crazy. Opinions were plenty when I announced I was leaving for UTMB a week early in order to climb the Pointe Percée and hike the surrounding area. Still, there were many arguments for it, especially the benefit of spending a few days above 2000m of altitude.

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How it all began I think I was about 9 when I did my first competitive running.

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