The End

It was late 2009 when I moved to Aachen. This was two years after my first and fastest Marathon on the 13.05.2007 (3h21m). Coming from handball and cycling races I was afraid enough to actually train for that first marathon back in 2007. I came to Aachen to finish my studies here and well – stayed. I started to log my running km electronically in 2010, ran a few more Marathons the next years (Rurtal, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Norderney, Monschau, Jungfrau, Saarbrücken) and then met Helmut and came in contact with the LTB Aachen running club in 2012. While continued to run Marathons I learned that there is more. The group run Rund um Aachen 2013 (63k) opened a whole new world. Running, eating and fun were combined.

2014 started with more group runs (Limburgs Halfzwaare from Willem M.) and it escalated in my first official “ultra” (Rennsteig Supermarathon; 72k) in May 2014. I also met Björn as well as Stefan Vilvo in 2014 – this should change things dramatically. It opened the door to endless hours in the Eifel and Greater Aachen Area. No trail was too blocked, no mud was too deep and no river was safe from us anymore. I came in contact with Olne-Spa-Olne – another run that can change perspectives. In 2015 we started to create with the “matschige Aachen Marathon” aka mAMa our own interpretation of a Marathon in Aachen – and should host not less than 9 mAMa runs (10 if you count the lonely “Race Director Edition” during Corona) from 2015 til 2024. But it didn’t stop there. I ran my first 100ks in 2015 (Limburgs Zwaarste and soon after WHEW) and after that it just continued – too many runs to mention them all. The first 100 mile-attempt took place during the 24h run in Iserlohn in 2016 (148k) and was then finally completed at the TorTour de Ruhr 2016 (Arnsberg-Duisburg; 100 mi).

By sheer luck I saw and followed a really strange live-tracking page of an event on FB in 2016 and contacted the RDs Maarten and Marek end of 2016/beginning 2017 to learn more about that strange thing. I tried their LEO180 in 2017: a hopeless, pathetic and unsuccessful attempt – but one which left a deep mark and opened the book to another dimension of running. We watched the Yiannis Kouros “Forever Running” documentary on YouTube the evening before that 2017 LEO180 and M&M mentioned a famous run called Legend Trails – and that this would be the real thing. It sounded strange, abstracted and way beyond my possibilities. It was the most tiny spark imaginable that was ignited that November 2017 but nevertheless that fire started to burn and grew over the next 7 years.

The stories have been written and are all preserved on this page. What a ride it was. Endless stories about endlessness – about what happens beyond the possible. Life finally started to change in 2023 and after exactly 15 years the time in Aachen will end in 2024. Time to run those trails one last time; time to say goodbye to the Eifel, to the Ardennes and to Hautes Fagnes – I owe them a lot.

How distance running started in 2014:

And how it ended in 2024:

Underground Update

In an uncertain world – endurance is the answer.

One third of 2024 is over – time to have a look behind the curtain. In a world full of shiny YouTube movies and fancy IG stories it’s getting easier for long-distance projects to stay in the dark and unnoticed void. However – some things happened.

The debut in 2024 was organized by the Teuflischer Biber Ultra. A double debut as it opened 2024 and was the first edition of that event organized by Michael and his great team from Biber Backyard Ultra. A very good, challenging and interesting format saw 4 starter and no finisher in this very first edition. There is a date set for 2025 and I heard some discussion from people who really want to own this format and from some people who are interested to try it themselves. If there is one thing about it – it would be another fantastic achievement to manage all loops. But with Teun and Wouter the right folks was present in the first edition – both may be able to pull this off one day. Definitely an event which deserves more attention and will gain traction the next years.

Campfire vibes before #tbu

The usual kick-off meeting for the whole bubble in February (aka. Legends Trails) was yet another fascinating edition show-casing all aspects of endurance. If you want to do it – your last chance is 2025 – registration is open and you better start to get ready for it now! Beyond 2025 we have been promised to get to know a whole different Legends Trail. Those who know the event are a bit more afraid than they are excited about that; so better get your shot in 2025. The general feedback in 2024 was: it´s more than worth all efforts.

Chez Ingo chez Ingo aka Toastie Time

Meanwhile there have been 4 successful attempts on The Dead Marshes which is the entry challenge to next years Slam. So far I got positive feedback on my track and looking at the fantastic list of applicants and the upcoming better weather window we will see quite a few more attempts in near future. To me these are the most fascinating projects. It needs quite some planning including scheduling it in a mostly full family life, it needs real dedication while running those tracks and at the end there are only a handful people in some weird FB group chats recognizing it. Those are highly underrated attempts and experiences. There is no one cheering, the supply orga is a real thing to get under control – and at the end you arrive at a parking lot and drive away. Unnoticed and unseen. Reading stories from what happened along the way –

(e.g. Addie and Christof with the worst weather conditions ending up sitting very long in the half-way car at Dead Marshes most probably discussing whether or not it makes sense to continue (it doesn´t – and yet they did it) and then not long after they started the second loop messing up navigation and tried to cross a river ending up almost swimming)

those are the stories I enjoy the most. There is still time to jump on this project – Dead Marshes needs to be completed til the end of 2024. And there is more to come in 2025 for the happy few.

Dead Marshes @ Night

Another astounding attempt was Monica´s FKT on the Pieterpad in NL. Lots of the lovely Dutch/Belgian family stood up to support and Monica managed the 500k with an impressive amount of dedication and discipline. When I joined for a few km she was pretty calm despite the fact she was facing the fourth night. When meeting the car one could feel and see the strain, exhaustion and tiredness quite clearly – and yet she stood up from that chair again and again like playing an endless game of horror just to finally being able to finish it off. Was a nice achievement to witness.

The unexpected marriage!

During the first months of 2024 I also joined Marek for a few runs on his attempt to collect all platsnaambordjes in Brabant and he is getting really close to complete this challenge. It’s both a really stupid and wonderful thing to do. It offers the opportunity to really get to know the region, it includes a lot of boring km and at the end there is a sheet which is on Mareks drive with the list. One may think: wtf. But Marek and I share a weird love for sheets and stats. Our chat is full of numbers, percentages and formulas – most of the normal world would be shocked to see it. But we don´t really care.


I was also lucky to secure 24h in Maarten´s schedule for a project we have been discussing ever since we met. Not that we really talked any details but we knew that day would come. A combined hobby of us is Hautes Fagnes so we met at Baraque Michel and things got out of hand. Exactly as expected. It was a remarkable time up there and probably not the last time we met at this spot. We only managed to pull-off around 70 km in 24h but those were the most interesting ones in 2024 so far. A multi-dimension experience. In so many ways.

Into the Heart of Hautes Fagnes and Further

Lastly the Legends Family met again at Legends Backyard Ultra in April. Although I am really disappointed about my abilities in this format it was lovely to meet all of the folks and finally have some time for some more words with some of the runners. Just got to love the Belgian team and their friends/family – the amount of amazing runners and the quality of running over there is unmatched. Yet all of them are calm and focused, always friendly and supportive and always humble. They celebrate ultra in a way I can feel to 100%.

Loops with friends!

Looking forward to the next period in 2024. Teun is going to tackle another GR aiming for an FKT, there are several Dead Marshes attempts coming soon and if we survive the tough off-season period (aka summer) the World Team championship of Backyard Ultra is coming. Although I don´t like it, it still fascinates me and I can’t wait to watch the battle between US, AUS and BEL – going to an epic one.