Sleep Deprivation

Sooner or later during long distance running attempts the moment of tiredness comes. As this is a fact we better discuss ways and means to deal with this.

What does science say?

Looking at two publications:

[1] A group of 636 ultra marathon runners answered a questionnaire. Amongst the questions with regards to normal sleep behavior and the expected findings (the participants sleep a bit more on weekend compared to weekdays, on days without work more people were doing small power naps during the day) these people have been asked on their strategies how to deal with sleep during ultramarathon races. Around 74% if the study group replied that they do have a sleep strategy which meant for around 55% of them to try to increase sleep prior race day. 21% of the study group reported that they do have a strategy to manage sleep DURING the actual race – the micronap strategy was the most named strategy. From this data a subgroup was further analysed with the finding, that there is some sort of correlation of race duration and sleep time: the longer the race, the more they sleep.

[2] A systematic review on the napping behavior of athletes and how it impacts performance looking at all available literature. The key conclusions are that athletes may want to consider a daytime nap between 20-90 min duration between 1 and 4 p.m. (not later) and may want to think about a 30 min nap prior a long training run or race. Both will ease/delay the impact/onset of sleepiness while running and generally leads to a better performance.

There are some more but not too many articles about sleep behavior/deprivation in ultra running. Most focus on the sleep behavior of athletes in general and how this relates to performance. A general tendency, especially in the view of the above is: take care that you do have a healthy, good quality sleep; perform a nap in the optimal time window during the day; sleep a little more in the days/weeks prior a race and have a little nap before you actually start.

What does experience say?

And then there is life.

Life does not care at all on what would be ideal; life is amazing in giving you sleepless nights right when you are in the important prior race period; you job simply does not allow you to nap (depends on what you work) and your lovely kids keeping you awake anyway at anytime. If you can make use of the knowledge above, perfect. If you can’t – well you have to live with this as well. There are some hands-on experiences how to deal with sleep while moving for 24-64 h (one to three nights).

Do not deny the sleepiness for too long. Its ok to ignore it or work against it fo a certain period of time but at some point the problematic effects become too dominant: you forget to eat/drink in proper intervals, you tend to stumble and fall and navigation is no longer possible. There is a variety of big mistakes when being sleepy you definitely want to avoid. So take a break.

During long race/runs with sheltered and warm sleep possibilities a longer nap of up to 1 hour really makes a difference on the situation and your feeling. If you are lucky it recovers you completely from sleepiness (at least for the night you are in).

If you are in situations where indoor/sheltered sleep is not possible or forbidden you need to shorten the breaks. Everything from 5-30 minutes in a nap-format can help. If you are unlucky you will need these type of naps several times in one night to make it to the next morning. Don’t be angry about that – this is another loss of energy and time (and leads to bad decisions as well).

Try to find the best place for your nap. You may want to stay as dry as possible, it should be possible to lay down without massive problems (although some runners report that they slept while standing in the rain), it should be protected from wind (do not sleep on top of anything) and you may want to stay out of private property.

Set an alarm clock. Make sure you will be able to hear the sound (e.g. sleep on your smartphone).

During colder/wetter weather conditions it is handy to use one of these emergency blankets/foil/sleep bags you carry with you anyway. Take off your jacket and backpack (and more clothes if you are still able to undress and dress yourself), wrap yourself completely (gold outside) and lay down. This will keep body and muscles warm, will dramatically increase the nap sleep quality and reduces the stiffness when starting off again. Take the foil with you for your next stop. That is one of the reasons why you should always pack two of these emergency blankets. One for sleep brakes, one for emergency.

Furthermore it will help to regularly fuel your body with something to eat and drink in short intervals during the night (and during the day as well). Prevents your system from shutting down completely and ease the sleepiness a little as your body has something to do. Make a game out of it: every 5k I eat a little something and drink a few ml.

Last but not least: remember the first one of the two rules: never quit at night – it will get better during the day.

Talking about rules – the second one of the two rules is: never quit during the day – there is simply no point in doing this.

References:

[1] Martin, T., Arnal, P. J., Hoffman, M. D., & Millet, G. Y. (2018). Sleep habits and strategies of ultramarathon runners. PloS One, 13(5), e0194705. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0194705

[2] Lastella M, Halson SL, Vitale JA, Memon AR, Vincent GE. To Nap or Not to Nap? A Systematic Review Evaluating Napping Behavior in Athletes and the Impact on Various Measures of Athletic Performance. Nat Sci Sleep. 2021;13:841-862. Published 2021 Jun 24. doi:10.2147/NSS.S315556

*** LIVE – Duinhopper – LIVE ***

#northbound #vakantiedeluxe #hvh->denhelder #legendstracking #hophopdontstop #duinhopper #trainingforkate

LIVE: https://tim-weissbach.legendstracking.com/

Info: https://www.acceptnolimits.eu/events/duinhopper/

„Take your time, play the long game, embrace the boring, the difficulties, the uncomfortable. This is how it will happen.“

Maxime Lagace

Start: 01.10.2021 2130

Updates:

Finish: 45:35 h

Tired of Running

There are sometimes phases in which running (especially long-distance-running) seems to be so far away that you slowly really disconnect from that world. Finally retired from that bullshit with no way back. Either it is because of injury, other things in life which need all of your time or a long down period from a previously encountered great victory/huge defeat (its really the same in long-distance-running).

In the beginning it’s a weird feeling: you open e.g. Strava, one of the (un)social networks or your Garmin Connect app and everyone – EVERYONE – is running like hell. And this does not feel nice. All of them (some of them are even your friends) are so strong and running long distances as if it is nothing. Again and again. Meanwhile you sit at home looking into the dark night outside unsure if it is regret or relief that you are not out there with them. Then you silently close down the live tracking page, switch off your PC and go to bed.

With a little bit more time into your new running-free life this heavy weight lifts a bit. You start to feel better and are happy for them who are running. You are able to applaud again, cheer with them and even support them while they follow their running dreams. Further and faster – beyond all boundaries. But this is no longer your mission.

When you stumble over your running shoes or your running gear you sometimes have to smile a little. A faint smile from far, far away. What infinite amount of hours you used all that stuff. All those dark and painful nights, all those shivering beginnings/ends of days where you felt like the tiniest and weakest particle of dust in this huge universe. Good that this is the past. Good that this is over.

But is it?

What if …? – what if you open your database one last time and check for that one track you drew ages ago and never ran? Just look at the GPX. Remember how you created this file. What a fool you have been back then. How could you honestly think that these connected dots would make a nice adventure? How could you think they really matter?

Somehow these unanswered questions also do not feel great. Quite the contrary.

And now?

Lights in the dark.

***KATE180 LIVE***

What should have been a group run was cut down to the two of us – what should have been flexibel, spontaneous and for idiots only is now even more flexible and spontaneous. No idiots though.

In around two hours we will be off. Out there again. For no reason.

Although we may miss our friends we will try to have a fabulous time. It is time to start a new challenge – lets finally kick-off our Slam. It is the bond between ultra runners that unites and pushes us. In NL and DE there are in total 8 runners attempt to finish 200k+ distances starting today. Apart but united. Not noticed by many, understood from only a few. Amazing how quickly this escalated.

Live-tracking of the two of us below:

http://kate180.legendstracking.com

Joint Forces

I think I shared the story on how it all began quite some times. But to wrap it all up – it started with a funny live-tracking link I found on FB back in November 2016. I was amazed as only two runners seem to run a 180k distance somewhere not too far away in the Netherlands. Without any reason and without much attention. I then contacted the FB page of that run with the question if there would be another event like this. This was the 7th of January 2017. Turned out there was another run in November 2017. The rest is history: LEO180 2017, 2018 and 2019.

It took me quite some years to decide if that day back in Januar 2017 was a good or a bad day after all but in 2019 I could finally let go and make peace it. Turned out the guys over there run a nice internet page https://www.acceptnolimits.eu and it turned out that the 4 of us started to meet from time to time for whatever reasons and started to develop a certain kind of friendship. And by friendship we mean 50% hatred, 49% of irony and bullshit and 1% of respect. You may note that this is a strange friendship and you are totally correct with that assumption. Most of the times we just invite ourselves to stupid or hard or stupid and hard (social) runs or races to find out if we are stupid and tough enough to do it. Most of the time this is the case. So this became a good tradition.

Here are a few moments I really hated them:

But we have had some moments of joy as well:

So it was bound to happen what we have been working on within the past months. acceptnolimits.eu and pfadsucher.com joint forces and came up with a 1-year-challenge consisting of 4 runs. We will use the 2 existing runs hosted by M&M in NL (or at least parts of it), run number 3 will be contributed by us with start and finish in Aachen and we made up our minds and found a ridiculous run number four which will take place in BE. To be nice to the world we will only challenge our friends and will not give away a lot of details. Just another stupid idea of underground ultra running. We will give away the GPX files to our participants only, they have one year time starting next Friday (30.10.2020) to complete all 4 runs. Multiple attempts are allowed if failure may happen.

The coronavirus destroyed all our hopes of having at least some shared adventures but in the actual situation we will need to split even the smallest group of runners as we are coming from three countries (and plan to run in all three of them) and we will need to face the runs even more alone and more secret as we initially wanted it to be. But it is like it is. And it is going to start soon…

From behind the curtain we will follow GPX tracks again. We are bound to fail and that is one of the reasons why we even consider to start. We will obviously start with the race in Germany:

Behind the Curtain

Winter is coming. Soon the running season is over and the ultra running season starts. Finally all the hustle and bustle ends. The trails are slowly but surely emptying again. It gets colder and darker. Rare sunlight spreads over half-frozen muddy, dirty and lonely trails. One is the only human striving through the nothingness. The breath freezes to clouds of mist in front of the headlamp and the crunch of the trail shoes on frozen ground is the only noise to be heard. Miles are coming and miles are going out there in the fresh, ice-cold and crisp shapes.

Blurry figures on the move.

As it will be Corona-winter too and with rising numbers nothing is certain and granted. We are not sure which of our plans will become reality but we want to be prepared.

So my friends and me sat together to review ultra running. Not that ultra running in general was in question but I think there is one thing that unites and drives all of us: the longing of this one feeling. In our post-LT 250/500 race reviews we have been discussing quite a lot about our personal experiences out there and the moments we talked about most were not the ones full of joy or success. But the moments in which one finally understands and accepts the vastness of the surroundings and what a small piece oneself is in this big puzzle. The moments of exceeding the obvious borders the race puts upon you and the awareness that there is more beyond. VPsucher came back from his 360k DH win with similar experiences of sheer existence in the middle of the dunes with no human around for hours. It is a lonely but great feeling. Remote. Tackled. Beaten. And yet: moving and full of determination to finish.

One of the special moments in 2020. And I was only the one taking the picture.

We started to create something to share these moments together with a small group of similar-minded runners and friends. Running and racing on the grounds and in the areas we love with a certain level of difficulty. Rare-support to self-support events of pure running. Enjoying the art of creating the GPX-files and looking forward to fill them with some running. The set of runs we came up with will be challenging enough to have plenty options to fail. We combined them to a set for the real collectors among us.

We may spread the rumours when it seems applicable. Or we may not. Behind the curtain we will do some running of the type we think running should be: low-cost, free of limits, simple and pure. The paths ahead are laid out. Who will be able to follow them until the very end? In a good, old tradition it is meant to start around Halloween 2020.

On? On!

Bürogespräche – Eindrücke aus dem Home-Office-Alltag

Das Home-Office hat den schönen Vorteil, dass einige Eindrücke aus dem Büro-Alltag festgehalten werden können; wie zum Beispiel, wenn wir uns darüber austauschen, wie wir mit den Challenges umgehen, die uns unsere Mitmenschen stellen. Hier ein kleiner Schnipsel zum Corona Skyrun des Schinders:

Des Schinders Skyrun

Danke an den Schinder für diese daheim ausführbare Challenge. Sie bietet 1364 kleine Perspektivwechsel am Tag und hat den schönen Vorteil, dass ich sie durchführen kann, ohne mir in den anderen Challenges da draußen zu viel Freude vorwegzunehmen.

LEO180 ´19 – vakantie in Brabant

Everything started back in November 2016 not with running but with watching the live tracking website of LEOs first edition. I am not sure why and how I came across this link but it was a lucky coincidence. Back in 2016 I was amazed and afraid while watching two lonely dots moving like forever through what seemed to be endless sections of nothing. This should have been a warning..

LEO180 2019
12 of us ready to Start. 36 h and 210 km ahead.

3 years later we are sitting on a table somewhere in Goirle near Tilburg, Noord-Brant, the Netherlands. Martino (2nd place finisher) just left and Maarten, Marek, Björn and me are enjoying a moment of peace and silence. It is 1800 on the first Sunday in November which means the LEO is over. It was again one of the rather busy weekends for all four of us. Although we only see us at the LEO weekends once every year we share a similar idea on how running should be organised and celebrated. This is a good feeling and we use the rare time to discuss a bit. Everything went well with LEO this year so the organisational pressure on M&M is (almost) gone: they dragged out those who could not finish, they celebrated those who were able to survive and the last runner out there should also make it to the finish 2 hours later. The last burger patties are ready to eat. Everything is as it should be. Time to widen the view from this weekend into the future. We discuss the next LEO editions. The good news is: the challenge will continue for those who dare and are fast but there may also be a soft option for those who are slow and winy. Although LEO is held in great irony and fun with a lot of joking and laughing the whole LEO family (runners, orga, supporter) knows deep inside that it is a real challenge for most humans. In our discussion we end up with the question why so few survived this year and what the reason(s) for that might have been. One of the good things with LEO is that there is no final answer to that. LEO may be one of the events where it is better if you are 101% into it – 100% may not be enough. But who knows what battle everyone fought out there. It is your problem if you go out there. You may get random help but basically you have to make sure that your plan is good enough to bring you back.

For Björn and me as participants the task was much easier compared to M&Ms orga stress. Our discussion a few days before the LEO was short. From our point of view there were two reasonable options on how to run the loops in terms of direction and order – we discussed it shortly and made a decision. All we then had to do was what we always do before any of our longer runs: prepare the Garmins, pack the backpacks with an awful lot of self-made food (I also brought some gels which turned out to be a wise decision) and enjoy the surroundings while running. The first two loops formed an 8 of 100 km total distance and we aimed for 7 km/h. We reached the CP close to 2000 – perfect in plan.

We gave ourself one hour to relax. Restart for the last 110 km loop at 2100 with 21 hours time to finish it. The first 40 km of this loop (km 100-140 for us) slowed us down. I could not maintain the 7-8 km/h speed from the first 100 km. From slowing down we got more tired and really cold. The nice ultra run night problem – the interesting part was about to begin. Some tougher hours followed on what is probably the easiest and fastest part of the track – such a waste when walking on asphalt. So we tried to sleep. A few times. With different levels of comfort, durations and cleverness. The last time we did that between 0530 and 0600 helped at the end and we learned a bit more on what makes sense and what does not regarding outside sleeping. But: what happens out there stays out there. Our last hope was the sunrise. We started with giving us rules not to be broken. Not to quit while it is dark was the first one (this one is a really essential one). When it was bright again we had to deal with a section full of sand and small ups and downs. Awful after 150 km with hurting feet and the need to maintain a steady pace. So next rule: do not quit in the Dunes (Björn is probably one of the worlds leading experts in terms of that). We managed it somehow.

And from that on timing was the absolute highest priority. I never did this mental game of running against the clock with this precision. Björn started a „game“. 10 h until cutoff, 57 km to go = 5.7 km/h. The two rules of our game were: run each hour 6 km and then walk the rest of the hour as a break. If you don’t manage this 6 km in 55 min: pause/walk the remaining 5 mins anyway. I had heard from people doing these kind plans but never did it myself. I really hated it in the beginning but realized slowly that if I focus on it and accept it provides a frame for that meaningless and endless moving – something to believe in. So game one. It really worked out in the end. Minimum was 5.5 km in one hour (there were some rather uneven parts of nature to pass) but there were a lot of 6 km hours in and a few of them even above that. We played for 8 hours.

LEO180 2019
The 6 km/h game – started around 150/160 km. If one takes the average to look at it looks pretty precise.

Slowly but surely I realized that it may work to stay in time. Would it be really possible to finish this complicated beast? At 1600 with 2 hours time and around 8 km to go the relief finally came. Nothing but serious injuries would stop us know. What an amazing moment. With 53 minutes left we finished the 210 km LEO180 2019 edition. The bear (DNF) was closer in comparison to last year and it at least felt like that this was not only the extra 10 km. The fight against the time in this dimension and determination was new to me. Thanks to Björn for the idea and the strict rules.

It is time to say goodbye again and to leave the warm table in our cosy race HQ (thanks for opening the door for us this weekend) – „the Germans“ are leaving. Everyone is tired – rest and recovery is urgently needed. It was again an intensive but beautiful weekend in Noord-Brabant. The challenge is completed for now. This years LEO results to be found here and here. Racereports will be posted here.

There will be a new challenge one day that is for sure. Maybe with us, maybe without. We somehow closed our LEO chapter this year:

Björn finished the 190 km edition in 2017 while I was dropping out at 140 km without a good reason

LEO180 2017 – 190 km

… I finished the 200 km version in 2018 alone while Björn was injured …

LEO180 2018 – 200 km

… and we came back this year to finally do it together. Really grateful for this achievement!

LEO180 2019 – 210 km

Our longest distance together under these conditions (which are our most favourite ones: half self-support, alone, not marked, remote, beautiful and brutal) – isn’t this a nice ending for a story?

It was a pleasure, LEO180! Wat een mooie stuk haardlopen – bedankt en tot ziens!

Photocredits to Maarten and Olav – thanks a lot!

The Great Escape 2019

Nun ist es also passiert: der erste Lauf aus der Feder der Legends Trails Gemeinschaft ist absolviert. Den The Great Escape als ersten der vier Läufe auszuwählen ist aus vielerlei Gründen eine gute Entscheidung. Er ist nicht so lang wie der Legends Trail im Februar, nicht so dunkel wie der Bello Gallico, auf den ersten Blick auch nicht so verrückt wie Another One Bites The Dust und ist einfach auch der Start zu der Legends Slam Serie, zu der eben die oben genannten 4 Läufe gehören. Absolviert man sie alle 4 direkt nacheinander und startet mit dem The Great Escape, hat man die Serie geschafft (beim Another One Bites The Dust muss man dafür mindestens 161 km schaffen). Der Pfadsucher gibt sich zwar nicht der Illusion hin, das wirklich ernsthaft schaffen zu können, aber wenn man dann mit den Läufen anfängt, warum nicht auch einfach mit dem ersten der vier. Wer weiß was alles noch so passieren mag.

Im Vorfeld hatte ich mit Matthias verabredet, dass wir es gern zusammen versuchen würden. Am Freitag Abend ist Matthias also nach Aachen gekommen um von dort gemeinsam zum Start zu fahren. Wir haben die Zeit vor der Fahrt noch dazu genutzt das Live-Tracking der schon Freitags Abends um 18 Uhr gestarteten 100-Meilen Walker zu beobachten. Um 2230 ging es mit dem Auto von Aachen nach Maboge in Belgien (Ziel des Laufs), dort haben wir uns gegen 0030 am Samstag eingeschrieben und unsere Dropbacks abgegeben. Es blieb noch Zeit für ein 20-Minuten-Nickerchen im Auto und dann kam auch schon der Bus der die Läufer vom Ziel zum Start gefahren hat. Im Bus war es zu wam und zu eng um richtig zu schlafen – höchstens ein paar Minuten haben geklappt.

Pünktlich um 0400 war der Start des The Great Escape in Ettelbrück in Luxemburg. Mit ca. 120 Startern ein recht großes Feld an 100 Meilen Läufern machte sich auf den Weg durch die Dunkelheit in Richtung Maboge. Von Start an wurde klar, dass die versprochenen 5500 Höhenmetern den Lauf stark prägen würden. Es war ein stetiges bergan Klettern und bergab Fallen. Die ersten 4-6 Stunden waren eine sehr kalte Angelegenheit. Wir sortierten uns direkt eher hinten in der Reihe der Läufer ein, fanden aber ein annehmbares Tempo, welches sich für uns beide gut angefühlt hat. Wir wurden kurz vor dem ersten CP mit einem wunderbaren Sonnenaufgang belohnt (praktischerweise waren wir gerade aus einem tiefen Tal auf einen hohen Punkt der Strecke aufgestiegen). Am CP kurz was essen und weiter gehts. Der zweite Abschnitt bis zum ersten Dropback war atemberaubend. Die luxemburgischen Ardennen sind wunderschön. Tief eingeschnittene, tiefgrüne Täler, schroffe Felsen, verwinkelte und verwurzelte Trails und zumindest der Eindruck von viel unberührter und wenig begangener Natur.

Wir haben uns in der Phase in die Natur vertieft und die Passage sehr genossen. Es war teils so still, dass überhaupt kein menschengemachte Geräusch auch aus der Ferne zu hören gewesen war. Das ist heutzutage wirklich selten geworden. Es war nur Natur zu hören und zu sehen. Das gleichmäßige klackern der Stöcke von Matthias und die Geräusche unserer Schritte fügten sich in die Natur ein. Kurz vor dem zweiten CP ging der Weg durch ein fast noch frostig-kaltes Tal langsam bergan. Auf den Hängen weiter oben stand die Sonne schon in voller Pracht und plötzlich geht der Trail rechts weg und steigt steil an. Es weht eine leichte warme Brise von oben den Trail herab und lässt auf Wärme hoffen. Der Trail wird schroff und steil und wird zum Grat der rechts und links steil abfällt – unglaublicher Anstieg.

Ähnlich beeindruckende Landschaften sollten uns den gesamten Samstag begleiten. Teils fast gefährlich atemberaubend haben sich die Trails an scharfen Kanten steiler Täler entlanggeschwungen und es sah oft so aus als würde man gen Nichts in den Abgrund rennen oder bis in den blauen Himmel hinaufsteigen. Konzentration war auf dieser Strecke extrem wichtig – jeder Schritt wollte gut überlegt sein. Wir hatten unsere Geschwindigkeit gefunden und überlegten von CP zu CP wie lange wir für den jeweiligen Abschnitt brauchen wollen würden und hatten in Richtung CP bei km 77 (Start der 50 Meilen) den Plan dort vor 1800 anzukommen (14 Stunden Laufzeit). Das hat gut funktioniert und nach einer längeren Pause dort (ein paar Minuten Schlaf auf dem Fussballplatz inklusive) packten wir unsere Sachen neu, zogen uns für die Nacht um und machten uns müde wieder auf den Weg auf die Strecke.

Die Nacht vor der Brust überlegten wir, wie wir die zweite Nacht ohne Schlaf und mit nun mehr als 14 Stunden Wettkampf in den Beinen wohl am besten überstehen könnten. Einfach los und durch – was blieb uns auch übrig. Es wurde die erwartet große Herausforderung. Wir konnten unseren Schnitt nicht mehr halten, haben jeden CP und einmal auch eine Bank für kurze Schlafpausen (10 Minuten) genutzt und mussten uns schon mächtig zusammen reißen. Wir hatten das Glück auf andere Läufer in ähnlichen Zuständen zu treffen und konnten Zweck/Leidensgemeinschaften bilden – mit Unterhaltung und Gesprächen vergeht die Zeit doch etwas schneller. Und so musste auch diese Nacht irgendwann der Sonne und dem nächsten Tag weichen. Was eine Erleicherung. Rund um den CP bei Kilometer 120 sowie kurz vor Sonnenaufgang hatte der Pfadsucher seinen üblichen Tiefpunkt (der dieses Mal ob der zweiten Nacht ohne Schlaf noch etwas tiefer war als gewöhnlich) und es hätte tatsächlich ob des Jammerns fast zu Streit geführt. Doch Groll konnte in Energie umgewandelt werden und die Sonne versöhnte Vieles. Wir waren noch da. Noch immer unterwegs. Noch immer im Rennen. Fantastisch. Muss doch möglich sein das zu schaffen. Auch wenn es mit der Zeit knapp werden könnte. Und da waren ja auch noch die letzten 15 km des Rennens, vor denen immer wieder ausdrücklich gewarnt worden war.

Die letzten Kilometer kamen und die Warnungen waren mehr als berechtigt. Die Wege nun fast ausschließlich mit Wurzeln oder Steinen ausgestattet, Klettereinlagen an Eisenketten, Klettereinlagen auf allen Vieren bergan, „springen“ von Fels zu Fels am Ufer der Ourthe, Festklammern an Bäumen usw…. Teils waren nur 3 km/Stunde möglich – absoluter Wahnsinn. Die Steilheit der Anstiege war nochmal höher und das mit 150 km in den Beinen. Unfassbar. Es hat viel Überwindung gekostet das überhaupt weiter anzugehen. Aber wir waren wie in einem anderen Film. Das Finish wollten wir gerade ob der Schwierigkeiten unbedingter denn je. Es wurde zur Mission und zum Mantra: immer vorwärts. Ob mit 3 oder 4 km/h – einfach immer weiter. Es wird für ein Finish im Zeitlimit reichen. Immer weiter. Immer weiter. An den CP schnell das Nötigste erledigen und weiter.

Und dann war es da das Finish. Zum ersten Mal. Zu den Gemeinheiten des The Great Escape gehört es, dass man vom Ziel eine letzten 5 km Runde angehen muss, die den steilsten Anstieg des gesamten Laufs beinhaltet. Aber was solls – ein Schritt nach dem anderen. Buchstäblich. Quälend langsam den einen km mit 150-180 Höhenmetern hoch. Und irgendwie runter ins Ziel. Es war wohl des Pfadsuchers härtester Lauf was die Höhenmeter und die technische Schwierigkeit angeht. In 35 Stunden und 40 Minuten waren die 165 Kilometern absolviert. Unter 5 km/h im Schnitt. Was ein Brett.

Ein riesen Dank gilt den Supportern, den Veranstaltern und den Mitläufern. Eine wunderbare Familie – alle kümmern sich um alle und versuchen alle Wünsche zu erfüllen. Eine tolle Gemeinschaft, die diesen Lauf zu einem Erlebnis macht. Ein bisschen wie Urlaub – nur mit zu wenig Schlaf. Und ein paar Kilometern mehr als nötig.

Dieser Lauf war wohl sowohl Freund als auch Lehrer zugleich. Matthias und der Pfadsucher haben viel über Schlafmangel und wie man damit umgeht gelernt, haben verstanden was es heißt auch unerwartete Herausforderungen hinzunehmen und weiter zu machen und haben uns zwar sehr über 3-4 km/h geärgert es aber doch auch akzeptiert und als gegeben hingenommen. Gegen Ende haben wir irgendwie aus den immer größeren Anstrengungen auch etwas Kraft gezogen – nach dem Motto: jetzt erst recht. Ihr bekommt uns nicht klein. Eine schöne Erkenntnis und sicher hilfreich für die kommenden Herausforderungen. Das zusammen Laufen hat insgesamt sehr viel Freude bereitet – wann ist man schonmal mit jemandem fast 36 Stunden laufend unterwegs. Zusammen Schritt für Schritt ins Ziel. Einfach. Immer. Weiter.

Zum Schluss noch die harten Fakten (wie von Runalyze ausgegeben):