First track of the Marvel Slam 2022 done. Always interesting to run a self-created route for the first time. There are still some minor „mistakes“ in the track and I may correct some as there are more runners to come and have a go on Mystique. But all in all it proved to be what I meant it to be – an easy sightseeing track in these nice Eifel areas at the first glance – and somehow creepy gruelling while doing it. A diverse route – lots of asphalt (compared to the usual self-created track) and even some km on street (those were needed to be able to combine all the nice parts in a reasonable distance). But there are single trails, non-existing single trails, steep and rocky climbs, overgrown miseries in as well – to acknowledge the basics of long-distance-travelling.
Its the area around Mayschoß and Altenahr (including the famous climbing part Engelsley), its lots of old roman architecture excavations along the way, its long demanding climbs on big routs through endless fields, its a good portion of old, overgrown and non-existing paths challenging the runner to climb-through and its lots of touristic sightseeing involved.
It took us 39h15m to finish it – another great walk for the two of us.
Das JUNUT Wochenende, wie wir es uns gewünscht hätten, ist leider nicht Realität geworden. Trotzdem haben wir die 50 km bis zum Ausbruch des Rennens inmitten eines Gewitters sehr genossen. Durchaus herausfordernde Bedingungen mit Dauerregen und Gewitter forderten volle Konzentration. Nicht unbemerkt blieb aber eine sehr schöne Strecke mit tollen Aussichten auf Altmühl und Donau und ihren Burgen und Schlössern.
In der schnellen Gruppe eingeteilt war uns eigentlich vorher klar, dass wir schnell Letzte im Rennen sein würden und das war eine interessante Erfahrung. Trotz Wetter lagen wir gut in unserem Zeitplan der uns durch die Cut-offs bringen sollte.
So blieb es bei 50 km in einer schönen Gegend und mit zwei mit Herzblut betriebenen und wunderbar ausgestatteten VPs – vielen Dank dafür!
Someone told me off for all the throwbacks (but I mean: how nice was LT272).
But yes – it is time to move on – so next stop: JUNUT. Heard a lot of nice stories about it and had this one on the list since a few years. JUNUT was part of the Millenium Quest – finish 4 of the longer races in Germany within one saison: JUNUT (239 km), TorTour de Ruhr (230 km), Hexenstieg (220 km) and Wibolt (320 km). This Millenium Quest does not exist anymore but all 4 races are for sure worth to run.
We did the full TorTour de Ruhr back in 2018 and in a few weeks we will finally have the chance to have a try on the JUNUT239. Really looking forward to it!
A true journey changes those who are brave enough to travel wholeheartedly.
The Duinhopper is a 220 km long GPX track provided by acceptnolimits.eu on the Duinhopper page. It covers the whole coast of the Netherlands between Hoek van Holland and Den Helder. How you organize yourself while running, how you manage this long distance is your problem – there is no further service provided. If you are interested in running this track – get in contact with the guys from acceptnolimits.eu and check out the above mentioned Duinhopper page for reports, hints and videos. The original Duinhopper is meant to be run in the winter time in the months January or February.
While checking possible dates for long distance running weekends in 2021 we found the first weekend of October as one of the few possible options this year. As the Duinhopper is part of a private running challenge the decision on the course was easily made. We decided to keep our appearance on the coast secret until the very start of our run. For the fun and the surprise of it. As mentioned above the DH is normally meant to be run in winter but the challenge allows to differ from that. The final thing to do was logistics planning and it turned out that the best option we found is to park the car in the middle of the course at a train station (from where we could shuttle to the start and take a train back from finish line to the car as well). We decided to use the official parking at Driehuis train station which is 1,2 km off track but good connected via train and at km 120 of 220.
The travel to Driehuis by car and the train transfer to Hoek van Holland was horrible. We lost one hour in the traffic jams around Amsterdam and another hour because of a closed bridge (train just stopped and we had to wait for a transfer bus to the next station to pick-up another train). We finally announced to our running family what we were going to try and hit the start button on all our devices. Game on.
The First Night:
We started on Friday 1st of October at 21:37 – with the 48h time limit we had only one task: to reach the finish in Den Helder on Sunday 3rd of October before 21:37. Sounds like more than enough time considering that it is 220 km run.
We had light rain and some wind – but nothing too horrible. After a few hours the sky became clear and we had great running conditions. Within the first marathon the haven and boulevard of Scheveningen was probably the highlight of the night. Always amazing to enter civilization after hours of dark and calm nature. We made quite good progress and our first 15 min break around km 50 because we were quite tired. But sun was near.
The First Day:
Around km 50 the Dunes became more and more serious. The track does not alway uses existing patches – as with every great adventure: you need to walk your own path if you want to succeed. The sun was rising revealing the surrounding – and no kidding: we were amazed. What a beautiful coast. Km 50-99 cover a variety of different Dune areas – all of them different – all of them beautiful. Sometimes Savanna-like (a wide grassland full of animals) sometimes Sahara-like (sand) and sometimes covered with dwarfs (don’t ask). We had a blast. Not too fresh anymore, not fast but we had good weather and moments of pure unity with nature. We even stopped for the second 15 min break to take a nap in the sun. A dear was lying 5 meters away from us and stayed there as if he wanted to protect (or control) the sleepy Germans.
At the end of this stretch the next most welcomed surprise was waiting for us. Maarten and his car with some supply.
The news of us travelling along the coast was squeezed through the secret channels of the internet (we know we have to thank Maarten for a lot of work behind the scenes) and we were closely watched and supported by an amazing Dutch long distance running family. Maarten met us a second time at around km 103 – sending us on our last part to our car. He even found the time to shoot an amazing drone video:
The Second Night:
We reached the car at km 120 in the dark and in more and more intense rain. Long distance running reality hit us hard. All wet and freezing – changing clothes – repacking backs – trying to dry the feet a bit – eat something – finally a sleep in the warm car. The moment the alarm clock rang was so absurd. Kind of warm and dry sitting in a car looking into what was now clearly more than light rain and wind… In these moments: if you have any doubts don’t speak about it. We both were thinking the same about what would be reasonable to do but consequently did the opposite of it. I think we can agree that we do not want to speak about that second night. Luckily we managed to move a little, luckily the hardest rain and wind stopped after a few hours, luckily we were wise and brave enough to split up (after all these years of running we did this the first time) and luckily even the darkest and wettest night has to end. Even in the hardest moments with your best friend you have to stay rational and make wise decisions. Both of us were fighting different battles – and we did this alone. Pushed by the hope that it would be beneficial for a united finish. At the end of the night we were joined by Addie and Margret and had another section of great support. Can’t thank you enough!
The Second Day:
The first daylight of day 2 revealed the Dunes around Schoorl. A nice hit in the face. And, even more horrible, the last 9 km of real Dunes down to the beach. Exhausted, hopelessness, slightly unconscious and zombie-walking through the endless hills. It. Must. End. So pissed about the Dunes at that moment. But finally – the Beach – and another family member: Francois. Three figures shuffling on the beach. Absurd feeling. Would this endless beach really bring us to Den Helder? Still 38 km to go – long hours of „running“ ahead. But we were still in, we had support and we had hope. We met Francois´ car at km 191 and 204 – great to have something to hold on. It felt like no progress at all sometimes but slowly we were approaching.
We left the beach 12km before the finish line. From now on it would be cycling/walking paths through mild Dunes followed by the last long grass part on the dike of Den Helder. Completely exhausted the final relief was slowly approaching. We would really do it. Together with this certainty the sun was back. Some unforgettable km up there in North Holland. Painful but happy moments.
The FB call from our running family was the ultimate sign – we did it. And off course we were not alone – Francois came with beer. I mean: how great was that.
225,66 km; 45:35h; 2600D+; 50% TS
Maarten, Addie, Margret, Francois, Stefan, all members of the TS group – one for all, all for one! Fantastic long distance family!
Back in 2015 we created a track inspired by the group run „Rund um Aachen“. We thought: the concept is nice but why not extend the loop a bit to include some of the more „interesting“ parts of the areas.
In 2015 we did not find the time and the endurance to actually run the whole loop. We did the first and the second half and even DNFed the second half because we knew that the last 14k are somewhat traily and difficult. This has been finally corrected. It was amazing to run a 6 year old GPX, share old memories of the parts, acknowledge the fact that if would create it these days it would be totally different. Lots of surprises – lots of throw-backs. All in all the track is very diverse and includes all available surroundings. Mens-high thornes, nettles and grass, traily trails (we saw some parts of mAMa) and some parts where running is possible as well. The weather played its part nicely as well and flooded us especially in the second half regulary (which did not improve the trail conditions).
It was good to be out there again – we enjoyed the views!
Zum anstehenden Wochenende eine kurze Tour – dieses Mal der Hauptwanderweg 8 des Eifelvereins: der Hüttenweg. 40 km von Lucherberg nach Breinig. Von Aachen aus ist das sehr einfach abzuhaken: für 3 Stationen in den Zug nach Langerwehe und nach einer 3 km Anreise beginnt schon der Hauptwanderweg.
Wir werden diesen westlichsten Nord-Süd-Hauptwanderweg als dunkel und windig in Erinnerung behalten. Der Indemann und das Braunkohlekraftwerk Weisweiler prägen 2/3 des Weges – passend zur Geschichte der Region und zur Geschichte dieses Hauptwanderweges. Die Strecke ist nicht allzu anspruchsvoll und hat wenige Höhenmeter. Damit eignet es sich bestens für eine kurze Tour gerade auch wegen der guten Anbindung.
Jeder kennt das – man kommt mit dem Zug irgendwo an und ist sich nicht sicher warum genau man aufgebrochen ist und, noch viel schlimmer, wie man wieder zurück kommen soll. Da bleibt dann nur noch eins: einfach loslaufen. Gesagt, getan. Am Freitag den 26.02.2021 um kurz vor 22 Uhr sind wir am HBF in Bonn aufgebrochen um nach Haus zu laufen und ins Wochenende starten zu können. Ein entspannendes und ruhiges Wochenende ist immer eine gute Sache.
Es zeigte sich: dieser quasi „Feierabendweg“ ist durchaus schon seit längerem bekannt und in Benutzung. Naja – zumindest ist er in Anlehnung an einen historischen Vorgang benannt: der Krönungsweg. Hauptwanderweg 10 aka. der nördlichste Ost-West-Weg des Eifelvereins.
Über den gesamten Verlauf stets gut beschildert wäre dieser Weg im ersten Drittel vielleicht noch für historische Kutschen geeignet gewesen (eher flach, breitere teils asphaltierte Wege und eher urban), zeigt jedoch ab dem zweiten Drittel langsam aber sicher das wunderschöne aber doch fordernde Gesicht der Nordeifel. Insgesamt eine abwechslungsreiche Tour die meist gut zu laufen ist und nur einen kleinen Trail-Anteil enthält.
Nach einer sehr müden und als sehr kalt empfundenen Nacht hatten wir das Glück ab dem Morgen und ca. der Hälfte der insgesamt 140 km Stefan Vilvo mit seinem zum VP umgebauten Auto begrüßen zu dürfen. Mit diesem Support auf der gesamten zweiten Laufhälfte konnte dann nichts mehr schief gehen. Wir mussten uns nur noch auf eine Sache konzentrieren: in Bewegung bleiben. Tausend Dank Stefan!
Wo Stefan ist – ist seine Kamera nicht weit. Besten Dank für eine tolle Ausgabe Eifelimpressionen. Wenn da nur nicht ständig diese zwei Typen durch die Landschaft schleichen würden…
„Der „Krönungsweg“ ist der nördlichste Ost-West-Weg des Eifelvereins und ist in Anlehnung an den Weg der deutschen Könige zu ihrer Krönung in Aachen benannt. Er führt auf zehn Etappen vom Bonner Hauptbahnhof zur Kaiserstadt Aachen. Durch das Stadtgebiet Mechernich führt der Weg über insgesamt 24 Kilometer am Billiger Wald entlang, vorbei an Burg Zievel und Burg Satzvey zur 1000jährigen Eiche in Burgfey, durch den historischen Ortskern von Kommern, entlang an den Ufern des Mühlensees und des Bleibaches, über Hostel und Bleibuir bis zur Nationalparkgrenze bei Voißel.“ Quelle