Comfort zone is defined as an area/status in private/social life which is characterized as to be comfort and risk-free to the fullest. Or to say it with the words of Brené Brown:
„Where our uncertainty, scarcity and vulnerability are minimized — where we believe we’ll have access to enough love, food, talent, time, admiration. Where we feel we have some control. […]“ https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Komfortzone
In general leaving this comfort zone is considered to be a positive thing. It means one is ready to risk something, ready to invest some effort and to endure a certain amount of discomfort to get things done or to reach a goal.
But is this the only perspective? Is that all?
Once the comfort zone is left – does this mean comfort is beyond reach until you return from your journey? What if you fought through uncertainty, scarcity and vulnerability on this journey and suddenly realize that you found comfort again although you are as far away from the „comfort zone“ as humanly possible?
It may not be comfort in the classical definition. You may not have access to enough love but if you planned wisely you should have access to food; you certainly used a decent amount of time and a little bit of talent to reach that status. In addition to these attributes you may be blessed with fellow travellers on the very same journey which gives you access to company, friendship and – yes – comfort. Whether or not these situations can be considered as to be „under control“ is worth a different discussion.
But it is indeed a kind of comfort. Comfort plus maybe. Something you feel home in. Moments of honest, fullest and deepest acceptance of everything there may be. Because the circumstances do not matter anymore as you finally fully merge with the situation – no matter what it may be.
If you go for a run and come back with some nice memories… All is well.
What has been a failure last year, came to a happy end this year. KATE180 finally saw her first finishers. A group of 9 runners started off and 8 returned with finishing times between 36 and 45 hours.
The concept of KATE180 was to combine the beautiful and yet challenging area around the Rursee with some well-known tracks in the Hautes Fagnes area and connect both of these areas through nice trails to Aachen – to form a 205 km loop. The little downside of this concept and the actual trails behind is, that the distance of a Marathon on them is already exhausting enough. The second little challenge of running the combination in the proposed direction is, that the difficulty slightly increases by time. The longer you are on your feet the more draining the course gets.
The feedback on the track was satisfying – made for a special type of adventurers it really delivered what was needed for a memorable time out there. Most of the runners had to leave their comfort zone to reach the finish line – and appreciated it.
Luckily a support team consisting of Stefan Vilvo (car support from km 40 to km 100), Inga (car support at km 130) and Rainer (car support at km 162) helped the runners to stay in and fuelled. All runners have been extremely thankful for this amazing support! It has to be noted that the first group of runners (3 of the pack decided to actually run) did not benefit from this amazing support as they have been, well, too fast.
With the finish of KATE180 3 runners of the group also finished the Titanic Slam (finish 4 tracks between Halloween 2020 and Silvester 2021). The rest of the Slam attendees have one or more finishes left with two month time left to complete this little challenge.
„And for some people, just to get back to camp alive is all they want in the world.“ Laz
Long story short – no finishers at KATE180 2020 „Corona-Edition“. We tried it and we failed. To not be able to finish a run you invented yourself is horrible and yet a bit satisfying.
In the last years we strived quite a lot through the KATE180 area. To finally combine it electronically was an extreme pleasure, to find out how it feels in real life was an eye-opener. The track offers a wide variety of different sceneries and undergrounds and a nice mixture of runnable parts and „are you kidding me?“ parts. Comforted by the DNF experience the track should be run in the direction we tried it. With Hautes Fagnes around 130k in. It is so beautiful up there and it looks like I used an almost non-existing trail up there to be part of the track. Water everywhere, mere traces of a trail, completely overgrown. The later in the run the better these parts feel.
Our reasons of failure have been diverse and do not matter. Either you are able to do it or you are not. Sometimes KATE180 has to win too.
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.