2016 in review

A few years ago I started running as a way to stay in shape for trekking and hiking. In 2016 I started running for its own sake (it's also the year in which I realised it's not the inexpensive hobby I was always told it is). I don't have a certain distance in mind as a final goal, but being out in nature all day, able to keep going, just feels so incredibly liberating that I want to go farther every time (seriously, try it).

After a nice run in the woods in Limburg, my running year 2016 started with noting down a very professional planning to get me to Crêtes de Spa 55k, which would become my first ultra. I did a preparation race at Polar Bear Trail and Meerdaalwoud, hoping I would have similar conditions as at Crêtes de Spa. Of course, these preparation races where knee deep mud, whereas CdS had plenty of snow. So my first lesson in ultra became a plan can be thrown out the moment the race starts.

In July, I spent a month in Norway. First I went to the Lyngen Alps for a very remote and challenging solo trek. From Lyngen, I went back to Tromsø, where I joined in the awesome Tromsø Sky Race. From there I went south to Reinheimen and Sunnmøre for two more weeks of hiking. Time well spent!

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Coming home after Norway, I started building up the distance in running, as the challenge in going further appeals to me a lot more than going faster. After Trail des Hautes Fagnes (6eur for 36k, drinks included) and Trail du Barrage in September, I participated in Lommel Trail, Marathon Kasterlee and Olne-Spa-Olne in three weeks. This proved to be quite the challenge, having only 6 days in between and twice going farther than before. To end the year, I joined the Bello Gallico 50 miler, organised by (highly recommended) legendstrails.com, a very welcoming community I hope to meet again soon. Although the route was mainly during the night so there wasn't much to see, it was a beautiful race.