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Running the Sauerland Höhenflug trail half marathon

On 14th June, we (that is, Terry, Ole and yours truly) ran the Sauerland Höhenflug trailrun half marathon! It spans 21,1 km with 540 m in elevation gain and 540 m in loss in the beautiful Sauerland. What a magnificent race!

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Yours truly during the race; I think the on-course photographer did a great job!

The course consists of about 8 km epic single trails (the same 4 km run both at the start and on the way back) and 13 km broader forest ways. In June, some of the single trail is partly overgrown by long swaying grasses and prettily framed with broom (probably Genista scoparia) in full bloom. There is many a great scenic view along the trail, varied landscapes surrounding the trail and a few crisp inclines and downhills; albeit without those being too technical and steep at the same time.

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Race day was a waaarm sunshiny day
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Super downward sloping meadows (aka pretty assholes as far as running them goes) (taken by Terry)

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Thankfully this photo looks more graceful than the actual running probably did (taken by Terry)

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On towards the finiiish!

Despite all the beauty of nature around, I had a hard time during the race. This was primarily because we three had been so busy renovating and moving together in Münster the past weeks that we did not even get one little run squeezed in, so we came to the race hyper untrained and unprepared. Consequently, I felt real sluggish and warm.  It did not help that many folks around me were of this typically German older running population that has been running casually but consistently for at least a decade, easily overtaking me like WOOSH. Usually I am happy for those people, but that day they just made me feel like a slow noob. I guess that is its own kind of humbling experience.

But I finished nonetheless, I saw a lot of beauty, and I lapped everyone on the couch, you know the saying 🙂

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Wooooo! (Thanks to Ole for sort-of-solo-cheering for me at the finish line, it was really good to see your face!)

The race organisation was really good, the course was well-marked, and I love when races have a photographer hired for taking pictures of the runners free of charge (aka included in the entry fee but distributed across all runners). While we’re at this topic, I want to mention how much I liked the sponges they had at some aid stations. Nothing like squeezing some liquid goodness on hot skin during a race, no?!

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Yeah, I liked the sponge enough to carry it all the way to the finish to proudly wave into people’s faces

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… good race organisation leads to a happy-faced finisher-snap shot Ole

As a bonus, here’s me stuffing my face with post-race yummy goodness:

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I’m fairly sure this orange slice was my happiest moment this entire summer

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Eat all the fruits I can get

The route of the Sauerland Höhenflug is great even in winter, for there are more numerous and broader views around the landscape viewable from the bare ridges. And I think there are few things as beautiful as the delicate hoarfrost covering the plants and grasses along the singletrail parts on cold sunny days… But this is for another day and blog post!

Anaga Mountain Range – To Bathe in Beauty

Anaga Mountains
Anaga Mountains on Tenerife and my favourite picture

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The Chamorga Round on my Movescount

Our first adventure on Tenerife was a round way starting from the mountain town of Chamorga, over the pass of the Casas de Tafada, passing the light house down near the coast, going the optional way down to the ocean through the little abandoned town of Roque Bermejo and then back up through the corresponding canyon Barranco Roque Bermejo all the way until Chamorga.

The way the trail started off going up a ways into the mountain is perhaps the most beautiful trail beginning I have run so far.  Continue reading Anaga Mountain Range – To Bathe in Beauty

Hail!

Nothing quite as fun as breaking in a new pair of trail shoes in the woods during a surprise hailstorm.

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before & after

I’d been working on a thesis all day and the skies had been overcast, so when the sun broke through all of a sudden and the sky was all clear blue optimism, I did not hesitate. I put on my new lovely then-shiny Salomon Sense Pros with new foot orthotics, grabbed the Salomon Park Hydro Handheld with a few things and headed out to the nearby woods for a run.

Continue reading Hail!