If you asked me what the tastiest dish was I have ever been served, I would answer: “A roll with jam in Smerek food station, at the kilometer 56 of the Butcher’s Race.” Read the rest of this entry »
“Somebody behind me is gasping wheezily. The branches are beating my calves and face, the stones splattering from under my shoes. I hear the voice of tens of feet. Around me the woods and the darkness. High in the beech branches, the flashing moon.
I stumble – hands forwards, face up. Falling down for a moment, the jump to my feet immediately, for I hear a scurry of feet behind me. How many are they? I don’t know. I dash to escape them. It is too narrow to look back. The light of the headlamp barely diffuses through the dusk.
Faster, faster. You can’t stop now. Ahead still 70 kilometers to run.” Read the rest of this entry »
I have been planning to compete in the Spartan Race for some time. It is kind of an obstacle run with many walls to be jumped over, many hills, ropes and rope ladders to be climbed, ditches and rivers to be crossed and other more and less treacherous obstructions to be overcome. After running several ultra marathons I felt I needed another challenge, which would make it necessary for me to do more strength workout instead of losing more and more muscle substance with long distance running only. After some time of “getting used to the idea”, the choice fell on the Spartan Race in Spain, Saint Augustin near Madrid.
I have to confess: I wasn’t prepared nearly as good as I was for my ultra marathons in the past. Due to numerous (mainly health related) problems in the preceding period, I actually wasn’t able to do any of the needed strength workout and I only sporadically could do running training. You can see it in my “curves” on the video below. Maybe I didn’t take the competition too seriously, since it definitely looked less serious to me than any of my ultra marathons, although some of the participants told me completing Spartan Race was the greatest achievement of their lives.
The moment of truth came in May 2016. The fate made me a surprise in order to toughen it up a little bit. Read the rest of this entry »
If somebody had told me 3 years ago I would become an ultra marathon runner, I would have declared them insane. Fact is, now, 3 years later, I have run 4 ultra marathons, one in the mountains and 3 in the hottest deserts on earth. Sometimes I wonder how it is possible. How was it possible for me to come so far? How did it all happen? And it happened as follows…
I wonder how this article inspired you. Share your impressions, remarks, conclusions with me and other readers in the comments below. I will also happily answer your questions.
The depths of the night conquer the desert. I am running in total solitude through the vastness of the Sahara. Above me the starry sky and below absolute darkness. Kilometers in front of me and kilometers behind me not a living soul. I don’t see or hear anybody and only the little reflecting flags arranged every 50 meters mark the track in the light of my head lamp. If just one of them turns over or the battery runs out, I will be lost.
The agony starts at 32km. The burning sun of Sahara has sucked all the energy out of me. The feet go numb at every step. The renewed knee injury causes sharp pain and considerably limits it’s mobility, which makes further running like putting a quart into a pint pot. What can I do? 80km more to run in this state? Impossible! Sheer desperation. It’s over. Hundreds of hours of training. Was all this hustle for nothing? Read the rest of this entry »