„What’s your goal for this race?“ asked our supporter one week before the race. As a team of four we had different answers but more or less we were saying: we are there to have fun. Each one of us had his seasonal goals a few weeks ago or in short reach. But I remember that Barbara was giving a different answer, let’s say something like „If there is a chance to take, we will take it.“ This sentence is a summary of what happened during the 34 hours we were out to ride the Tortour as a team of four.
This years adventure number three after Ireland and Swissman had to be something absolutely new and challenging. And I can tell you in advance, the Engadin Swimrun was and still is both. I would call it a lucky bag or in our case a grab bag. We didn’t knew what’s in it. And to be honest: on the evening before the race we were not sure about opening it. It was raining the whole week, the days were cold and the temperature out in the lakes freezing. Written on a paper this challenge was only 45K of running and 6K of swimming. But racing it was so much different than just saying: we are tough guys, ladies.
The 21st of June is the longest day in the northern hemisphere and last saturday was for sure my longest day since therace.ie in April. It all started the day before with registration, planning, checking the route and packing the car together with my supporter Frank.
Speechles and exhausted I was pushing my body over the finish line. There were not a lot of situations when I had to cry. This was one of them. When I was calling my wife right after the finish I wasn’t able to talk, just happy to hear her voice. It was by far the most emotional finish ever after unpredictable 22 hours 36 minutes and 46 seconds. The overall transition time was 2 hours and 27 minutes – good invested time. Here is the story.
After the greatest four racing days in my life, I decided to step out of the Racing the Planet Iceland race at the end of day 4 after 176km for 2 main reasons. First, I couldn‘t recover anymore in the short night time (coming in later means also less sleep!) and under the conditions given (too cold for my painful back and neck) and second, my knees started to pain and swell on as i started to walk instead of running – which i didn’t train at all. But in the start, my physical constitution was almost perfect and my decisions taken on material and food were right. So, what happened? Here‘s my personal analysis about why this island and this racing format gave me a lot of trouble. It was some kind of a chain reaction.
Working me back from past to present here are some facts about our fun ride “the longest day” over a distance of approx. 333km across mostly sunny and beautiful Switzerland. The beer and the veal sausage at the end of the ride were well-deserved. Thanks to all the great guys for the teamwork in the wind.
It will take another few days or even weeks to understand what happened up there at the North Pole racing this marathon. And I feel like my body is still working on that even half a week after. Both knees looked bad and the left one reminds me more on a punching ball than anything else. Even days after i felt those tiny small muscles in my legs I didn‘t even know that they exist. You might know these stories about „that was the hardest I‘ve ever done“ and so on. The only thing I can say about this adventure is that I was running, walking, falling and standing up 334 minutes out there at -30°C or even less, on ice and snow. All of that in a place that doesn‘t exist on any map, a piece of ice looking like a white desert with an unbelievable beauty. When we were pushing along those never-ending fields of small ice mountains it was like running on an endless place. Each of us alone, fighting with his own demons trying to catch up with those running out there in front of us.