Tour name: 100-km-run of Biel
Degree of difficulty: diffilcult
Tour length: 103 km
Total elevation: 544 m ascent and 544 m descent
Highest point: 568 m
GPS: route and track as GPX
So it finally happened… I have been bothering my surroundings for the last 3 years. “I really want to run this one of the world’s hardest ultramarathon of 100 km in Biel.” The reactions were varied, but usually more like:
I was looking for new goals after my tumor operation. One of these goals was this one. For a long time, I thought it would be impossible. Tests, new tumors… somehow something always came in between. But not this time!
Since November 2017 I have been running a total of 1700 km. During the long runs over the weekend over 25 km, I had cycling guides to provide me with bananas, drinks, and entertainment. After the intensive preparation phase, together with my cycling companion Tom we finally drove to Switzerland. I packed a small emergency package with various plasters, tape, Isogel, and Allgäu mountain pine extra strong – just in case.
The next day we spent at the lake and used the last hours to the start to recharge your batteries and relax and enjoy the sun. Later at 9 pm Tom gathered with the other cyclists on the track at km 21.
It is 10 pm and the run started! Together with 1999 other 100 km runners, I was surrounded of euphoric people along the streets. The first few kilometers were almost like a party. My iPod played songs of the Foo Fighters. After 6 km the track became slightly uphill the first time. I remembered the expert’s advice to just walk with increasing altitude on such distances – to save energy. So far so good. The view of the city of Biel at night was fantastic! Unfortunately, it started to rain. But well, what can you do except just continuing. Hours passed, it is 1 am now. I crossed the finish line of the half-marathon and saw Tom awake at the track. Finally, I was not alone anymore. Tom was able to entertain me and distract me from the growing tiredness. Mountain after mountain, kilometer after kilometer, hour after hour. In between, I called my sweetheart, who kept awake all night. That gave me new strength.
But somehow it just did not get dawn… At 4 o’clock suddenly a high hit me. It went uphill and I did not mind anymore. I used the energetically positive situation to catch up and leave my followers behind. Since this condition would probably not last forever, I tried to run as many meters as possible. A short time later, my guesses confirmed… The low caught up with me. The tiredness overcame me so the ground sometimes just blurred. In the meantime, dawn arrived and it became very humid. Along a river we walked over a narrow, stony and slippery path. I fell asleep while running. My whole body collapsed for a moment but luckily I did not fell. On the approximately 15 km long dam, no cyclists were allowed. So no distraction here. It felt absolutely terrible and my left foot started hurting. I never thought it’s possible to feel so miserable during a movement under fresh air or fall asleep while running. When I met Tom again, I looked clearly destroyed and I also felt that way. At the track, many people started cheering at us again to keep us motivated. When I arrived at the meals point, I quickly got me a Ibuprofen to stop the pain in my left foot. After I was able to drink water, tea, cola and eat a banana and savory biscuits, my mood rose again.
My good mood lasted until km 91. Because now the sun showed its intense side. Despite a towel covering my head, I got an incredible sunburn. At km 93, also my Ibuprofen stopped working and I began to feel the pain in my foot again. The goal was not reached yet and it seemed my physical conditions wanted to keep me away from it. But I kept walking, even though in tears. The motivational buttons of my loved one, the shoulder claps of Tom, as well as the Ibuprofen of the catering staff finally helped me to arrive at the finish line.
I am ranked 6 of 36 in my age group and with the overall placement 123 of 1200 VERY PRIDE at me. I still can not believe it.
After many great conversations, I looked forward to something to eat and a load of sleep, but somehow both did not worked out as expected. When eating I was feeling sick and at bedtime I was alternately shivering, hot flashes and pain. My body first had to process the strain of this immense run. After two days of recovery, I felt better.
What did I learn from this experience? Limits are put just from yourself. I mastered the ultramarathon, although I doubted in the first place and at the beginning, nobody believed it. It is always worthwhile fighting for yourself – always!
Tip: If you are looking for more information about the event just have a look here!