Monday, 20 March 2006

Finally put in a long run - 33 days to go

week's balance scheduled: 62K (39m) / done: 59K (37m)

At last I managed to put the first proper long run in the box. It is sort of a shame that I had to use the famous Syltlauf as a training workout. The Syltlauf is a traditional race of 33.3K (21m) along the most northern German island, called Sylt, from its southern tip all the way to the north end. On the way you run along the prom of the main town, then it is a long trot through a outstanding beautiful countryside, a small stretch of dunes with the North Sea to left and right.

Most regard the race as outstanding difficult. But it is not the route profile what makes it different. The main obstacle is the weather. Temperatures and wind can increase the fun noticeably. This time it was mostly friendly. The wind came mainly from the left, in the more strenuous part it even helped from the back, and only on short stretches we had the wind right from the front (then it worked as a real brake). And the day was not too warm, 2-4° celsius (around 37F).

On the final stage through dunes country

Together with fellow runner Rolf I started cautiously according to the time target of 3 hrs 15 minutes which is an average speed of nearly 6min/K (9:15min/mile). Already after half an hour my foot send some painful signals, suddenly and sharp. This happened twice or three times later again, luckily always it disappeared after a few minutes completely and didn't come back after the race. The foot still worries me, but as long as it allows a race like today I am confident to be able to finish the London Marathon, too.

Before half way Rolf disappeared for a pit stop and I only met him again behind the finish line. After two thirds of the race I still felt strong and started to make my way forward. During the final 10K I estimated a positive overtaking rate of 100:0. To do so I only needed to keep the pace resp. a slight speedup. At last I finished after 3 hrs 02 mins and placed just within the first half of the pack (245th of 563 men, 41st of 85 M50s).

looking much more relaxed than last Sunday

This year saw the 25th occurrence of the Syltlauf. It is extremly popular and the 800 limited numbers are always sold out 10 months in advance. Now it is in great danger to be abandoned because several volunteers - 25 years older now - are tired of the work. But there is still hope that new helpful people will step in and keep this great race going. The decision is to be announced for May.

There will also take place a nice fun run on the island on Wednesday which I certainly do join. Report to be found here.

Happy running

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