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263  Datum: 24-10-2005 20:04:23
Jurgen Ankenbrand ( Ankenbrand@aol.com / http://www.photographybyjurgen.com ) schrieb:

Deutschland-Lauf 2005

Race Summary and caption

What is this event about?
The 2005 Deutschland Lauf was the brainchild of race director Ingo Schulze who had run this event solo several years ago on his own and directed it once in 1998.

Where does it take place?
The idea was to across Germany at it’s longest distance from the northern most point at Kap Arkona on the island of Ruegen to the Southern most point in the small Baden Wuertemberg town of Loerrach, near the Swiss border. The route would go mostly through small towns and villages avoiding the heavier traffic areas as much as possible. Once the route was set a department of traffic for the entire country had to approve all routing, possibly making small changes due to changed traffic conditions such as road closures or constructions. The entire route was to be about 1,200 km or roughly 750 or so miles. Once this was done Ingo would drive the entire distance by car speaking into his tape recorder, noting distances and reference points for the later to be developed daily routing schedules.

Who has the time, energy and patience to organize such an event?
Ingo Schulze has successfully organized other long-distance running events, notably the 2003 Trans Europe Foot Race from Lisbon to Moscow, a distance of 5,100 kilometers over 64 days. The Spree Lauf is another event he has hosted several times, a seven day run through Northern Germany, which is very popular.
In addition Ingo is an accomplished ultra runner in his own rights and understands runners needs.

Why have such an extreme run?
Currently the Trans Goal run in France is the only longer multi-day running event in Europe and Ingo wanted to offer one in his home country of Germany and revived the DL across Germany run for 2005 after hosting it once in 1998. The initial limit of planed participants of 50 was quickly reached and more and more applications rolled in so that the eventual starting roster had 68 starters from nine countries including two runners from Colorado, USA.

Why would any one want to run 1,200 kilometers in 17 days?
This is the 64-million dollar question, which is always asked by “regular” people who have a difficult time understanding that any one can do it, let alone would want to do it.

The simple answer in a nutshell is this:
It’s there and some runners think they can do it. It’s the ultimate challenge for an ultra runner (an ultra run is any distance longer than the “normal” marathon distance of 42 kilometers or 26.2 miles. This may not sound too logical but this is the answer in a nutshell.
Ever wondered how the marathon became to be 26.2 miles, a rather odd number? At one time it used to be an even 25 miles, run in England. The event ended short of the queen’s residence and she could not see the finish. She asked that the distance be changed so the finish was where she could observe the event from her balcony and here we have 26.2 miles ever since. When you are a queen almost anything is possible.




Organization:
Needless to say, to get seventy runners, about 15 to 20 volunteers at any given time and a column of around ten vehicles all the way across Germany, a 1,200-kilometer distance, is no small feat and requires very detailed planning. It took well over one year of preparation including driving the entire distance by car. Having a full time job at Mercedes Benz meant that Ingo spent much of his vacation and free time working on this project.

Logistical considerations:
1. Sponsors for financial support:
The entry fee of Euro 60 per day per runner does not cover all expenses and without some financial and other support such an event could not take place.
2. Route to prepare daily schedule:
Once the route had been established and permits from the proper authorities were secured Ingo drove the distance and set the daily route schedule.
3. Support vehicles to carry crews and supplies to the aid stations:
Volunteers had to bring to the aid stations and the baggage had to be brought to the new quarters every day requiring a large van.
4. Volunteers, since no running event can take place without them:
As all runners should know, no running event can take place without volunteers.
Those are the selfless soles that offer freely of their time, standing often hours at
aid stations waiting for runners to have food and beverages served to them. The
average daily stage was about 60 kilometers and often the time between the 1st and
last runners coming through an aid station could be as long as four hours, a long
wait indeed. especially in inclement weather.
5. Route marker to plaster 1,000s of bright orange stickers with large black arrows
on sign posts or whatever surface they would stick to, so runners and drivers
would know where to go. Could stickers not be used, white chalk marks and
arrows did the job and once in the dark up the Feld Berg, hot-pink spray paint did
the job guiding the runners until daylight.
6. Food buyers to purchase daily supplies for meals and aid stations.
Not always an easy task supplying between five to eight aid stations and food for breakfast and dinner a few times. Generally no special food order requests were taken, with almost 100 people, a virtual impossibility.
7. Daily quarters in gyms, our quarters for each night.
On a scouting trip, Ingo tried to secure sport halls along the way and get commitments ahead of time, for us to stay whenever possible.
8. Traffic permits in highly bureaucratic Germany entail a very lengthy process
taking several month at best. Then the fine-tuning of the route can take place.
9. Runners entry fee, the financial basis to support the event.
Rarely does an entry fee cover expenses, especially by such a large and longer event. Hence sponsors are a necessary part of the financial picture.
10. Policies, rules and regulations, without them chaos would ensue.
These are by no means all considerations but the mayor points to give the reader
an idea of the complexity to organize such a multi-day event across an entire
country.




12. Group dynamics
Having close to 100 people at the beginning at close quarters in sometimes very crowded conditions isn’t easy and can create frictions due to personalities. Fortunately this happened very little and the entire team worked as a unit and few incidents happened.
13. Food, always a very important part of any athlete, was very important here. Several evening meals were taken in restaurants and several were catered. Breakfast was usually served and eaten in the hall were we slept.
14. Quarters were exclusively in gyms.
Sleeping on a wooden floor with your inflatable mat is something you have to get used to,
but it’s not bad especially when very tired.
15. Weather can either make or break an event.
To say we were fortunate is understatement. Out of 17 days we had one full days of rain, one very windy day, a couple of partly cloudy days and the rest were sunny. This made the entire event so much easier as moral was high and all looks better with sunshine.

Trans Europe Foot Race comparison. Those six runners who also ran the Trans Europe event, naturally made some comparisons. Four of these six finished and also were under the top-ten place finishers. One thing is for sure, all were glad the DL-2005 run was only 17 days long. Some of the runners had little or no multi-day running experience but did surprisingly well.

Final analysis
The event was very well organized and all seemed to run pretty smooth, at least viewed from the participant’s vantage point. The DL-2005 was a full success and it’s already for sure that there will be a 2006 edition, as there are already several runners signed up for it.

It’s impossible to please every one all the time, especially when things get tight, runners get injured, tired and even may be thinking of quitting. Based on this I have to say, all went very well and no serious problems happened.

As the official photographer with the freedom of driving a runner’s car every day, I was in a very enviable position. Several days I either had one aid station or helped at one. For at least halve the time I was free to follow the runners from the start, following on their heels as they basically led the way for me. On a few occasions I was able to time the runner’s location with an incredible sunrise, which made for some great images which must be created and require planning, enthusiasm and often much waiting and walking. Was it worth it? Absolutely

The day I returned to the US, Jesper Olsen the Danish world runner also arrived in NY finishing his US leg of his world journey. I met him early Thursday morning together with several other local runners as he ran from the South Ferry to the UN building, officially ending his US running leg. He mentioned that I was the very first runner to accompany him on his US journey and now I also became the very last one to do so, something I am very proud of.

All this gave me certainly something to think about as a matter of comparison. The runners who just finished a 17-day run across Germany certainly had displayed much courage and accomplished a great feat. But now seeing Jesper nearing his ultimate goal of circumventing the world, the Germany run sort of paled against Jesper’s effort of running for a year and ten month consecutive days of an average of between 30 to50 kilometers day in and day out, no matter what the circumstances.

Any one wanting more info or photos on either event for personal or commercial use can send me an e-mail at Ankenbrand@aol.com,

Jurgen Ankenbrand, the Ultra Kraut


262  Datum: 24-10-2005 20:03:09
Jurgen Ankenbrand ( Ankenbrand@aol.com / http://www.photographybyjurgen.com ) schrieb:

Running 155 kilometers in under 40 hours around Mont Blanc
Europe’s highest mountain.

Written by Jurgen Ankenbrand. Published writer & photographer
e-mail: Ankenbrand@aol.com - web-site: www.photographybyjurgen.com

Word count 2,070

For most people, to run a marathon at 26.2 miles, seems the ultimate challenge. Yet there are runners out there that seek more challenging running events, pushing the perceived limits further and further. I ran my first marathon at the age of 47, completed over 125 Ultra running events on seven continents (an ultra is any distance over the 26.2 miles) and now at almost 65 years, am in better shape than many people halve my age.

On the way to Germany to cover a 17-day long distance running event as the official photojournalist, I thought I would give the Mont Blanc 155 kilometer trail run a try. This run is
on a par with the toughest US trail run the infamous “Hard-Rock” 100 mile trail run in Colorado. Mindful of the famous words of actor Clint Eastwood ”a man got to know his limitations”, I had no illusions of finishing the entire event within the described 40 hour time limit.

Chamonix in Southern France is a well-known ski resort, with Mont Blanc literally at its back door. Being prepared means you read the course description, accounts of last years race, possibly talk to a previous participant for suggestions and carefully preparing your equipment. This includes proper clothing for any weather such as rain, heat and snow, plus first aid items to fix potential blisters and other running related ailments.

The start of the race is at seven PM and the time limit to complete the entire course is 40 hours. That means if you run the entire race and use most of the allotted time, you are on the course for two nights and almost two full days and need to plan accordingly.

Aid stations (you get basic snack foods and an array of drinks) are at an average of between five to eight miles apart, requiring you to carry at least one water bottle and a few snacks. The total elevation gain and drop are about 14.975 meters or close to 45.000 feet over close to 100 miles, a serious consideration for potential altitude sickness.

The race starts in down town Chamonix on Friday at seven PM amidst thousands of spectators, crowding a very picturesque plaza in front of a church. How many runners take part? An astonishing 2,000 runners in 2005 from several countries, something that really blew me away.

What’s amazing is the fact that it takes about 635 volunteers to staff the trail and aid stations passing through three countries which are France, Italy and Switzerland. An organizational masterpiece indeed covering every thing from the start to trail markings, food and transportation.

The first few kilometers lead through relative even terrain, through a small forest and a few smaller villages at the outskirts of Chamonix. Around seven thirty we were treated to an unbelievable sunset where the mountain tops looked like they were on fire. As an avid photographer, naturally I had to stop to take a few shots, while several hundred runners passed me.



Halve an hour later came the first real climb over a distance of 10.9 km or about 7.5 miles you climbed 760 meters or about 2.300 feet and went downhill about 485 meters or about 1,400 very steep feet. Although I am a good fast uphill walker, soon I started to huff and puff. At around eight-thirty I arrived at the top and the second aid station where they served hot chicken soup, snacks and drinks.

I knew I was one of the last runners to come through here but was not too concerned at this point since I felt great and every thing was okay. The very steep down hill section was slippery, strewn with rocks of various sizes and seemed somewhat dangerous to me. After taking several near falls and actual falls, I realized the potential danger of serious injuries in the dark and decided to only walk down hill. Getting closer to the bottom, I lost the trail markings several times, consisting of colorful fluorescent plastic ribbons, wasting valuable time.

Arriving at a road in a small village I was totally lost, although I knew I was close to an aid station which was supposed to be right on the side of the road. After fifteen minutes of walking I arrived at the aid station where I was informed that I had missed the time limit by about ten minutes and I was officially out of the race.

By that time it was about one thirty AM, a mere seven and a halve hours after the start of the run.
With nothing else to do, I ate and drank and waited for almost an hour for the bus that was to take me back to Chamonix. As it turned out, there were already another dozen or so runners having met with the same fate of being too slow, missing the time limit.

At three AM I arrived at the youth hostel I was staying at (the bus driver was nice enough to drop us off at our diverse locations). As luck would have it, the day before I “found” a room key-card which I kept (just in case I thought) and so I was able to enter the building and room where I had reserved a bed for two days later.

Saturday I spent roaming around town taking many pictures and on Sunday I went to the finish line around noon to see the first runners crossing the finish line. The mood was festive and the crowd of several thousand really got involved as haunting music filled the air (similar to the Chariot of fire). I waited for about two hours until the first ten top runners had crossed the finish line before going out on the course taking pictures of runners on the trail.

The time cut off was at six PM. I positioned myself close to the finish line, able to take images of runners that barely dragged them selves across the line, dirt covered with faces marked by the pain and stress such an event causes. The banquet, two hours later at a top hotel, was in typical French style and fashion. The array of food, beer and wine was first class all the way, befitting such an occasion.

Was I disappointed to only have run a quarter of the course? A little but, I realized that there was no way, not even under the best of circumstances, that I could finish this course.
In addition I learned that a number of top runners had to pull out prematurely, so I surely could not feel to bad being a back of the pack runner any way.

Consider this:
I am an ultra runner, world traveler, published author and photographer. I use my hobbies to make some money, trying to finance future travel and possibly cover other adventure extreme sporting events. Not a bad way to spend one’s retirement years (I am almost 65 now), wouldn’t you agree?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


What’s involved to partake in such ultra running events?
1. It depends on your physical condition, life style and general outlook on life.
2. It requires mental toughness, which comprises about two-thirds of your success.
3. It takes time to train and travel, especially if you seek out events that are out of the country.
4. Most important if you have a spouse, kids, a boy or girlfriend you need their support and blessing, so you can fully concentrate on your running.
5. It takes money, especially if you consider traveling to exotic locations, requiring time off from work. Try to combine such a running event with a vacation, considering point # 4 above.

How do you get in shape?
1. It helps if you are already partaking in some sports or are physically active.
2. Your lifestyle should be healthy and out door oriented.
3. A positive mental attitude should be a given as well as a “can-do” attitude.
4. You must enjoy running and make it part of your life style.

There are two types of people:
1. One with fast twitching muscles that can run fast for short distances.
2. The other type has slow twitching muscles that are well adapted for long distance endurance running, which makes up the majority of ultra runners.

Let’ get started:
Trail running is ideal for the body since there is relative little impact, opposed to street running where your body has to absorb the constant pounding as you hit the asphalt or cement.

The average age of long distance trail runners is about 47 years.
1. Why is that? It takes a certain mental toughness and mind set plus a will to “hang in there”
when things get tough, something most acquire only after years of experience life.
2. It requires mental toughness, tenacity and will power, many younger people sadly do not
possess. There certainly is no “instant gratification” in Ultra Running.
Older, more mature people are aware of their abilities and therefore will stick with it even
when they start hurting and feel like quitting. Why, they know they can do it and will keep
going, it’s a mental thing that improves with age.
1. Surfaces to train on:
Ideally, try to train on trails, barefoot in deep sand or grass. This prepares your body to be
Flexible, it strengthens your ankles, knees and calve muscles as well as your quads.
2. Hill training:
Since trail running involves running up and down steep hills, it stands the reason that you
need to train on them. It should become your main running areas to include up and down hill
running including uphill power walking.
3. Distances to train for:
Babies start with small steps, long distance runners with short events such as a halve
marathon and eventually a full marathon.
Obviously it is recommended to do almost all your training on the above surfaces and steadily
increase your distance you run.
After a full marathon the next distance would be a 50 kilometer trail run (about 31 miles).
Depending on your speed and overall shape, you can expect times of between four to seven
hours and more. *** To give you an indication of speed, time and age consider this:




At age 65, I have been running trails for 17 years. My average finishing times for events I
have run five or more years ago, are within five to 15 minutes. This would indicate that trail
runners do not lose their speed or ability at the same rate as “street runners” do, a comforting
thought indeed.
4. How long will it take you to get there:
That depends on how gifted you are, how much time you are willing to invest and how serious
you are about long distance running.
5. Other training:
Many hours on the trail tent to fatigue your neck, shoulders and arms. Besides your legs, knees and ankles, your upper body needs some training as well. Strength training at a gym is ideal where you develop your upper body as you can work on specific areas you may want to develop further.
6. Food & drinks:
If you ask enough runners about eating habits you get many different suggestions and ides.
I personally do not subscribe to any specific eating or drinking regimen since no one method
works for all runners. Eat normal and healthy and you will be alright. Without taking special
vitamins or minerals most people will do okay and can save their money for other things like
traveling to exotic locations to run in..
7. Loneliness and solitude:
Ultra running is not a spectator sport. You need to be happy within your self, well balanced
and generally at piece with your self and the world.
8. Benefits of ultra running:
The physical well being and mental toughness you derive from this sport will transcend into your every day live and benefit you for ever allowing you to better cope with daily stress.
You can combine ultra running in exotic locations with a family vacation or business trip, making every one happy (hopefully).


Best benefit of all:
By staying healthy, you will save money and not contribute to the mass of unsightly overweight people that seem to be every where, thus doing your share to humanity.

Jurgen Ankenbrand


261  Datum: 24-10-2005 20:00:55
Jurgen Ankenbrand, aka Ultra Kraut ( Keine Email / http://www.photographybyjurgen.com ) schrieb:

Sunday, 2:30 pm Greenwich, London, England

A triumphant Jesper Olsen arrives in London.

By Jurgen Ankenbrand

After running for a 661 consecutive days, covering 26,232 kilometers or about
15,800 miles (give or take a couple) and crossing four continents, Jesper has achieved what most deemed impossible and no body before him has done.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Jesper – Viking.

The common cliché’s of “good-job” , “well-done” and “congratulations” seem not to do you justice to tell you what we, the ultra running community feel at this moment.

All of us who had the pleasure to meet you in person or followed your progress on the Internet have learned to love and admire you as a person and a runner. Few people, including ultra runners, can remotely appreciate and know what you must have gone through while navigating your way around the globe.

Having been the one person to run/crew you on your first and last day in the US, I feel especially proud to have played a tiny part in your success.

Sure, the running you have done is phenomenal. The physical demand on the body must be extreme indeed and only a runner like you who has started running at the early age of fifteen, could adapt his body for such an extreme feat.

Yet I believe this was only the smaller part of your accomplishment.
It’s almost impossible to fathom what dedication and will power it must take to get out of bed knowing you have to run another 40 or so kilometers, regardless of how you feel or what the weather is like. And to do this for 661 days is indeed incredible my friend.

We had many deep and involved conversations during the days I crewed you along the California Coast, exchanged many e-mails and text messages and had a chance to talk some more on your last day in New York. Because of this I feel I know you fairly well as a human being and as a runner. Only because of that can I say that I have a minute understanding of what you must have gone through, what kept you going and what makes you tick.

I know, you did the running, but all ultra runners know that no large event ever will be possible without volunteers and sponsors. These are facts of life and I am sure no body is more aware of this than you, now that you have reached your goal.

Few of us can even remotely know what it must have taken to plan and prepare for this record-setting adventure run around the world. For that reason I am sure that you value all the sponsors (especially one in particular) and the many active volunteer runners that have accompanied you, plus the many generous souls that have provided you with lodging and other help along the way.

I am sure that many thousands have followed you on the Internet via your great web site at www.worldrun.org that had been created and so professionally maintain and updated by your brother in-law Kasper. This was your link to the world where you shared your daily activities and feelings with us who have followed your progress.

Jesper, you have brought much joy and inspiration to all of us runners and none runners alike, and for that we will always be grateful to you.

As a matter of fact, I am still so inspired and motivated by what you did, that today on my four mile beach run in Huntington Beach I have made a decision. On Thursday, January 19, I will turn 65 years young and will run 65 miles around a local park in Huntington Beach to celebrate my birthday, and life itself. I could not think of a better way to do this and invite any and all runners in the Orange County (Southern California) area to contact me at Ankenbrand@aol.com to possibly join me for a few miles of very slow running and or walking.

Your friend,

Jurgen, the Ultra Kraut








260  Datum: 04-10-2005 16:09:13
Andilein ( andreas.suffrian@commerzleasing.de / Keine Homepage ) schrieb:

Hallo,

bin ständig auf der Suche nach schönen Ultra-Landschaftsläufen. Bin bereits rennsteig, Müritz und Einheitslauf gelaufen. Kennst Du noch weitere nette Läufchen?


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