The Geisenfeld Experience
The 24-hour-run in Geisenfeld is over and my legs recovered already. We started with 10 people, the smallest team in the field. Overall it have been 29 teams with 727 runners, an average team size of about 25 people. So our chances of finishing on the top were quite small.
Arnd, Caro and Philipp started the race on Friday from 5:30 to 8pm. From 8 to midnight Klaus, Kai, Stefan and Steffi were running. At that point we had a good feeling and we thought a top ten place is within reach. But, as we got to know later, at that point we’ve been already the third last. The others are so fast. They rotate every 2 laps and have a lot more woman, children and old people who get an extra point lap by lap.
At midnight I started running. I wanted to run a marathon distance for the first time and til 2 o’clock it went quite well. I had already 24 km. But then the hammer hit hard. I was freezing like hell. The temperature lowered to 6°C and I had opted for shorts and t-shirt, a wrong decision. Every lap I passed the hot showers and my motivation rapidly decreased, especially when I realized I wouldn’t make the 42 km in under four hours. At 3 am, Stefan and Kai, the 2 other scheduled runners for the night shift, came back to the track. Stefan took over and I took my towel and went to the hot showers on my scooter. My legs hurt, I couldn’t move much. I didn’t knew before how many muscles you have in your legs, but now I could feel every single one. A little later hot water rinsed down my body, but I was still shivering. I showered for about 20 minutes, eating chocolate and energy bars, before I went back to the track. Stefan had run for an hour followed by Kai. Klaus, the enthusiastic motor cyclist who works at Audi’s product definition department, was scheduled to come at 6 in the morning. This was the point with the least motivation in the race, because we were all tired, cold and urgently needed a pair of fresh legs. Cause I didn’t stretch my muscles after the last run, I had big problems even to walk right now. I needed half a lap to regain my ability to put one feet in front of the other without cursing this run loudly.
We rotated til quarter to seven when Klaus was coming back. Kai, Stefan and me didn’t sleep at all the night and we were all totally burned out. Not just that we all ran far too much this night. No, the outlook for the day was not that good. We had just 3 fit runners to come for sure today, Johannes, Philipp and Tim. But the race still lasts over 10 hours. That meant a lot more running for us. Kai couldn’t run anymore, and Stefan and me got a bit worried. Later, when Philipp and Johannes were running and the sun came out, I slept for a while on the bench, wrapped in a big blanket, dreaming about a hot tub, a massage and new legs. Because Philipp had to leave a little after 9am and Johannes around 11, we ordered (kindly asked) Steffi and Caro to come asap.
Klaus and Stefan bridged the time til the arrival of the two. A little later Tim was also coming and doing a phantastic 2 ½ hour run. So Stefan, Caro, Steffi and me had just an hour more to run til Arnd was coming. He helped us by taking over the last hour. Our doubts in the morning were proved wrong. We finished the 24 hours with just 10 people, running a total distance of 258.4 km (152 laps à 1.7km). Everyone of us performed better than expected and most even better than they thought they can. Johannes ran 11.7 km, Caro and Steffi 13.6 km, Philip 18.7 km, Kai 20.4 km, Tim 22.1 km, Arnd 32.3 km, Klaus 34 km, Stefan 44.2 km and me 47.6 km.
After showering and eating noodles we had to wait too long until the results were presented. It seems that they calculated everything by hand. Had anybody told them of this miraculous software called Excel? The other teams were enjoying the time, but we, especially Stefan, Kai and me, were just tired and wanted to go home. Anyway, after some hours we cheared loud for our expected last place. We got a cup and an ice cream voucher. Moreover we haven’t been that bad as the result might say, because we were not the team with the fewest km. There was a team I just call „Fleischwürste“ who had 2 laps less. But because they had more woman in the team, they've got more points and finished second last leading with the small margin of just 13 points. The team with the most kilometres ran 207 laps, but also didn’t win. With just 2 women in the team we must have ran at least 204 laps to just reach the top ten. You can’t win this race without women, children or old people. A team with 27 woman ran just 3 laps more than us and finished ninth. I think this is the only place on earth were men are discriminated :)
But this race was not about winning. It was about finishing and experience your real abilities. Your body can do more than your mind thinks it can. Regarding that it was a nice event. I’ve made some photos which I’ll upload later. See the results at the Geisenfeld run homepage (click on "Teilnehmer").