Mission accomplished

Finish! I have done it. 200 km in 6 days, with 10.000 m up and 8.000 m down. I had many doubts along the way, but I finished. I cannot describe how it feels, I’m not even sure what it is I feel right now. It was certainly the greatest challenge I have ever put…

Travellog 06/03/2016 – Finish!

I again did not sleep well and I can barely eat or drink. My body seems to be confused. Just the thought of power bars or water makes me choke. I almost threw up brushing my teeth. I forced 2 cups of tea and some scrambled eggs into my body and called it a breakfast….

Travellog 06/02/2016

Dirk just wrote: “55,4km in 11:50. I made it!”  Today they had the longest leg of the whole run, so this was quite a challenge. Imagine: 55,4 km on the 5th day!  Dirk will most certainly write about it later. But today he calls it a day and will probably go to bed (or to tent) right after…


Travellog 06/01/2016

“A large bowl of spaghetti Bolognese”. This is what I had on my mind for the last 3h of the race. I can’t tell you how hungry I was, despite the fact that I kept pushing gel packs. When you burn 6500 calories you just run on empty. Let’s start with the key fact. I…


Travellog 05/31/2016

Summary: running on empty. Found my breaking point. But first things first. It’s 5:00 am and no alarm needed anymore. The few things I do in the morning already require no light anymore. I’m sleeping in my running pants to save me the morning trouble, just find the right shirt and get the socks on….

Travellog 05/30/2016

After another ceremony by the monks we left for a day of pure pain and beauty. It’s amazing how close the two can come. Pristine rain forest untouched, mind blowing. Like a surreal movie. The only way to understand is by looking at the pictures. After a short 5k with only some uphill we had…

Travellog 05/29/2016

It’s getting real now. I got up at 5:30am, after a rough night in a tent with hard rain coming down. Temperature dropped within minutes to the point that I decided to put some extra cloth on. This is different from what I have done before; and that’s what I wanted! Light breakfast with instant…


Travellog 05/28/2016

I got a really good night of sleep and feel refreshed and ready. I decided last night to repackage my bags and lose 5kg. Like I said, one bar of soap and the toothbrush is left and half the fresh shirts and pants. That shall do. After all the extra weight is to be carried…


Travellog 05/27/2016 (2)

After an 1.5h transfer I arrived at the hotel. It’s a nice place and the room has a shower. I already smell so bad and start to wonder how bad one actually can smell. I shall find out but for now I have a last one for the week. Check-in starts with someone from the…

Travellog 05/27/2016

DUS to Abu Dhabi turns out to be an easy flight. I have an entire row for myself and manage to get a few hours of sleep in. This should help later.After all, it’s plenty of journey left. Etihad has actually nice planes and friendly staff. This kind of travel is easy. Abu Dhabi at…

The adventure begins

Hi! My name is Kerstin, and you might have met me before in this blog. I am taking over for the next few days, while Dirk has already started the greatest adventure of his life. We do not know what to expect, but I hope Dirk will have some internet connection every day, so that he…


Travellog 05/26/2016

Got up at 5:30 in the morning after a few hours of sleep. Feel refreshed and am ready to go. My bags are all ready, so I can focus on breakfast and my journey. I’m nervous but calm at the same time. Far more calm then usually, and I’m traveling a lot. I was hoping to…

Final preparation

Last day. Time to do a final equipment check. As you can see from the equipment page, there is a few mandatory items that one must bring, in total an 8kg allowance. Not sure yet how to make latter one happen as my power bars are already 2 kg. I shall master this! I will do…


As luck would have it

I keep talking about Bhutan and my upcoming trip all the time – I just can’t help it. I was not ready for this one thought. So, while my new colleague Mahesh and I debate the stress that a race like this might or might not put on ones knee, I learned that during his career…

Getting there

Today I received another note from the event host. It included my updated visa for Bhutan and a longer email stating all the little things one shall remember, as well as plenty good tips. I got nervous, knowing I will likely forget something- why would it be different this time. Well, so be it. I…

One more step

Just received the news. My visa for Bhutan arrived. Check! One more step towards a great adventure completed. The most pressing topic on my list left is my visa for India. As mentioned in my last post, I was not successful last time. Hopefully this will work out in time. But it’s getting even better….


Getting closer…

Time is flying these days but my excitement has only grown bigger. For the last few weeks my job took me to California. At first I was afraid of this diminishing my ability to prepare appropriately but I realized quickly that the surrounding mountains are a fantastic means to improve on uphill endurance. So, I took the chances…


Because you can!

When I got the news about your plan to do an ultra-marathon in Bhutan I have to admit that I wasn’t really surprised. O.k. the location is somewhat special and certainly not the first spot that comes to mind when thinking about a run. But the ultra-marathon by itself is just a logical consequence of…


We! Have! To! Blog! This!

Dirk, having worked for and with you over these last four or five years, I have come to appreciate quite a few of your personal qualities, of which integrity, honesty and a deep empathy for other people’s needs are only examples. I have also come to learn that you would embrace a challenge just for…


What the son has to say…

Running four or more times a week is something not many people do. Running longer distances like a marathon is something that only a small minority of people will do or ever did. Being able to include my father as one of the few people that are physically and mentally strong and somewhat stupid enough to…



Eigentlich hätte ich es wissen müssen. Sofort. Ab dem Moment in dem die Wörter Bhutan, Ich und Laufen in einem Satz fielen. Bestandsaufnahme: Wir haben einen Mann der bis vor nicht allzu langer Zeit Laufen gar nicht mochte der Berge nur gut findet, wenn es bergab geht und der mich nach 8 Jahren immer noch…

Log 04/09/2016

Great, easy long jog (32km) today, with perfect conditions. I again used every bit of hill I was able to find. My buddy Kurt joined me on his bike. We had a blast! I’m steadily getting there. Testing power bars right now, to avoid trouble in Bhutan.  Enjoying my new shoes, also. Altra Olympus 2.0,…



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Log 04/06/2016

More preparation. 26.3km, nice and slow…

Log 03/26/2016

Today was Vollrather Höhe, in Grevenbroich with 300 meter altitude. Ouch! I’m really exhausted right now. I’m starting to understand what I signed up for. That’ll be fun.

Log 03/28/2016

Added another 20km to my log. It’s time to add as much distance as possible. Also, I have to add incline. Just so hard to find around here. It feels good though … 


Log 03/19/2016

Today was Venloop and it was best case ok. I’m not impressed with my performance by all means. Started to quick and consequently had to slow down at KM 16. Whatever, distance is what counts right now.


Log 03/15/2016

Buying running gear. My preferred exercise! New shoes, new backpack and running sticks. All done. I visited Wat läuft in Wattenscheid, the best shop ever, if you need  great gear and professional service – Rolf is a runner himself and that makes all the difference. Did I mention that my excitement is growing? I’m sure…


Log 03/03/2016

Great news! The event host confirmed my extended stay. This is awesome. I will have 2 extra days for sight seeing in Bhutan.


Log 02/27/2016

Visited a friend in San Francisco and realized how hilly it is. This being hills. My respect for the Himalaya is growing by the day. The excitement, also.


Log 02/25/2016

Received final confirmation from event host today. Now it is for real, no turing back. My flights from Delhi International airport to Paro are secured, now I need to find myself a flight from Düsseldorf to Delhi and back and I’m all game. Also on the to do list are new running shoes, running sticks…


Log 02/14/2016

Stefan, the event host called me today. He’s trying to extend my stay for a few days. It would be great to do a little sight seeing in Bhutan after the race. We shall see.


Log 02/09/2016

Today my first orders arrived. Headlamp, knife, compass, survival blanket …. Now only shoes, backpack and running sticks and I’m all set. The tension is growing by the day and so is my respect for the trail.


Log 02/07/2016

My work schedule forces me to exercise insight – hotel style. So, I started to use the rolling-hills program on the treadmill. It’s not bad, I must admit. Once you pass level 6 it actually becomes pretty exhausting. I also did my Sunday run through the Baltimore harbour – 20+K in a 5:05/km pace. There…

Log 01/29/2016

Prepayment went out today. I’m officially part of the race now. It has become reality. I started to look into compass navigation but failed miserably – I’m talking about a real compass, not the one on your iPhone! I decide to postpone the topic for now. Looked for topological maps of Bhutan, nada. It all…


Log 01/28/2016

Today I put the first orders in. Knife, headlamp, first aid kit. Excitement is growing ….


Log 01/27/2016

Started to search for first aid supplies. There is plenty of little things to consider and purchase but it’s already fun. The biggest challenge ahead is the flight to Paro airport (the apparently most dangerous airport in the world). There is not direct flight from Germany to Paro, instead one must go through India or…


Log 01/26/2016

I have long thought about it and today finally did it. I signed up for a 6 day ultra-marathon race in Bhutan. This has been on my mind for years, as I always wanted to do something special. I just didn’t know what it was. Until I stumbled over a Facebook post one day –…


The Equipment

Equipment At the equipment check before the race, the mandatory equipment will be thoroughly checked by the organisers. Competitors are not allowed to participate in the race if any of the items declared as mandatory equipment is missing. Irregular equipment checks might be carried out at any time during the race week. Absence of any…


The Place

Bhutan Bhutan the land of the thunder dragon kingdom is a trekker’s paradise and an environmentalist’s dream. With 72 percent of the country under forest cover, Bhutan’s pristine ecology is home to rare and endangered flora and fauna. This spiritual land is the last bastion of the Vajrayana school of Mahayana Buddhism which provides the essence…

The Event

starts on Friday, May 27st 2016,  with a meeting of all runners at the team hotel in Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan and will end in Paro on Saturday, June 4th. The event host is GlobalLimits, a group of professionals that have done many extreme races themselves. The race will start 80km east of Thimphu…


You are invited to join me for an experience of a lifetime

I will use this BLOG to share my experiences and thoughts with you. I decided 2 years ago, that it was about time to reflect on my life and take a break from it. I want to review what I did in the past but more so decide what I want to do in the future.  This…