It is about 400km from Würzburg to Bottrop. Therefore we thought it would be smart to arrive there on Saturday. My wife Grace and I picked up Christina and Hans Daumberger in Würzburg at 10am. We left so early because we wanted to avoid stress and pick up our start numbers on Saturday. Walter Zimmermann, Georg Braungart, Marcus Wieser und Zahoran Adam followed in the early afternoon. Without having traffic jam or problems while driving, we checked in at the Ringhotel Ruhr at 4pm. It was just a few kilometres away from the start.
After a short break we continued to the Prosper-Hainel mine. It was the scene of the German champion ship in 50km street running. The Adler-Langlauf Bottrop club were organizing the third time the German champion ships. After we picked up the all start numbers for the LG Würzburg team, we had some coffee and cake. While we having coffee, Georg called me to fix a time for meet up.
At 5pm we started to look for a restaurant for dinner. Because we had plenty of time, we decided to have a walk through the city center of Bottrop. Even though some of us had run there before, nobody had taken some time for sightseeing. Actually quite sad! Quite fast we figured out, that there was not much to see. Especially there were no Italian restaurants. To be honest I was lying by saying none, but without a reservation we did not get any place. We had to face, that we would not get our loved Italian carbohydrates – called noodles. In the end we ended up in a steakhouse. But it was very delicious. After having a good dinner we did not go back to the hotel on a direct way. It was pub night in Bottrop, but we decided to have just a final beer at the hotel lobby. Therefore we needed to get some beer and some snacks at the EDEKA store.
The clock rang Sunday morning at 6:15am. We wanted to have a good parking slot and some relaxed breakfast before the start. Therefore we left very early to the mine. So two hours were left before the start. After we had breakfast, my team colleagues brought their shower stuff to the shower rooms. To prevent stealing there was a strange construction. Baskets hanging on the ceiling and can be lowered by a chain. The chain was fixed with a locker. It was nothing special for people working there, but it was a highlight for us runners. The Prosper-Hainel mine is one of the last active mines in Germany. I think the showers are the most popular on that race. There were a ton of them and they are all very warm. Warm showers are not always a standard. Especially slow runners often face the problem of cold showers. But before showering we had to run.
The start was on time at 9am. We had to run two loops each 25km. The first and the last four kilometres were double track. The other 17km went on wood paths around a little lake. The course was mainly on little gravel wood paths. In my opinion the course was very flat. The steepest uphill was up to a bridge. Based on Murphys law it was on the double track. So we had to run it four times. The weather was not so good, therefore it was a little bit muddy and some runners called it slippery. Two big groups ran away in the front from the beginning on. While the first group tend to run less than three hours, the second group tried to run less than 3:15h. After the first loop there were less people in each group. It had two reasons. A few of them finished, as they only did 25 km. Second, a few had to slow down. I was running behind the second group. After the first ten kilometres I checked my watch and figured out, that I was running faster than I had planned. While the speed still felt comfortable, I kept it. After the second loop I caught up. I did also get a slower, but it was almost nothing. Because of the continuity I passed one after the other. Adam brought up a big surprise. He planned to run in less than 3:20. He made it and received a third place overall. Also the Daumbergers were satisfied with their first 50km-race.
Luckily the weather got better and better during the race. There was a shower just before the start. During the first hour it kept raining lightly. After it stopped, it was still cold. Fortunately the trees prevented us from the wind. Also it was a great motivation to know that warm showers were waiting.
After having a refreshing, warm shower we had planned to move on for coffee and cake. Sadly the cake buffet was sold out to the 10km-runners. Only waffles were left. A cold comfort, but better than nothing. The award ceremony started on time at 3am. It did not take a long time. While we were lucky in Kempten with the team placement, we had to accept fourth places this time. Just before 4pm we started to drive home.