I must admit that I was a little nervous about today. It was long and apparently hilly. Ups are fine, but the downs are painful on my knees so I have to take them a lot slower. Before there is a chance to really think about it too much, we have begun! I intend to go fairly hard on the ups and rest on the downs.
It is a little chilly as we begin, but straight away we are getting stuck into a steep up. Perfect. I walk hard and am soon plenty warm enough. The hill is only a couple of kms long. At the top we turn left and have a most glorious view of the pink sky over the German countryside with pockets of mist in lower areas. Soon enough the first cp came. This was going to be a hot day too as if it wasn’t hard enough already! We had a large steep downhill and my knees were not too bad, but I was going very slowly. Then another large up. I was beginning to sweat a lot now as the sun begun to show its power.
I ran the whole day alone again. This worked out well as I could adjust my pace depending on how my knees were playing up. They were certainly letting me push a little harder than yesterday. My pathetically slow downhill running was even a tiny bit less pathetic.
We passed through a town and then within about 15 minutes, I had the top three runners come flying past at an incredible pace. How these guys are running so fast and hard every day is quite unbelievable to me. They are running one day faster than most ultra runners could do it in.
It was now a stifling heat and there wasn’t a lot of shelter. I’m not great with the heat, but so far things had gone ok. I was managing to stay hydrated and felt ok.
As the kms passed by I started to see the day as it was. Just another day. Soon enough I was entering the outskirts of Dettelbach. Rainer Koch lives here and I was expecting to see him somewhere. When I ran with him for one stage of the JOGLE earlier in the year, he said when I pass through his home town, he would take me out to check out town. Rainer is a legend when it comes to crossing countries and continents incredibly fast. I don’t think he understands that when I’ve finished running for the day, I just want to rest.
Just before I finished, I saw Rainer walking away. I quickly said hi before finishing. Later on he came and chatted for a bit. I felt pretty empty so went outside to get some food from Thomas. Thomas is a German guy that is part of the crew. He runs cp4 usually that always has soup. He has a small old caravan that he parks up and then gets a tarp strung out to what ever is near and creates a shelter. At the end of the day he creates this same café near the finish line, tables and chairs will be put out and he will be cooking up a large meal of fried potatoes, eggs and either sausage or bacon for whoever wants it and has five euros. Today I had bacon. I ate it at an incredible rate of knots, then just before I was finished, I suddenly felt a little dizzy. I needed to lay down. I stood to make my way into the hall to find my camping mat. I thought I was going to pass out. I sat on the floor then just lay down on my back for 2 minutes till I thought I was ok.
I feel fine now. I had obviously been affected by the sun. Hopefully I will sleep well tonight and all will be back to ‘normal’ in the morning.
That’s day 16 done. One quarter of the time done! Awesome. 73km tomorrow.