Plan, plan and replan
I’m not getting into the political debate, but suffice to say I wasn’t a Brexit fan, so it seems appropriate that I am running across Europe in what will be the last year the UK is a part of Europe. I’ve been back in Essen for the first time since running from Amsterdam. It was quite emotional seeing the Lowell sign above the building, making me realize what an achievement it was to complete the trip from Amsterdam. It spurred me on to decide on my route and one thing long distance commuting provides is an opportunity to switch off on the plane. This has now become my Run the World planning time as I go back and forth to Dusseldorf.
My life is full of maps: scraps of maps torn from in flight magazines, screen shots of route maps, a globe and now a massive world map on the wall in my study. It feels great to stand in front of it and ponder my challenge. I was doing just that last night and realized just how small Europe is compared to the rest of the world. I suppose it might have been me trying to minimize the task ahead for 2018: Run the World – Europe.
Good progress this week – I’ve decided on the cause I am going to raise awareness about during Run the World – Europe. I’m going to speak out about something many of us never do, domestic violence and abuse of women to raise awareness, empower women and improve access to the support survivors need, in the communities I run through. This is a cause that matters a lot to me and I’m excited about finalizing the plans.
Secondly lots of progress on the enablers, that will provide the time and money to complete this, whilst also ensuring I don’t neglect family, friends or career. Pleased with progress and confident I will finalise in December. More interestingly, I’ve decided on the route for Run the World – Europe!!!!
Run Europe Route
Once I stopped constraining my thinking by the routes others had taken or the rules I thought I had to follow, the route planning became much more interesting. The possibilities are literally endless, but the first stage from Amsterdam to Essen taught me that trails were a priority as was time to see the places I was running through and meet people as I go. the process is an iterative one and lots of assumptions which may change, however this is my Run the World – Europe route, which will I complete in October 2018, 12 months after I started in Amsterdam. Distances will change a bit, but the route is now set and I just have to work out the logistics..oh and then run it 😊
Stage 1 Oct 17 233k Run to Work – Netherlands to Germany
Stage 2 Dec/Jan 250k Germany’s Best Kept Secret – Sauerland
Starting at the Essen office where I left off, run along the Ruhr Valley Cycle Path for 35k to connect with Sauerland region in North Rhine Westphalia. It’s full of mountains, reservoirs and forests, sparsely populated but perfect for trail running with excellent hiking facilities along the way. My route will cross from Iserlohn to Marsberg. I will then continue on until I join the E6 long distance walking route which will form the basis of the remainder of the Europe Run.
Stage 3 Mar/Apr 570k Germany to Czech Republic
Running along the E6 Walking Route from Hünfeld to Marktredwitz and then through the Czech Republic.
Stage 4 Jun/Jul 670k Austria
Continuing on the E6, briefly back to Germany and then on through Austria until the border with Slovenia
Stage 5 Sep/Oct 400k Slovenia, Bosnia Herzegovina and Croatia
Through beautiful trails of Slovenia and on through Bosnia Herzegovina until I reach the Adriatic Sea and Croatia which will end my crossing of Europe for 2018.
At the very end of Run the World, I will complete the final section of Europe, as I return to the start in Amsterdam, via a crossing of Ireland and England. Before that I have a few more continents to cross! I’m really excited about the run, but also about some of the activity happening int he background to make it both possible and meaningful.
I’m back to Essen on Monday for a few days work, but before then its back to the Yorkshire Hills and some trail running this weekend, with my backpack.