Where has all the time gone? That friends is the question.
The Hexenstieg Ultra is right around the corner. In fact, with this post it's in five days and a wake up.
I've spent the last day or so doing some intense planning for the event; reading through the Road Book; calculating passage times and basically getting wrapped up in the event. At this point I'm excited. I don't know if I'm physically, mentally, or spiritually ready at this point, but there is little room to turn back now. I chalk this worry up to nerves. You've got to love the edge...
The Hexenstieg Ultra is a challenging competitive event that takes place along the famous Hexenstieg or Harz Witches Trail in the Harz Mountains. The 200KM route passes from Osterode over the Brocken to Thale; back over the Brocken and home to Osterode.
The Witches Trail contains significant elevation change and traverses the Brocken Summit which even in April can still be covered in snow. Weather conditions are dramatic and can change abruptly with rain on one day and sunshine the next.
There were originally thirty-eight runners signed up to run the Hexenstieg Ultra. On Friday, 20 April the Race Director, Michael Frenz indicated that he was tracking twenty-five confirmed Hexers. It will be interesting to see who all shows at the start line.
The Hexenstieg Ultra is a semi-self sufficiency event. In planning for this race I've focused my efforts and plans very much along the lines of planning for the Grand Raid Dentelles Ventoux. I've put together a pretty colorful mix of energy food and beverages to keep me on my feet for the 48 odd hours planned for the Hexer. Fortunately the Race Director has offered to carry and place two drop bags for each runner. The photo above illustrates the contents of both of my drop bags and my race back pack. The packing list for the back pack is not yet complete, but I'm pretty certain I've hit all of the high points.
The Hexenstieg Ultra starts at midnight (0001) on Saturday, 28 April with the race closing on Sunday, 29 April at 2400. I plan on leaving the house Friday morning after breakfast to travel over to Osterode; meet up with the crew by 1300; get organized and if my nerves can deal with it; get a couple of hours of sleep before we take off.