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Tag: running

… and it all led to my first marathon!

Yep, that’s right: I ran my first marathon, the full 42,195 km! Well, I say ‘ran’, but unfortunately had to walk quite a bit of it… In despite of that, I was far from the last one to finish, contrary to some of my previous runs.

This was not a normal marathon though, but the infamous Beer Lovers’ Marathon in Liège. That meant, at the numerous supply points, we weren’t just given water and energy snacks, but a serving of beer as well! Curiously enough, with all the running, you don’t even feel the alcohol… Oh, most people were in some kind of theme appropriate costume as well. Can you guess who I was supposed to be?

Training

In preparation for this marathon, I also participated in a couple of other runs, although they were more like trail runs, so in nature, instead of the urban environment of this marathon. These runs were the Marathon Zoniënwoud (21 km), Brussels Nature Run (27,5 km), Trailberg (21 km), and 15km van Sint-Lambrechts-Woluwe (25,5 km).

Okay, that’s enough running for this blog, I promise the next post will be about travelling and beer!

All about running…

Last weekend was all about running.

On Saturday I participated in the Natuurloop Beernem. For the tenth edition of this running event in West-Flanders, I had the choice of three distances: 7 km, 14 km, and 24 km. Since I already have a half marathon under my belt—albeit just around my little neighbourhood park—and the goal was to stretch my limits a bit in preparation for the Beer Lovers’ Marathon, I registered for the 24 km version, the Experience+

It was only my second running event—the first one being last year’s Brussels Nature Run—and the first one with a mass start, and supply stops along the trail.

The weather was perfect, the trail markers easy to follow, and most of the trail was off-road. So how did I do? Well, I finished within the three hour time limit, but only just! It didn’t really help that my running shoes actually need replacement, or that I had a few beers the night before… But all in all, I was happy I finished my longest running distance so far!

Sunday Hash

On Sunday it was time for my weekly run with the Brussels Manneke Piss Hash House Harriers. I ran quite a bit slower than usual, not having fully recovered from the 24 km the previous day… Lesson learnt: take it easy on a day after a serious run! Not only was it my fifteenth run with BMPH³, but as it turned out that day, I was the only hasher left with perfect attendance in 2022!

It was also the first sunny run I ran in my new Sport Kilt, in the official Hash House Harriers Trail tartan, so the perfect opportunity for some photos.

Running in a kilt…

Two weeks after co-haring a run for the first time with the Brussels Manneke Piss Hash House Harriers, I set and hared a trail of my own design. It could have used some improvements, but all in all, I was happy with this attempt, and so seemed to be most runners.

I don’t have a habit of taking out my phone to take photos while running, but luckily some others do, and I ended up on a couple of nice action shots…

So yes, I run in a kilt… Not in my good one, of course, but a lighter, easier washable one, in the Grey Spirit tartan. Actually, with a bit of luck, this was my last run in this kilt, because my special hashers’ SportKilt is on its way!

Cheers, and On-On!

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Burns’ Run & Burns Night

The attentive reader will know that, about two years ago, I’ve started running to offsett my beer calories. I’ve kept it up so far, but still tend to find it rather boring, especially the longer runs. At least it was, until I was introduced to the Brussels Manneke Piss Hash House Harriers last December. I could write a lot about the phenomenon of ‘hashing’, but suffice to say: if you’re into running, beer, and fun, find out if there’s a Hash House Harriers kennel in your city!

Anyway, last Sunday’s run with the BMPH³ was Burns themed. In addition to the usual beer stop, the trail even included a whisky stop along, and there was a haggis ceremony afterwards. That was sufficient reason for me to quickly change into more appropriate attire after the run, and toast to the Scottish bard in style.

Today, on the actual date of Burn’s Night, I will of course don the kilt again, and have some more haggis for dinner. No neeps and tatties this time, I’ll be making a haggis lasagne instead.

However you celebrate it, have a great Burns Night everyone! On-On!

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A Belgian Holiday – Part III

For the last part of my Belgian holiday, I stayed close to home, in the old duchy of Brabant, and I went to Mechelen on Saturday, and to Antwerp on Sunday. It was a weekend well spent.

Mechelen

To get a bit of a walk in before the beers, I got off the train one stop early again, in Weerde. This way, I got to enjoy a bit of green before entering the town. When I arrived in the centre, it seemed just about everybody wanted to spend the day outside—and rightfully so—but luckily I found a free table at Sister Bean, to enjoy a coffee and and apple crumble.

When it comes to beer, it seems De Floeren Aap is the place to be in Mechelen nowadays. Needless to say, I spent quite some time on their terrace, to try some of their vast selection of canned beers. Not for too long, though, because I had a race the next morning…

Brussels Nature Run

Sunday morning I had my first ever running event: Brussels Nature Run! It was also the first time I ran somewhere not completely flat, so that was a bit of a challenge, and I almost regretted choosing the 16K instead of the 10K… It all worked out in the end, and I’m quite happy with the time I made.

Antwerp

The last day of my Belgian holiday, I spent in Antwerp. Because this was actually supposed to be my last day in Scotland, I went kilted on this occasion. I selected Antwerp for this last stop, because I knew there would be plenty of beer places to visit, and beer people to meet.

My first stop was at Billie’s Bottle Shop. Its little beer garden was already packed, but with a bit of improvisation, I eventually had a nice spot to enjoy some of Stéfan’s excellent selection of beers.

Next up was Station 1280, which had set up a terrace on a nice and quiet courtyard. Then it was time to discover a place I had never been before: The Northerner. Their draught beers were pretty standard, but here again, a very nice can list! The pulled pork sub was very tasty—and at that point very welcome—as well.

My last beer stop was, as usual, because of its proximity to the train station, Beerlovers Bar. Saying goodbye to Ben, and to Antwerp, also meant the end of my Belgian holiday.

Brewery Run Virtual Edition

I’ve started running a little over a year ago, but didn’t have an opportunity to participate in any events: the 20K of Brussels was postponed, then cancelled, and even the ‘corona safe’ Run for Nature in the Sonian Forest was cancelled last minute…

When Brewery Run popped up in my timeline, I just had to do it! Travelling to the Netherlands for one of the ‘live’ versions still wasn’t an option, but at least I could do the ‘Virtual Edition’ right at home, in Brussels. So I ordered a ‘ticket’—which included some Dutch beers and a medal/bottle opener—and set out a nice 10K route, visiting eight of Brussels’ breweries.

Run, Martijn, Run!

So I started running just before the lockdown. I’m still not loving it, but it’s nice to see my times are gradually improving, as is my fitness level…