I'm passing a group of people waiting for the next ferry at the terminal. They're looking questioningly at me, probably thinking: What is the guy with the bright orange jersey and the small backpack with a flexible tube attached to it doing here? And why the heck is he running around here?
I'm leaving Dagebuell Mole and feel highly motivated with music in my ears. I'm passing Dagebuell Kirche and I stick to my running strategy which means I'm walking for five minutes after running for 25 minutes. This strategy is working well for the first two hours and 20k until I arrive in the town of Leck. My legs and knees are doing very well but the weather conditions are turning into the hottest day of the year thus far. I definitely didn't take brutal heat into consideration when preparing for this run.
From now on it feels like I'm going through hell and I simply run as long as I can and then walk for a while or even take breaks. There's literally no shade on this stretch of the route. Only once in a while there's a tree. So, the sun is burning down on my head, which is draining and exhausting. I start asking myself Why the hell am I doing this? I don't really have an answer to that and just keep moving. At some point I realize that a car is slowing down next to me and the driver opens the window. I look straight into the smiling face of a friend saying Hey man, here you are! I've been watching out for you. How are you? Telling him how miserable I am at that point makes the both of us laugh and also lets me forget my struggles for a moment. However, it's great to see a familiar face somewhere in nowhere which gives me the motivation to make it to small town Schafflund and cross the 35k line.
I enter a supermarket get some ice cream and a coke. I feel like I need to cool down and also that my body demands sugar. After finishing the ice cream and the coke in the entrance area of the supermarket right under the aircon my mother and a friend show up. She asks How are you feeling? Although she can see on my face that I'm not in the best condition anymore. So we're sitting down a bakery and grab a cup of coffee. I feel great after that break and get ready for the final 20k in direction Flensburg. The lady behind the counter asks me What is your mission? Where are you going? So I tell her that I'm running from the North Sea to the Baltic Sea and now it's only 20 more kilometer. She starts laughing and shaking her head saying Only 20 more kilometers? That's nuts! I can't even run for 2 minutes. She wishes me good luck and I continue my way.
From now on I feel great and wonder what has been inside that coffee? My legs and knees feel good and even the exhaustion is gone. Luckily, this part of the route offers lots of shade which also helps a lot. Step by step I pass the villages Wallsbuell, Unaften and Handewitt. There, I make another ice cream and soda break at a gas station. I think I rarely enjoyed those things so much before in my life. And the thought that I now almost made it to Flensburg excites me a lot. So I get ready to run again, pass the Flensburg airport after some time and then finally make it into the final place of this run - Flensburg. I can't believe that I'm almost at the Baltic Sea side now and feel very excited. I know from now on it's only downhill but first I must make a quick visit at the Villekula project as promised which I dedicate this running project to.
I run downhill and at some point there's my friend Kevin already waiting for me on his bicycle to escort me for the last kilometer. I turn into the square at Flensburg Hafenspitze and voila I made it to the Baltic Sea. I accomplished to run 55+ kilometer and feel totally fine. I did not expect that at all and am very surprised with myself. I expected to be exhausted and under pain at that point but I'm not at all. I guess the hard training over the previous six month paid off. So I simply go home with a smile on my face!
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