An adventure bulletin by the Running Pirates of the Lausitz from their participation at the 12th Run&Bike in Neuzelle.
The recovery and place of pilgrimage Neuzelle, right at the German-Polish frontier right between Guben and Eisenhüttenstadt, is a really nice, beautiful and quiet place. Not only the Zisterzienser abbey with St.Marien Church is very attractive for guests and tourists. Even the varied landscape with its hilly section and hills with small lakes, just invites you to hike and cycling.
Once a year, it became busy is that town, the weekend after the Ascension Day, is the weekend of the annually Bike&Run. An awesome event and everyone of this little village is excited about it, since the idea of this event was born in 2000. The idea of running and cycling together the distance of 100km.
Start and finish should bet he area of the abbey and the starting time should be the last chime of the bell a day. First was a try, to years later was it the first contest in Germany like this. And now every year more and more sportsmen want to participate.
Back in Schlaubetal:
Already in 2010 us Pirates participated here with two teams over the 45km distance. It was a brand new and positive experience. Just when they finished the run, they knew that they would come back again but this time to run and bike the 100km distance. SO, three years later and un-countable km´s of running, Steffen Gierth(41) and Harald Skopi(34) decided to made it in 2013, both of them already ran a few marathon and know they wanted more.
They arrived late that afternoon at their destination. When they arrived at the abbey, they began with the start preparations. They receive their starting packages, it´s 18:00o´clock, six hours left to the start. Never before was Harald Skopi so nervous. So, he tried one of the famous abbey beer, he still is in need of sugar and energy for the event, like in the last days, they ate lots of rice, noodles and drank a lot of water.
One after another the other participants arrive and take a look at the course and everything else what is needful to know. A small goal of us, is to finish before 8:00o´clock in the morning, than we want to run the 45km as well. But the main thing for them is to have fun and to get healthy to the finish.
The silence before the storm
After a couple of hours Gierth and Skopi came back to reality while listening to the shouts of an owl. No sleep in the car and so they prepare everything and made up their way to the starting line. The area of the abbey is full, full of maniacs who want to participate at an event like this. A teenage music bland is playing, the organizer gives more information and tells the rules again. Than he invites the 44 teams to the starting line. Runners in front and the bikers behind them. Soon is bright there, because everyone turned on their lamps.
Let´s get to darkness
When the last chime of the bell went by, and the new day has begun, the starting signal is yelling thru the air, no way back right now. Lots of spectators are cheering and yelling, the whole village is on there legs. And they make lots of noise. Everywhere you can hear, take care, good luck over and over again. Soon, runner and biker find themselves. The distance just start, 100km to go. Slowly the fields seperate itself. The Pirate team changes every 2nd km. And so on….No one can cout how often. After 19km the first stage is solved and the team receives their first stamp, to prove that you did this distance so far. The guards tells us, that the leading team is 20min ahead. Filling up our supplies, bottles. Like a lightning bug, you see the lights in front of and behind you, of the other runners. Slowly it gets colder, especially for the riders, because no tree or something saves them of the wind. Now we change the sequence to every 3rd km, and the biker pulls o a warmer jacket. Now you almost hear no talking anymore, just the croaking of the frogs. Everything is told on the last 30km.
Liver sausage rolls and iso-drinks
At this moment, everything went like it should be. The speed is allright until the next check-point (31km) in EIsenhüttenstadt, just under 3hours. Now it´s time for something real and good to eat, for the weak bodies. Gierth stays with the sports nutrition, Skopi wants something real, now he eats his liver sausage rolls, with lots of water.
Now we´re running further on a street and we see the twilight and soon the sunset, and now you´re able to see the course guards from far away. When they crossed the 50km, they were occupied by an ambulance and being watched carefully by the assistants, they sure know how to read totally exhausted faces. Now it´s 5:00o´clock, and the birds began to sing and at the next stop, the fire station in Wiesenau, it smells like coffee. Now the course gets more ambitious and back to the Schlaubetal. Now no part of the ride or running, up or down is for relaxing, everything starts to hurt some more. Now we change to 2km changing again, now you get to know, how every step weaken your body more and more. We drink some hot tea, while passing 70km. The chocolate tastes really good, but it´s hard to chew. Again some liver sausage roll, which strted to get dry.
Business before pleasure
The weather shouldn´t be better. We got some changing clothes with us, but we stayed dry. The sun is shining, it´s get warmer. But Gierth got some more problems with his ankle, but he goes on. Than we decide to change after each km, because we feel, how all the strength leaves our bodies. With every change we knew, we´re getting closer to the finish, and they still want to finish under 10h. Last check point at km90, last stamp in our pass, we receive hot tea, nothing else. Now it´s almost don, just 10k to go. The pavement gets worse, cobblestone pavement, it´s not possible to ride on it and the ascents hurt more and more. Skopi now gets an ill stomach and Gierth can´t run that much anymore, but they still can motivate themselves.
Now they can see the first roofs of the village, it´s almost done. Skopi offers Gierth the bike and began to ran, passing the viewers. It´s unbelievable, how fast he can run right know, after all the effort of last night. A combo welcomes them, just one turn, now than can see the St.Marien Church, all the traffic stopped by the side, by signal of the course guards. Now they can here the spokesman, another team has made it, it´s a Pirate team. We ran the last meters like in trance. When we finally cross the finish line the clock tells us 9:45h. 100km under 10h. For one short moment, both of them feel like heroes and than they´re looking for the next possibility to sit.
Even no one of them thought about the fact, that they would give up, now they knew, they did it. Both of them ran and cycled 50km that night.
For a couple of days, they will feel their aching legs, especially Gierth who lives on the 5th floor. But soom the Running Pirates of the Laustiz are up to something new. And as you all know:
PAIN IS TEMPORARY, PRIDE FOREVER.