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If you don’t know what the Hospitality Club is, then you’ve never spoken to me for more than 10 minutes. So I’ll just state without explanation that I spent two nights at Jan’s place in Würzburg, although I had never met Jan before in my whole life.

To me this was both an inspirational, but also an educational stay. In particular, I finally “understood” parkour. Once before somebody had told me about this sport, or rather attitude, but I don’t remember who and in which circumstances. So, although I still knew the name and I later remembered a few details, it was still essentially new to me.

Anyways. Parkour. A “sport” invented in France by David Belle. A sport without any competitions or formally organized structure. More of an attitude. More of an art. Be free. Escape. Have a strong mind. Have a strong body. In other words: Yamakasi. Probably best explained by watching a video.

I was planning to participate in the Austrian double ironman triathlon in Neulengbach this summer. Unfortunately, this race won’t take place this year.  😦

There’s a triple ironman triathlon in Lensahn, Germany, but this would be too much for me without having done a double ironman first.

There’s also a double ironman triathlon in Birmingham, UK, but this race has been fully booked for more than two months.

Finally, there’s also a race over the double distance in Lévis, Canada, but I don’t want to fly to Canada just for this race. [It would also make it impossible for me to find any “support crew” of helping friends.]

So, I guess, I’ll just do another ironman or two this summer and I will have to postpone my more ambitious plans until next year.  😦

[If you don’t know the distances: a double ironman requires the participants to swim 7.6km, then cycle 360km and finally run 84km. The winners do this in about 20-21 hours. The time limit is usually between 32 and 36 hours and “normal” participants sleep for 2-4 hours. My personal goal would have been to finish “slowly but surely” after 35h 59m, including 4 hours of sleep.]

I was planning to go to this event tonight to see Avracavabrac perform impromptu/improvised theater (where the audience gives them suggestions by drawing a scene on a piece of paper). But as we didn’t have reservations we couldn’t get in. (Fortunately, in two weeks there’s even a proper match.) So I’ll have to wait again for my first chance to see such an event life.

Anyways, after wandering around for some time to find a place to dance salsa (“La Bomba” was not open yet, though it should have been. In “La Movida” nobody was dancing when we go there.) we ended up at a breakdance night in the Ateliver Volant (which usually opens its doors at 23h00, but the breakdance event was going on the whole afternoon/evening).

Yet another thing on the long lists of things I’d never seen live before (… except for 5 minutes or so performed by some street dancer). Pretty interesting dance culture. The “gang” forms a circle and one guy, oh excuse me, one b-boy (or b-girl) gets inside and shows his (or her) moves for some time (not longer than 1-2 minutes). Then the next person enters, etc. Usually people don’t applaud or cheer unless something was way cool. Too me pretty much everything was way cool.

To somebody who knows Bachata, breakdance is easy to describe: It’s exactly the opposite of Bachata. You dance it on your own and it consists solely of hard and fast movements.

Last Sunday there was the Lausanne Marathon. Despite the fact that I had only been running four times in the four weeks leading up to the event, I decided to participate. After all, I’ll only be here for a here so this was going to be my one and only chance to have the road to Vevey blocked for traffic, just for me to run on.

As (i) I wasn’t sure if I’d be in decent shape but (ii) I was still confident enough that with a decent basic level of fitness and enough experience, I decided to join the pacemaker for 4h00. “Unfortunately”, this was one of the worst pacemakers I’ve ever seen in the sense that up to (at least) kilometer 7 we were 10-20 seconds to fast on every kilometer. So eventually, as the pacemaker for 3h45 was still in sight in front of us at kilometer 8, I decided to go for a little intermediate “sprint” to catch the group in front.

This turned out to be the right decision to make.

I’ve never encountered a better pacemaker! He was an entertainer, a tourist guide and a mentor. He’d point out tourist sights along the way. He’d provide a cheerful mood (and have the whole group greet his wife as we passed). He’d help you to run up every single hill by reminding you to take small steps and then reminding you again to loosen up your arms and shoulders while running down. He’d try to keep your mind of the “suffering” and “pain” by making you appreciate the sky, the nice weather, whatever really. Especially after about 3 hours I was very glad to be in such excellent company.

I guess most people care mostly about numbers when reading reports about sports events. So here are some stats.

My pulse was at about 155 during the first hour, at about 165 during the second our, at about 175 during the third hour and about about 185 for most of the forth hour. At the end I did a small sprint and it went up to 195. My maximum heart rate (measured last year) is about 205 and my anaerobic threshold is at about 185.

I finished the race in just under 3h43. See rank 528 here. Some finisher fotos you can find here.

This was actually the fastest marathon I’ve ever done, but this is mostly because I never cared to race during the last marathons I did (when I was actually in better shape), as those were simply preparatory runs.

It was also not the marathon I enjoyed the most, as especially the last 10 km or so were generally not really enjoyable and I wasn’t even relaxed enough to wave and smile at people. At least I still had enough energy to later go for a long walk in Morges with Katja and to dance a bit of salsa (… though only at EPFL so Katja could show some things to Sarah).

The most attention I got from the crowd (and from fellow runners) was from Chinese people … as I was wearing logos of the Team Tibet on the back and the front.

Not sure what I should aim for in the next marathon. Either a better time (I guess, 3h30 would be possible with a reasonable amount of preparation), a new costume (ideally even in a costume-only marathon), helping someone else (I’m still looking for a blind running partner …), or maybe as a pacemaker for 4h00 or 4h15 myself.

Oh well, but first La Marmite as part of the Course de L’Escalade in Geneva. I already know which costume to run in …

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