It’s been a while since I last dropped some thoughts on this blog. Tel Aviv had been the last event, of what I can refer to as my rookie running season. At the end of 2015, I look back at a number of finishes, but above all mind-blowing experiences. I completed the Madrid Half Marathon, as my first-ever running event, before moving on to running two Marathons, one in Madrid and one in Munich. In the meantime, I participated in the Red Bull Wings For Life World Run and Lech High Altitude Half Marathon, before I wrapped up the season with the Coca-Cola Zero Tel Aviv Night Run.

Now, we are in 2016. The first four weeks have flown by and we already find ourselves in the second month of the year. I am currently sitting in Berlin, where two mates and I have officially registered our company and are looking to move on nurturing our venture that we started in Madrid. I will make sure to share further details in the near future, as I am certain it will come in handy for many, not to say, all of you.

So, the last year has been an interesting, game changing year I may say. I completed my university career, kicked off a business, which I mentioned above, and after a little dry period, post stopping my hockey endeavours, I can happily say that I discovered running as my new sport. For the many that also regard it, as their activity of choice, whether it is on a competitive or leisure level, or a mix of the two, you probably know what I will talk about next. It is not only the purest form of sport one can perform, but also one of the most mentally challenging. Essentially, it is you and your body, against the clock, against the kilometres, against one’s inner weaker self. In the end, it comes down to the later, to overcome your inner mind. Running taught me to be disciplined, to work hard and to not accept my limits, more so, to erase, push and extend such. The much as I enjoy team sports, the much I embrace the solitude running offers to you. It allows me to appreciate my surroundings and respect nature, especially when running in the mountains or the woods. It is a humbling experience and in a way, not few say that running is some form of mediation that balances your mind and soul, and I guess they are right.

I read an article in Like The Wind the other day, which by the way is a phenomenal magazine. It consists of personal anecdotes and inspirational tales that are decorated with beautiful illustrations and stunning photography. You read one, or two of the pieces inside and it makes you want to lace up your shoes and run.

We run because a life with running is better than one without it.
— Jonathan Bean

This quote comes from a story called “The Pain Of The PB” by Jonathan Bean. Bean talks about the agony he went through to reduce its PB, i.e. Personal Best. Though, I have really only been into this ‘business’ for a year or so, I can sense the point he describes, whether it is improving the time of my daily morning lap, marathon, 10k or 1k split. It is a continuous battle against the watch hand. So, in line with the quote, I began to fill my race agenda and signed up for a couple of events this year.

In exactly two months I will be running the Milano Marathon, which I want to use as a final test before my first Ultra Marathon that happens a couple of days later. I chose the 69 kilometre episode of the 100 Miles of Istria Ultra-Trail that takes place on April 16th. Then I have a big gap until the highlight of 2016 the Cappadoccia Ultra-Trail, which is scheduled for the 22nd of October and covers a distance of 114 kilometres in one of Turkey's most beautiful landscapes.  Between Istria and Cappadocia, I still need to decide what is going to happen. I definitely want to run the Wings For Life World Run again, which starts at 13:00 CET on May 8th, whilst a day before I am considering to compete in the Garda Trentino Trail. Not to forget, the annual High-Altitude Half Marathon in Lech at the end of August.

For now my eyes are all focused upon April 3rd, where I hope to break the 3h 30min mark and then onto April 16th, when the starting gun sounds, and I am intending to run my first Ultra. Finally, as some of you may know, 2016 and 2017 serve as my qualifying years for the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc. Cappadoccia Ultra-Trail will give me 5 out of the 15 required points to compete in the 2018 edition. Further, not only to accumulate the necessary points, but also as another bucket list run, I signed up for the Marathon Des Sables in April 2017. Again, more information and updates regarding my race agenda, individual races, projects and, of course, our Start-up will follow in the next few weeks.