Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Limone Extreme Skyrace 2016

How did I get into this?!

More than a year ago I fell in love with this one. Watching the videos of the prior editions thrilled me a lot:

I happened to be at Lago di Garda at the time when the 2015 edition was on. I definitely wanted to visit the race in order to see those incredible athletes running on the fantastic course -  to soak in a little of the atmosphere. I know Limone and the stunning mountains that are raising right behind the small village, which is beautifully pinched between the mountain and the lake. So I didn’t spend a single thought on competing there. Not for me. Orders of magnitudes too tough. As things turned out, I didn’t make it even to actually visit the race in 2015. Still I was thrilled about the race. 

What is it actually about?

Sky race – sounds challenging. But what is it actually? Well, the corresponding wikepedia definition reads: 
Skyrunning is an extreme sport of mountain running above 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) where the incline exceeds 30% and the climbing difficulty does not exceed II° grade.
So not exactly a walk in the park.
Actually there is a series for race all over the world: ( And the final race of the series is the one in Limone. Almost 2500m of positive elevation over the course of 27 km. And yes it is a loop, so you also need to go down all the way. A good impression of this – beside the above mentioned videos – can be provided by this flyover video: 

Pretty tough stuff if you ask me …. 

Things are getting slightly crazy …

This year, as the October holiday period approaches, I check again if the race date would match our holidays. They do. Just a couple of weeks before, we still hadn’t decided where to go on holidays, I check if there are still free seats for this year's race – not to watch but to actually run it. There are, so I sign up – what a change of mindset in only a year. I feel ready to actually give it a try J. Took a little while to convince family to have another vacation at the Lago di Garda, actually in Arco – Climbers’, Mountain bikers’ and hiker’s paradise. Off we go.

In terms of race preparation, Limone has the 2nd priority after the Berlin Marathon which took place just 3 weeks before the Limone race. After having happily finished Berlin with a new PB (1st time below 3h – Yay!), I take a week off -  only easy running and then right away jump into the Limone preparation. As I’m living in a totally flat part of Germany – Ruhrgebiet – the only option to simulate Limone to a small extend, is to do hill repeats on the Halden, which can give you up to 100m of elevation per climb. So I went there 3 times over the cause of 8 days, before I actually leave on holidays in Arco. Example activity below:

I spent the leading week to Limone in Arco, spending time with a little trail running, biking, hiking and climbing. Nothing too extensive as I know that I would need some relatively fresh legs for the race. At this time, Limone race, still didn't get the focus, other races had got in the past. Just too many things on the plate – too many balls in the air. Limone just being a little experiment in there.

Towards the race weekend, the weather gets worse and the forecast for the race day reads terrible: A little bit warmer – by far not hot – but heavy rain and thunderstorms already in the morning. Fantastic L 

The vertical race – picking up the bib …

 On Friday – the day of the vertical race, the Skyrace is about to start on Saturday – I go over to Limone to pick up my BIB and soak in some event atmosphere. Weather is really bad on that day. Heavy rain all day and the wind gives Lago di Gardo the face of the North Sea – waves a hitting the shore. 

Event organiser had put up a tent which actually was targeted to host the event party, but due to the weather conditions, it also host the event fair. I get my BIB and a nice race pack, spend some time in Limone to wait for the vertical race start. They start on a b-course (1200m+, 6k) as the weather doesn’t allow to run on the original course. Elite and field runners start is put together and all runners are gathered in the tent. My boy and me sneak into the tent as well. Nice to get close to the runners and soak in the atmosphere.

As a side note, my boy spots a stand of Petzl who showed off their gear – including climbing harnesses. He asks me if I need to bring my climbing gear for tomorrows race as well. “Nah – I don’t need that for the race, it’s a running race not a climbing event” is my response – we revisit this one later  ;P

They do a pre-start in the tent and then head to the real start outside. My boy and myself manage to sprint from the tent to the start to witness both. Fantastic experience. I love the nervous pre-race atmosphere a lot and those runners taking off like rockets. All that in heavy rain & wind, rolling thunder in the back.

Finally, some pre-race tension builds up on my side. Mentally preparing for a tough day out on the trails. 

The morning of the race …

I wake up slightly before the alarm clock, so I have plenty of time. Standard morning routine takes place and started relaxed for the 25 min drive towards Limone. Some light rain but overall much better conditions than on the day before. This looks promising. I arrive early in Limone and leave most of my stuff in the car – parked 5 min from the start. Nice walk into the old town, checking the event location on the promenade. The crews are busy building up the stands outside close to the start line. Some first runners are there – while everybody is relaxed, you can already feel the race-vibe in the air.

In front of the start line the doc-car is parked. Kind of a mix between a jeep and a golf cart, two seats and looks like it could manage pretty rough terrain. As I see one of the docs, it reminds me of the conversation with my boy the evening before – the guy was completely geared up in climbing harness. Would I need a climbing harness after all?! ;)
Nah, but it seems to be pretty tough. After having a nice coffee and countless walks to the toilet, I get up to my car and prepare for the race. Still a little bit chilly but it is not as cold as the days before. Sun is even coming out and no rain anymore. Nice J

Back down in the start area it’s getting pretty crowded. Interesting to see the different teams staying together and loads of international individual starters. On the other hand, the regular tourists are slowly conquering the place as well.

A German tourist couple interested in the race and every detail of it and another German fellow running who missed to bring his windbreaker shorten the waiting time for me. Only 5 min left for the start. GPS watch on and climbing over the fence into the starting field. The view towards the start sign is intimidating. The mountains are stacking up high, you can’t even see the top of the ridge without putting your head in to the heck. What the hell I’m into?!

The start

And BÄAAAM off we go. The field is  funneling its way through the small alleys of the beautiful old town of Limone. I’m taking it easy and just go with the flow. I notice that some of the runners are very eager to overtake others at this point in time, I will only later understand why …

The first uphill

After almost 2k of gently flowing through the village, we reach the first uphill. Not a little one. We are climbing approximately 1100m up over the cause of 5km distance. Holy Moly. All that on a fairly technical narrow single trail. Overtaking others becomes close to impossible and now I understand why people have been so eager to overtake others before the climb. I stuck behind a big guy who is fighting up the hill – pretty much starring at his ass for the next hour. Random thoughts crossing my mind at the time:

  • This is too slow – I should have been pushing more on the flat.
  • This is so steep – why did I sign up for this?
  • If n runners per time unit can pass this single trail per time unit, it is most likely 2/3n or even ½ n runners with poles – I got annoyed with the poles around me…
  • Apparently there is no negative gravity build into this Salomon Slab gear the guy in front of me is wearing
  • What a beautiful view – this is awesome …
  • Maybe it’s good not to start too tough – after all my HR is not that low anyways

Looking back the last thought is key. While I still think that I could have pushed a little more on the first uphill, I’m now happy that I didn’t overdid it in be beginning and by that screwed up my first sky race experience. 

Running up there … 

Once we reach the top of the mountain, the field gets a little bit more distributed and it’s possible to overtake other runners without causing major stress. Also we get back into stretches of running – It’s so nice if the pain peaks and then slowly disappears ;)

I find the course to be just awesome – fantastic single trails, some smaller climbs which get your hands dirty (why the hell do the guys still use poles in here?!), smooth down hills, technical downhills – just a perfect mix.

All the time you catch beautiful views down to the lake. From a weather perspective we are actually lucky. The light rain at the start stopped quickly and the air is warming up a little. On the top of the mountains we get into the cloud and face a little condensation – this actually feels nice and refreshing.

Overall I feel strong and despite the effort I need to put in and the question mark  about what else the race is going to bring, I really can enjoy running up there. Feels fantastic.

In terms of exposure and technicality I feel pretty good as well. Technicality is not overwhelming and most of the very exposed parts are actually fairly easy trails. The organizer has marked them with some flatter band, so that the racers get another visual hint where they should be extra carefully.

Most of the trails are in very good condition despite the bad weather in the last 24 hours. Some of the trails in the Forrest are deeply muddy though – I still need to clean my shoes ;)

Not a kindergarten up there … 

Despite the permanent sound of the helicopter which was constantly in the air, two events during the race got me back to pay more respect to what I’m doing right now.
The first one happened during a downhill in the forest. All of the sudden there was a long, male scream of outstanding pain – maybe like 100m in front of me. Sounded so terrible. Pictures of an open fracture and an eye ball punched by a stick popped up in my mind (I should check on my media consumption). To be honest I turned my head back to verify that I wouldn’t approach the situation alone – I was alone. Shit. Anyways heading down the trail and mentally preparing for the worst. On more turn and then – Relief. The guy is lying in a big muddy puddle with two runners around him. It is “just” a cramp. I felt sorry for the guy and happy for myself at the same time ;)

The second situation takes place on a very steep and rocky downhill. I’ve heard the roar of the supporting cross motor bikes before and all of the sudden, I see one of those lying in the middle of the – from my point of view absolutely undoable with a motor bike - trail. One female runner apparently did fall on this steep downhill. Luckily she is taken care already by the med crew. I see her crying and her in-pain face. The whole body is shaking. I turn my head to avoid to let this sink in to deeply (failure here!!) and then I again focus on my own running – a little slower for a while…

Myself was lucky. I stumbled twice but kept control (mostly ;)) Ian Coreless reports about loads of bloody racers at the finish line …

Last uphill

At the bottom of the last uphill, I feel my quads being sore from all the downhills. I decide to get out my poles and use them. Very good decision. The trail isn’t that technical and I’m able to recover my legs a little and even overtake other runners. Looking at those destroyed faces, I feel happy that I paced slower at the beginning and I still feel strong.

Last Summit

 On the top of the last summit, the feeling of disappointment crosses my mind. Only 5k of downhill is left? I would love to run here forever. Nevertheless, I drink approximately half a liter of coke at the aid station and eat a few bricks of chocolate. And off we go … 

Down we go ..

 The downhill to Limone is the most technical one of the race. It’s cruel. I’m happy once again that I have saved some legs. My mood is now – all or nothing. So I push relatively hard on the downhills. This requires all my focus. Meanwhile I see Limone approaching and feel the civilization to reconnect. The disappointment from the summit is now replaced by positive anticipation of the finish line. I’m overtaking some slower runners on the steep downhill and later on the flatter part, I almost get a little into a racing mode ;) 

The Finish

Once I have almost falling down to the village, the last 1k is flat next to the lake. First we run on the beach and then getting back to the promenade. The finish is at the same place like the start. Hence again you get the view of the impressive mountain ridge. I struggle to realize that I just climbed that bitch. A very emotional finish.

After crossing the line and spending some time in the finish area, I walk slowly on the promenade – struggling to realize what just happened. Eventually I get myself a bottle of beer and 1.5 Liter of water. I lay down on the quay wall, facing the mountain ridge and catching a few last sun rays. Happy.

Pasta Party

After some time of recovery, I get back to the car to finally change my cloth. Dry cloth. Nice. Still a smell – who cares?! I’m heading back down to the event tent. Anticipating some nice food and drinks. I spent a while there eating, daydreaming … Eventually I’m done and head back to our little hut. What a day. What an adventure. What a joy.


Fantastic race. Fantastic place. Beautiful trails. It feels good to be able to take part in this kind of little adventure. I need to come back. At least twice.
I need to come back in good weather conditions and enjoying a hike on the course. I will bring a proper camera. Those views are mind blowing. I got some of them in my heart. Priceless. More out there. I need to embrace it.

I need to come back for a proper race. There is unfinished business. I know that I can be much faster out there. A little bit of more specific training. Different mindset and it will be epic.
So at least – I need to come back twice. Limone – better be prepared ;P

Sunday, May 29, 2016

TorTour de Ruhr 2016

The week before

The thing - TorTour de Ruhr -  is clearly turning into reality. While it always has been in the back of my mind and I dedicated some of my training efforts to it, the TorTour de Ruhr has always been hidden behind the the Düsseldorf Marathon, which took place three weeks before the TorTour de Ruhr. Main focus for the Düsseldorf Marathon was to significantly improve my PB, which kind of worked out. Now, the the entire focus is on the TTdR. Thinking about the 100k is still overall intimidating and close to impossible. Thinking about it as less than five half marathons only make it slightly better. But hey - this will work. It's now almost two years ago that I first heard about the race and witnessed it as a spectator. A lot of things change over the cause of this time.

Earlier the week, I met Lars, who agreed to me by staying next to me on the bike and carry all the supplies in the bike trailer of my daughter. All the supplies - we quickly created a list of things we might need and estimated the amount of the items. INSANE - while I'm pretty optimistic that we are overestimating our needs, it's still intimidating to see the large list of things, we might potentially require.

Before the race on Thursday I seemed to have pulled my left calf muscle. Tight like a stone. I couldn't even properly walk on Friday. Will I be fit in time? Two days of intensive application of salve, Blackroll and some stretching. Only the day of the race I mentioned this to Lars, to not disturb his motivation earlier. I definitely wanted to give it a try and calf was much better now. I estimated three more days of rest for totally recovery at race day- this would need to be delayed to after the race.

On Saturday we packed all the stuff. Easily we have been able to fill up the entire trailer. I tried to relax as much as possible and went to bed early. Alarm clock should ring at 0:50am and I should be picked up at 1:30am.

The race day - Pre Start

Alarm clock didn't ring, but I anyway got up 15 mins before the alarm. Honestly, I didn't find much sleep.
Loads of strange dreams, plus the blanket was totally soaked in sweat - Hydration needed to start from zero ;). Quickly jumping into the race cloth and grabbing the last things. Smooth ride to the start line in Hagen, where we found an interesting atmosphere: a lot of runners and crews where preparing themselves on the parking lot. Headlamp lights everywhere. People in pleasant anticipation, nervous whispering and warm welcoming of people who meet. A vivid community.

Inside of the building it has been nice and warm. Good mix of runners of the longer distances, who dropped in for a good drink and a plate of noodles and 100k runners signing in. Super smooth sign in and warm welcome - Felt like home.

After having a good cup of coffee - next to a guy sleeping with his head in the noodles plate, we went out to prepare the bike and the trailer. I was getting a little nervous about the timing, but Lars's calm character did the magic trick on me to cool me down. I mingled between the other starters, listened to the short briefing and then Rock and Roll, baby!

The race day - Finally we run

We started behind a bike for a short introduction round of 500 m and then off we go. I kept my headlamp off for some time - as the path was packed with quite some runners, who already shed enough light. Right after crossing the Ruhr river for the first time, somebody yelled at me "Ah Vodafone" - I couldn't identify the person as it was pitch dark. Only a few hours later I recognized that was a colleague of mine, who did crew some other runners. How small the world is!

After a 1-2k the excitement was slowly going away. Running is something which I have been done before, is something I can focus on. I felt good. The feel of my tight calf was still present but clearly no showstopper at this point in time. My mind slowly realized what has started 2 years ago by reading some Facebook posts about the TorTour de Ruhr and a short visit to the finish line, formed in a crazy, fantastic idea in the back of my mind, has been formalized by accepting the invitation to the race, will now turn into reality. Goosed bumps. 

I focussed on myself and Lars nicely supported me in watching over my pace. I started too fast - like always - but he kept reminding me. I think it took me more than 50k to finally naturally run in the targeted pace - it always seemed to slow. Like mentioned in my earlier blog post, I aimed running on average 6 min/km pace and allow myself two extra hours for resting or compensate for walking periods.

I wore my race backpack the whole time. I had two filled softflasks, some gels and bars with me. While mostly intended for the possibility that I might get separated from my crew, it turned out that even with Lars next to me was a good setup. I could constantly eat & drink and he reminded me by asking : "Stefan, do you need anything?" - that I might have a need. So overall, I definitely ate more than I would have done it if I were on my own. This was a pretty good thing!

Only after 3h40mins I asked for a first stop. Needed to eat something different. I still felt awesome and did some social media stuff. 

The atmosphere on the cycle path was super nice. Silent morning, not much non-TTdR folks around. We passed a lot of crew members waiting and catering for their runners. Super friendly atmosphere and everybody was supporting everybody - I once again felt part of the family.

On the way to Baldeney See, I got some good news over the phone. One of my favorite running buddies - Cris ( - confirmed us that she was on her way to support me on the run. Last logistics being sorted out to confirm a good meeting point took place. 

All this was perfectly supported by my Garmin watch. I'm super happy with the performance of the Fenix 3 during that day. I had uploaded the GPX-track for navigation, which I used regularly during the day, and I started Garmin Live Tracking on the phone. So, watch was connected all the time to the mobile app, which then was broadcasting my current position to the folks following me on the Internet. It worked like a charm. After the finish, I had still 25% battery left on the watch (just normal mode - no ultra mode). My phone would  have probably survived, but at some point in time I recharged it  with a power bar in the trailer. Fantastic setup - worked easily and reliable. I got a lot of feedback from friends, who spent a lazy Sunday by watching my slow and constant progress...

When I arrived at the Baldeneysee, things were still fine. Body was ok, no bigger pain or anything - it only slowly transformed from a nice, just being in the flow to some recognizable level of being bored.
A change would be nice at this point I said to myself ...

And there was the change. First, I met my brother and my sister in law on the old train bridge heading to Kupferdreh. They took a short video of me and joined in the forces until the nearby aid-station. Super nice and surprising support. On the aid station Cris showed up as planned as well - superb timing. From then on there was a good level of distraction. She joined Lars in going next to me on the bike. Leaving the aid station my brother stayed next to me running for some kilometers - awesome support. As he left me, he confirmed that he would be waiting for me at the finish line - nice motivation again.

The next 30k until km 80 were quite relaxed. Cris and Lars kept a good level of conversation going, which was quite helpful for me to keep a positive mood. It was quite like a normal social run - we had good fun and took it in a relaxed mode. After a short rain, we had quite some sunny moments - I even used my sunglasses ;). The section after the Baldeneysee is actually a super nice, silent place - I just love it.

Shortly before aid-station VP 208,5km - I all of the sudden felt hungry , I asked Lars to check if the VP would be around the corner and as it wasn't, I decided to have a short picnic right where we were. This was absolutely the right thing to do - I immediately refilled my energy reserve - not sure what would have happened if I would have kept on running until the next aid station ...

At the aid-station we were getting more food&
drinks and friendly words one could ask for. Also we experienced a couple, who was on the 230km, who showed a magnificent mix of being exhausted, keeping controlled and being 100% confident. Chapeau!

After some more kilometers Cris said goodbye and headed back on the bike. Being super thankful for her support, Lars and I continued our way. Now, some level of tiredness eventually kicked in, but I still felt pretty good. We had sunshine though, a colleague of mine mentioned that there might be some hail ahead of us. Still in good sunshine, he actually showed up at the side of the track, took some video/photos and found some motivating words. Again - awesome support and dedication. Thank you so much, Paulo!

Shortly after km 90 some things happened. On one hand moving on was taking more effort now as I was getting more tired. I felt my feet - at the time I anticipated to be in process of loosing two more toe nails (actually only two blisters which tripled the size of the individual toes ;))  - Lars mentioned later that I turned slightly pale around that time. At km 92, I asked for a final stop - refreshing my energy with coke and chocolate. At this point in time it became clear to me - all the fight being in front of me taking aside - I will definitely reach my goal. I had quite some emotional moments during the next kilometers realizing that my two-year-dream was becoming reality. Lars recognized the change on me and asked me if he should entertain me or keep his mouth shut. Apparently, I answered in a relatively impolite manner  "Do what you want, I'm not listening anyway." What should I say - this was exactly what it was at the time. I now was even more focussed than before. I got the feedback during this and other races, that I tend to be quite focussed through the races anyhow, but this was for sure a different stage now ... Running was getting tough but at the same time I could keep a reasonable pace. I even overtook some runners, who pushed me with statements like "You are looking good!", "Awesome pace" which even raised my confidence level.

The wind was freshen up quite a bit. Lars gave his best to shield me from the wind, but didn't succeeded. Anyways - I was in a fighting mode - so what can a bit of wind do any harm.

On the last crossing of the Ruhr via Ruhrorter Schleuse, I walked the first meters during the race. Not much, maybe 150m, but I kind of needed this to ensure that I gathered myself for the finish. I also spontaneous decided, to try the Facebook Live Video feature to stream my finish to my Facebook page - Worked awesome as Lars took over the camera.

The last 1.5km were tough, but luckily there were other runners and crews everywhere who cheered me up.

Unfortunately I can not really cover all my feelings, as I eventually reached the Rheinorange,  in words. It was a mix of immediate relaxing, being proud, not able to realise what happened and pure relief. Actually I'm missing many more aspects here. Finally I received the congratulations from Jens, who was a little bit shy to tell me my finishing time 11:00:03 - just about 11 hours. I couldn't care less about the 3 secs.
Beside all the runners and crews at the finish, it was also nice that my brother and sister in law show and some friends showed up to welcome me.

Lars has carried 2 cans of beer the entire way - never tasted a better beer.

After some 10 minutes of enjoying the finish, we went back to the cars - it was getting quite cold. Interesting I had little trouble walking. What a day!


Times are busy these days. Its Sunday evening - well already Monday morning to be precise - 2 weeks after the TorTour de Ruhr. I'm still thrilled on what I have experienced. Some key points:
  • I'm able to run 100km in one go - 4 years ago my horizon was the opposing goal line of a - small - football field. I'm proud of this achievement and also a little surprised
  • the TTdR is a fantastic event. Awesome organisation gathers a family of runners in a unique atmosphere 
  • I want to redo this - this time everything went so smooth - Let's see how it would go the next time
  • I'm in process of constantly pushing boundaries. 100km is the current boundary. Looking forward to push it out - Maybe 160km @ TTdR 2018?!
  • Comradeship is key to achieve this kind of things. You can train like a horse for your won, but you need friends who believe in you and support you on the way. Thanks for this!
  • You! - Right, you reader. You might be just a single person reaching this line of the long blog post, but you, should consider to do the same! Running 100km, well - maybe yes, maybe not. It's more about living your dreams, leaving your comfort zone and explore new things!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Preparation TorTour de Ruhr

Man - I'm really lazy in terms of actually writing anything on this blog. Anyways, I hope I used the time to prepare the TorTour de Ruhr properly - we will see.

I'm writing this, as now more and more people ask me about what kind of endeavour have been signed up, where does it take place and when? In this blog post I will capture all relevant information as they are available to me - so, watch out for updates of this blog post.

What is this TorTour de Ruhr thingy?!

The Tortour de Ruhr is a ultra running event, which takes place at the bicycle path - Ruhrtal Radweg - next to the Ruhr River. The complete race distance covers all the way from the origin of the Ruhr to the entry in Rhine River. Finish is at the Rheinorange. These are 230km. While I'm crazy, I'm not that crazy - yet ;). Luckily they also provide shorter distances. 100 miles and 100 km (Bambini Edition). I signed up for the latter. All race editions share a common finish locations, which is the above mentioned Rheinorange. The event takes place every 2 years, but it is a private event. So you can't just sign up for it, but you need to obtain an invitation. All the details are available on the event web-page: (while mostly in German, it provides everything you might want to know about the event).

When does it take place?

The Bambini Race starts at Sunday the 15th of Mai 2016 at 4am at the Hengsteysee in Hagen, DLRG-Wache Südufer, neben dem Hengstey-Freibad.

Where are you running?

You find a magnificent GPX track at event website or directly at Google Maps. I will start at KM 132,6 (62,9) = VP = Start TTdR100 and running down the Ruhr river until KM 231,5 (161,8) [100] = Finish TTdR. So, don't get confused by the naming of the aid stations. As they are shared between the different distances, they are named after the full distance race.

When will you be where?

Easy question, but super hard to answer - at least in general.

For sure I will be at the start at 4am. This is easy, but maybe not a good point in time to visit me. Might be too early for you and actually I should need less of support at the start.
Another - slightly less, but hey I'm optimistic - sure statement that I will be eventually at the Rheinorange ;).

Beside this, the organise provides a live tracking available at The accuracy here would be on aid-station level. Apparently updates will only be done once a runner hits the finish.
I'm thinking about providing more detailed information on the run, not sure yet how. I might just update my FB status from time to time, Use Garmin Live (I'm a little bit shy because of  the battery consumption) or find other means. Definitely I will have my phone with me.

In terms of planning I'm not so sure. The organiser provides this general time plan, which might give you an idea.
Personally I have too little experience to actually provide an accurate plan about my running. Initially I put a thumb in the air and estimated 10+2h for the distance. Rationale here: 6min/km pace is pretty slow for normal running (this would give me 10h) and for sure stuff will go wrong - so let's add 2h more. So highly unscientific and most likely obsolete right after the start ;)
In the meantime I played a little bit with numbers: Google Sheet - Maybe even less accurate. Anyways my goal is to finish - I couldn't care less about the time.

Should I pass along to sheer you on?

Absolutely. Sheering is always nice on those long runs. I would be supper happy to meet some known faces, which could distract me a little from the effort.
At the same time, don't over estimate the experience on your side. I will not pause for an extensive talk, I might me totally broken and hence a bad conversation buddy. 
If you are still up to pass along - great! The actual course is a cycle path - so passing along on a bike tour should work perfectly. If you are a runner, you might want to jog along with me for a while - I'll be slow! - Also a family excursion, e.g. to the Baldeneysee could work.
Just show up to surprise me, or let me know in advance, so that I can manage to communicate where I am according to your plans. If you don't show up (weather forecast is not too good) - don't worry. I'm in a fight anyways ;)