As Annika wasn’t able to run two weeks ago because of a flu she had, we looked for another run in the region. There is not so much going on in wintertime. You find a big city marathon almost every weekend during spring, summer and fall, but nothing like that during the supposedly cold season of the year. Luckily we found the Eulenkopflauf, which turned out to be one of the nicest running events I’ve been to.

First of all it’s not really a competition. The whole field stays together until around 34km, when everybody starts running in their own speed and the hills get steeper. Until then the route is not marked. You have to rely on a couple of scouts, who are spread over the entire field. They wear red hats and cannot be missed. A syncing point are the supply stations at 12, 21,30 and 36km, where everybody is taking some energy in and waiting for the rest to arrive. It was quite nicely arranged. Home-made cake, hot tea, water, coke, bananas… All in all everything you could wish for.

The target time before start was around 4:15h to 4:45, quite moderate and manageable for everybody. Due to bad weather conditions we were around 30 minutes slower. Ice on some roads made it quite hard to run properly. The course itself was really nice. Exciting paths in the forest. Some climb and drop, but not too much. Some asphalt to relax, besides the icy parts. Enough supply during the run. For us it was a bit special, as we had the chance to run together for the first time since 1 12 years. For Annika, because it was a challenge due to little training as a flu, the travel preparations and Niklas’ restlessness during the nights disturbed her training plan.

For me it was the last official run before my alpine ultra in New Zealand on the 24th of January. I’m pretty excited about it. And of course a bit worried whether I will make it. Therefore I also tried the new gadget I bought especially for the ultra: The Salomon Advanced Skin S-Lab Hydro 5. But I think it’s better to discuss it in a separate review.

Finally some impressions from this amazing event:

Some bottle-necks had to be passed :)

Annika is faster than my phone taking a picture.

The start!

Wonderful snow. Felt like Finland!

Meeting & supply station @12km.

Running under the tracks of the famous suspension railway in Wuppertal.

Steep hill on the very last meters.

Happy finisher!