Running in 2024

In 2019, I was training for my first 100k mountain race, the Ultra Pirineu, an absolute dream race for me. It was a good year. Besides a bunch of short races, Monika and I did back to back 40Ks to set the tone of the year in January. In March I took a wrong turn at the Perimetral in Benissa and then had my first DNF in Ribes at Els Bastions. I also finished the Trail Naut Aran, the predecessor (?) of Val d'Aran by UTMB around the stunning Aran Valley.

But then, a month before the big race, life took an exciting turn when we had our first kid. Ever the optimist, I thought I can become a father and run my race. What I didn't expect though was how little I would care anymore about my running hobby when our daughter entered our lives. Nothing else mattered anymore.

My training before we had our first child
My training before we had our first child

And so it went. I would only run occasionally, to keep the balance, but my philosophy was to not take time away from the kid to pursue my hobby. I was 41 years old at that point, I had plenty of time to do my shit in all those years. All in on family from now on.

Then the pandemic hit, and shortly after we had another kid (yay!). Having two little monkeys felt like the intensity was cranked up to 10x but it was, and still is, the best time of my life.

But I still wanted to run. The only races I did until now was Behobia/SS in 2021 and the inaugural Atzavares Trail in 2023. But neither was a big challenge of the kind I used to do.

Now, that the kids are a bit older, 4 and 2, I think we can dial it up a notch again. In mid-January I started training again a bit more than regularly.

I don't have any real races planned but there's one fun challenge that I would like to tackle this year: Where my in-laws live, in Lithuania, near the Latvian border, there is this route along those endless wheat, barley and potato fields that's roughly 42-45KM long. Flat, asphalt, empty, silent. I always thought this was a fantastic route for a Marathon.

My running project for 2024
My running project for 2024

This year I'm going to run it. In July or August, not sure yet. It's more or less a normal marathon but fully self supported, nobody to cheer you on, one or two shops on the route, and just a whole bunch of nothing. That's the kind of challenge I'm interested in this year.

I will probably post a few of my workouts on the Twitters, for accountability reasons (and to inspire Mac, with whom I want to run the Camí dels Bandolers in April 😁)

Happy to fire up the engines again and see where it takes me. Let's fucking go!

Do you have any challenges set for this year? Hit me up on Twitter, I want to know all about it!