First of all I wanna give you a little impression of my office, where I wrote this article.
The idea of my first Tree-Athlon started in March when I got for my birthday a book with 40 great trails around the globe. I had already experienced some of those trails but this book got me excited to get back on the trails and get there by my own manpower. However, I had to be patient as most countries just announced their lockdown and borders between countries were closed. There were two trails which gave me itchy feet, the GR5 form Lake Geneva to Nice and the Arctic Trail (Nordkalottleden)crossing Lapland through Finland, Sweden and Norway. I could not make up mind, so I threw a coin and pointed South to the GR5.
The idea was to ride my road bike to Switzerland and start running for some trees from there but unfortunately my road bike broke down and I could not get the right spare parts in time. I had been using my grandma’s Albatros in town for a while and I wanted to give it a shot and see how far I can get with it. It is a great bike as long as it is flat but every small hill feels like you are climbing Alpe d’Huez. On my way south I visited a lot of friends who I had not seen for a while. It is always such a fantastic feeling sitting in the saddle all day and knowing to see some people who mean a lot to me in the evening, It gave me a lot of smiles and joy for the ride and on top of it I was spoiled with exceptional plant-based food every evening. I am extremely grateful for this amazing hospitality I received from you all.
Along the way I spoke to some people and did some more research on the trail which I wanted to jump on from Biel where I parked my beloved Albatros at the del Tongo gang. I integrated some variations with some technical mountain passes with parts through the Mercantour National Park and the Grande Traversata delle Alpi (GTA) and planned to finish the trail on the GR52 to Menton instead of Nice as I heard that this ending is a lot more spectacular.
I don´t wanna bore you with a standard 5 page long report, because it is hard to express my experiences in words and I rather let some images and a brief fact sheet speak. Just a small side mention, a big thanks and hug goes to Bademeister Rolf who jumped through the Alps and picked berries with me, showed his heels to some other trail runners without a 10 kg backpack tied to their back and spoiled me with delicious vegan food all the way from Les Houches to Vallée Étroite. By the way he donated one tree for each of the five days he was out with me.
1st Discipline – Low impact transportation to trail head: Bike:
Braunschweig . Hamburg – Bremen – Uslar- Köln – Koblenz – Frankfurt (Bad Vilbel) – Ostheim – Würzburg – Ostalp (Essingen) – Kempten – Immenstadt im Allgäu – Oberstdorf – Konstanz – Gottlieben – Biel
18.07.2020 – 01.08..2020
Distance: 2,468.9 km (and 785.4 running KM)
Elevation: 14,598 m (11,901 m)
Activity Time: 113h44m (70h42m)