Love for Limburg: looking back on 6 marathons, day 5

From the 1st to the 6th of april I ran 6 marathons through Limburg. A retrospective on a marathon a day.

Day 5: Urmond – Maastricht. 3 cats wake me up. The clock makes its way to number 9, and I relive the 50 kilometers with my dad. I can go a bit later, no worries. Lily – one of the cats – occasionally nuzzled up against me. And finds her own way afterwards. I love it. I go outside, and the sun carefully says hello. With tons of energy I’m gonna find the first hills. The backpack full of 4 beautiful marathons give me wings on the first kilometers. I’m in a marathon flow. A glance at the Maas near Elsloo shows me that the beauty of nature has no borders in Limburg.

After about 8 kilometers I use a log to cross the creek to the forest of Elsloo. A woman runs towards me. I see she is having a hard time. I praise her for her perseverance. She smiles and tells me the run isn’t easy. But that she is doing it. And that it helps her. With no hesitation she continues her struggle. Admired I hop into the forest. Surrounded by bridges, creeks and trees I see a woman on a bench. She sits and enjoys the moment. That’s it. With a peaceful hello I tell her that I love it here. She says that she likes to sit her to take in the nature. She colourfully talks about the forest and nature. It gives her a sense of peace and quiet. Where she feels at home. I nod, and for a while we quietly listen to the birds. I state that I’m going to explore the forest. We wish each other joy and serenity.

The kilometers are passed by. At Geulhem I fill my water bag. Drink, drink, drink, I have been told a lot. After a shot of black magic potion I bravely run into the Geulhemmerberg. ‘That guy just keeps going’, a handful of guests shouts of the terrace. It is somewhere between admiration and total lack of understanding. I see a cycling old man with a long beard. Bent over on his city bike he works his way up. No easy path. I decide to run next to gim and praise him for his willpower. ‘You are not bad yourself’, he smiles. We get into a relaxed conversation, and he tells me about his love for cyling. I start rambling about Rominger, Zülle, Chiapucci. Old cyclist heroes. Back in the days he walked a lot, but he cannot do this anymore. ‘I bike my way into the beautiful spots’, he smiles. ‘Although my back isn’t supporting me that well anymore.’ I feel his pain and he asks me what I do here. I tell him about my adventure through Limburg and my future journey of happiness to Palermo. His eyes twinkle. He would love to go Italy again. We share this love. Then he asks me if I want to send a postcard from Palermo. ‘Sometimes I’m so lonely’, he sighs. ‘So that would make me very happy’. For a moment I’m speechless: this is what it’s all about. I write down his address and promise him to send him a postcard. He continues his route to Schin op Geul. Flabbergasted I stop. Goosebumps all over my body. With a smile from ear to ear I proceed with my journey.

Maastricht. The light slowly fades into darkness. Left late in the morning, and stood still a lot. I decide to let go of the Saint Pieterberg, and take the shortest route to my place to sleep. I run a small victory lap through town to complete the marathon. After 8 o’clock I ring the bell. I get a warm welcome. I directly take the offer to jump into the shower. Apparently I smell. In the meantime she setup a meal for me. We both go through the day. I feel at home. With wandering thoughts to the Geulhemmerberg I crash into my airbed.