Marathon 1 of 70: Gennep – Geldern


Dreamy but determined I arrive at Hotel de Kroon. It’s time to go. A few early birds fly in. We talk and Gennep News, Maasland Radio, and Jos Gröninger from the writing press are quickly there. Need a moment to switch. I like it that there is so much attention. A nice moment to speak briefly about my run for positivity again. A luckily the jolly and active Frank is welcoming the guests.

In between the media presence I am greeted by friends, family. And total strangers. Good that the story is alive.

Then music colors the adventure.  Esther and my brother Paul play fruitful, cheerful songs. And a song of hope: You’ll never walk alone. Goosebumps and a big smile surprise me. Amazing.

15 minutes to go. Frank, Naran and the mayor of Gennep make the start beautiful with entertaining, touching and powerful speeches. After a hug with my parents I get some cards and a christoffel. I carry them with joy. After a pat on the back for my brother it’s time to go.

Just across the German border I let it sink in. Beautiful forest follow and between Hommersum and Goch I clean up quite some trash. I share it immediately and encourage people to follow my lead. During your walk or run, to make the world a little more clean and beautiful. First act is a success

At Goch I fill up my water bottles. Drink, drink, drink, lots of people told me. I make conversation with a woman. What I do here. I tell her briefly in my best German, and give her my card. She will follow me. Great 🙂

Kilometers pass by. A second stop at Kevelaer. A beautiful town and a proof that unicorns exist.

In Geldern I meet Michael, my first couchhost. At grocery shopping we talk about adventures. He loves my project. He himself did a 900 km ride in 10 days on a city bike. Very cool.

At his place I am astonished. Beautiful surroundings, great house, lots of green. He asks me for a short tour on the motorcycle. Never done that. After some doubts I agree. Conclusion: In the beginning I almost shit my pants out of fear. After that acceptance and trust. A feeling of freedom embraces me. With an adventurous feeling we return.

Pizza and coffee. In the meantime friends of Michael make a campfire. More and more friends gather around the fire. Beer and music make it a good party. I wisely keep it at one. Nice to celebrate the moment with.

With Levin we talk our heads off about music. Then he grabs his guitar. The evening shines. We ultimately end with songs of Guus Meeuwis and Bløf. I novice that all encounters and happenings overwhelm me. A good moment to catch some sleep and dream about it.

Relive the marathon:

Impressions of the grand depart:

Maasland Radio

Via Gennep (local newspaper)

Cleaning up some trash near Gogh