Polar Express

Map-of-Svalbard

Yes, here it is!

So I have been thinking. 2017 has been a very difficult year for me on many levels. Not just my mother passing away, but also a small burnout and some mental health issues that arose to the surface. I’m not there yet, but I’m getting better and stronger each day. I know it will be better soon enough. Althoug is doesn’t feel like it everyday, I still have a lot of off days. But that’s fine. It’s part of the process, it is part of my life. As long as I know it will be better.

What motivates me and gives me energy, is working towards a goal. Just a single (could be more at a time) specific goal (read a race). It shouldn’t be too hard to reach, but you have to push really hard to reach the goal. Doing the preparation, making the plans, the schedules. Sharing your plans with others. Getting inspired by others, asking for help or tips. Putting in all the work and effort. It gives me so much positive energy. Than that moment it’s finally raceday. You’re nervous, anxious, doubting yourself, can I do this? How is my body feeling today, no injuries? Did I put in enough work? Can I do this?

Planning ahead for 2018 gives me a goal, energy and joy. So what are my plans for 2018? One of my big plans is a half marathon in 2018. And a very special one!

2nd of Juni I will run a half marathon on Svalberd at Longyearbyen! Yes, you read it correctly!

In Dutch it’s called Spitsbergen. It’s located in the Nordic Icesea in the polar cirkel 550 up north of Norway. Between the 19th of april and 23th of August there is 24 hours daylight. Svalberd is an archipelago of three bigger islands and about eighty small islands. 60 % is covered in glaciers. Our Dutch expeditioner Willem Barentsz gave the name Spitsbergen when he was on his way to Nova Zembla. I just love these facts. So yes I’m spilling them.

Did you know there are also polar bears? And on some parts of the route there will be armed guards to protect you from polar bear attacks. No joke! I think that’s exciting and scared at the same time. I think I’ll pee my pants if I suddenly see a polar bear while running. I actually hope I see one and not that they have to shoot it of course.

You might think, why on earth I chose this half marathon. People have been calling me a bit crazy, because it’s a bit expensive compared to more regular marathon travels. Well, why not?  It’s a unique location. It’s not cheap, but it’s a one chance in a lifetime. Where else do have armed guards to protect you from polar bears. And I have been anywhere within the polar cirkel. And to experience 24 hours of daylight. That must be really weird.

I will keep you posted on my training towards this goal and I will share soon on the travel details. Running in June in this cold, will be challenging. Especially for a heavy asthma patient like me. Also how to train for a hilly course in this flat country? We will figure it out!

If you’re curious what it’s all about, check the site. If you think just like me, this is an amazing idea, you can join me! And you even get a € 100 discount when you enter “NATALIA” at the coupon/voucher code. Who doesn’t like a discount? Happy holidays!

 

 

 

 

 

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