My own thoughts my own struggles my own happiness of completing the Ultrabalaton is one thing, but when people call and asks whats next, whether I would try the 220km alone next year, without hesitation I say no.
No, because this race was meant to be done as a team, as a crew of strong wills and built up connection in terms of the want of not letting the other down. We pushed harder, we kept happy and not lost our head because the other, we did not loose our spirit not only cause we are that strong in mind but rather the fact that we thought we would make the other go down if not reaching our goal.
We also had the best crew, although doubts were there, I did not know our driver, nor that him being a masseur is a good idea in between legs of the relay. I knew and relied on our bike support however, maybe too much as I thought weeks before the race so much I had to train my brain not to, but afterall it turned out the best. And there was the little girl not meant to be member of the support crew, as the original plan was to only give her a ride to the Balaton lake – lake of honesty, how I love this – so she could take some photos of the race and racers. But she stayed with us all the way, so quickly she became the one mixing drinks and preparing food for the guys. We were not close company before but we did good during the race, and created a harmonic team afterall. And that really mattered and matters.
And us, runners, we knew each other by the face for 15 years, never really made connection, never really got closer even when in Berlin with my first marathon with the first crew I joined and felt good with. We started to talk some though, not much. Who would have thought we not only end up as teammembers, but even after the race – although only three days after – we are still talking, did not get on each other’s nerves in that 36 hours squeezed together in order to compete and complete the Ultra. We are now setting up new goals together, discussing new races along with talking on non run related things.
It might be too sentimental I know, but when our driver called the day after the race telling me how thankful he was to partake, or the blog post that made me cry about support crewing, all this made me even more sure, such thing can only happen as a group. We all partake and the success of completing is all ours as a team, no matter who is front, who the face or spokeperson is, or the ones rather staying in the background, with no flaslights into the face.
Funny how running is an individual sport – loneliness of the longsistance runner stereotype – can at the same time bring so many people together, to stick it into memory lane to our heads as a team, this for forever. Looking back in years, it will be always the five of us succeding. Psychological backgrounding.
Well deserved applause for them, they made it all happen easier and natural.