Listen to me horribly mispronounce Bart's name, his kind correction, and then Bart explain the situation in Belgium:
"Starting today, we have entered the 'Exit Strategy' in Belgium - groups of 20 can go for a run - but no competitions until at least 7/31."
Western Europe has a VERY organized trail running scene - routes not only have their own webpages, but are all are clearly marked and identified. Bart explains the difference between "GR" routes, and the new "Extra Trail" designation.
"There are 30 Extra Trail routes. They are designed specifically for trail running."
Bart is entered into CCC (part of UTMB), scheduled for 24-30 August. Will this huge trail running festival happen this year?
"I don't think so. And I definitely hope it will not be a 'trimmed down' version. It should be in its 'full glory.'"
NOTE UTMB: This podcast was recorded May 18; UTMB had scheduled an announcement for May 20. On that date, they announced the 2020 event was Cancelled. (Three days later HR100 Cancelled as well).
NOTE INTERNATIONAL: In the first 17 days of May, 58 new Routes have been established in western Europe alone, versus 56 in North America - unprecedented!
- Age: 42
- City of Residence: Kortrijk, Belgium
- Work/Occupation: Software Engineer
- Running/Athletic Highlights: when I was younger, I was a 400 m runner with a personal best of 52.05s. With our 4x400 m relay team we even once got the silver medal in the Belgian junior championships! Summiting Mont Blanc in 2007 was also a wonderful experience. I also did quite some cross country running, but growing older and getting slower, I now prefer running longer at a slower pace and started trail running in 2016. Finishing my first 123 km race in 2019 felt like a real accomplishment of which I am also proud.
- What’s Next: I got a ticket for the CCC race this summer in Chamonix, but it's not sure yet if that will get cancelled or not... If it gets cancelled, I might try another FKT in Belgium of about the same distance. Next to that, I am often solo-parenting, taking care of my biological son Jenne (10 years) and my adopted son Nellis (3 months). Sometimes, that's even tougher than an ultra or FKT attempt ;-)
Really Helpful Links
- Bart's Strava page: https://www.strava.com/athletes/16967068
- GR routes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GR_footpath
- GR routes in Belgium: https://www.groteroutepaden.be/
- ExtraTrail: https://extratrail.com
- US National Trails: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Trails_System
- UK Long Distance Walkers: https://www.ldwa.org.uk/
- Podcast with Karel Sabbe (our 2nd ever!): https://fastestknowntime.com/podcast/episode-2-karel-sabbe