The next scheduled race for 2019 was the Louis Persoons Memorial (LPM) Ultra Marathon on January 27th in nearby Genk, Belgium. I ran the LPM Marathon twice before: in 2015 which I finished in 5:37:00 and in 2016 where I ran slightly faster and completed the race in 5:24:24. Although I don’t like trail courses, I was familiar with this one enough to sign up for the third time.
Let me be honest though: I actually thought I was signing up for the marathon and realized later they only had the 44.8K distance, followed by the 22.4K, the 11.2K and the 7.2K distances. Oh well, I already paid the 75 euros marathon package and convinced myself to stick to it.
Richard drove us an hour and a half to the race location in Kattevennen 15, 3600 in Genk late Saturday afternoon. Kattevennen is the gateway to the huge Hoge Kempen National Park. Our accommodation was at the Bloso Sporthotel in the middle of the park. An additional 35 euros for Richard was collected by the race organizer. Bed linens were provided but we had to bring our own towels, soap, and shampoo. The hotel was as basic as it could get, but we had wifi access.
We arrived in time for dinner at the Ruiter Club Cafe across the hotel.
The cafe was connected to the indoor horseback riding area.
We walked back to the hotel after dinner.
Breakfast was served at the dining hall. Nothing fancy but it served its purpose. There was cereal, boiled eggs, sliced ham, fruits, bread, and yogurt. Coffee and tea were also available.
We made our way to the back of the cafe across the street to pick up my bib and wait for the race to start at 10:00 AM.
We took off promptly at the top of the hour.
The ultra distance required four laps on 90% trail surface.
Richard patiently waited and took some photos of the surrounding area.
This time the race was tough! It rained and the sky was overcast the whole time. I finally crossed the finish line in 6:39:19.3. The soup and sandwich for all finishers were long gone by the time I crossed the finish line.
I took a shower in the gym before Richard drove us back home.