Winterswijkse berg FKT and Easter challenge
The challenge was simple: Carry 80 dark chocolate Easter eggs up 13m of elevation. One by one. Wearing bunny ears.
Why would anyone want to do the same hill 80 times, you may ask? I assumed it was for the same reason people do 24-hour races: Transcendence, a sense of calm and a deep understanding of what one is capable of.
My personal motivation was mostly to do my running club’s Easter challenge: Complete any activity with 500m meters of elevation or more. Not being someone to waste an opportunity, I added a bit of flair and decided to do it on an official FKT vertical kilometer course.
The FKT route, Winterswijkse Berg, seemed like the perfect place to travel to avoid any contact with other humans during the Covid19 epidemic. If only I had known how true that would turn out to be.
After driving around a deserted caravan lot next to the berg, I finally decided to park the car in this extremely uncrowded parking.
I wanted to make a time-lapse of the attempt because it seemed like a waste to do 80 hill repeats on your own with no one to see you doing them, wearing bunny ears. But I wasn’t sure if I could safely leave a phone on a tripod on one end of the course.
I quickly realized two things; firstly this was Winterswijk and there was hardly anyone around to steal a phone and secondly, the hill was so short, I would be able to see my phone the whole time.
After setting up my gear and my Easter eggs, I popped on my bunny ears and started heading up the hill with one egg at a time.
What is that you wonder? Wouldn’t chocolate eggs melt when you leave them out in the sun and carry them in sweaty hands? I should have thought of that too. But then again, I also didn’t think that I would eventually get bored and need headphones, or that I would be looking in the sun without sunglasses.
Other elements of bad planning include (but are not limited to) not bringing enough water for the blazing hot day, and not realizing that picking up and holding an egg would slow me down quite a bit.
Frankly, there is not much more to say about this ‘event’. If you are still scratching your head, I recommend that you watch the time lapse on instagram to see how much ‘fun’ I had.
And if you think this was the dullest thing you have ever seen then:
- realized that you’ve seen seconds of something that took me an agonizing 1 hour and 47 minutes, and
- nothing can be more tedious than swimming laps in a 25m pool.
But to get back to the original question: Why would anyone do the same hill 80 times?
The short answer is: I have no idea.
This has been the most boring epic thing I have ever done. But I did it, and I guess that is the point.
This ‘route’ is exactly the sort of thing that makes sense in a round-about senseless way. Covid19 has most of us trapped in our houses, searching for meaning in the mundane and every day, looking for ways to pass the time.
That is what this is all about: Passing time, trudging along, and learning on the way that you are capable of surviving not only the most epic, but also the dullest moments in life.
For more background on FKT’s, check out my post “Zurich to Zug” .