Recce Limburgs Zwaarste, part 2

Last month I reccied twice the first section of Limburgs Zwaarste as mentioned in my previous post. Today, it was time to recce the loop around the village of Epen which is roughly 20 km’s long. This loop is not included in the 60km route, but part of the 80km and 100km route.

According to the weather forecast it was supposed to be dry in the morning and indeed it was when I left the parking at ‘t Hijgend Hert‘ in Vijlen. Unfortunately it didn’t last long! Halfway through, it started to rain steadily and it didn’t stop. Luckily my OMM Sonic Smock kept me dry all the way round.

Muddy shoes
Muddy shoes

This wasn’t however the case for my feet. Once the route left the forest and started to pass through the  open fields and along the river Geul, the ground became water-logged and grass hopping was no longer an option, given the amount of rain the last days. Finally the route went back into the forest where the underground was drier except of a sunken road which turned out be a complete mud bath.

All in all a nice loop of 19.5km with 590m of climbing. Although there are plenty of climbs, the route is pretty well run-able apart from the shorter steep climbs in the forests.

Route of todays run
Route of todays run

Recce Limburgs Zwaarste

It’s one month now since I signed up to the Lakeland 50, and training isn’t yet going as planned. This is due to the fact that I’m yet unable to do any running during the week and all running is limited to the weekends. Not however today!

Today I took a day off from work and for a difference wanted to recce a section of Limburgs Zwaarste (Limburgs Heaviest). Limburgs Zwaarste is a low-key ultra run of 60, 80 or 100km with 2500m of climbing, which is held in April and passes almost my front door.

photo road sign

The section I had in mind is a loop of approximately 25 km around the villages of Vaals, Vijlen, Nijswiller and Orsbach. Backyard country, so to say. When I made some printouts of the route and had a closer look on the map the night before, I noticed that the route wasn’t always as straight forward as I expected. There are a lot of walking paths in the forest and many walking routes are marked. The route however doesn’t really follow any of those. Instead of that, it seems to link all up’s and downs together. So what looked as a rather straight forward recce, turned out to be a great opportunity to test my map reading skills and get some climbs in my legs.

I took it easy and walked most of the climbs. The route was actually quite nice and passed through some area’s which I hadn’t discovered yet. Although most is on trails, there where some a sections on paved roads. The trails where all dry and easy underfoot, but that will definitely not be the case after prolonged periods of rain!

All in all todays route was 27.7km long and involved 776m of climbing.

Route of todays run