Just one more day to go

I’m here, in Belgium, in Bastogne. 20 minutes from Houffalize, where I will run the 23k Houffa Trail tomorrow. So, just one more day to go.

I’m here, in Belgium. In Bastogne (Bastenaken) to be precise. Twenty minutes away from Houffalize, where I will run the 23k Houffa Trail tomorrow. So, just one more day to go.

I’m pretty happy I’m here. Belgium is a mess today. Well, the Belgium roads are. It’s been snowing like crazy in the last couple of days. In the Netherlands the roads were clean. Taken care of. Here not. Some local roads looked more like ice skating rings. And even the highways had lots of patches with ice.


The arrogant Dutch

In Belgium they look at us, Dutch people, as being arrogant. It’s mostly because we are very direct. We don’t conceal anything. If we think you’re an asshole, we’re happy to say it in your face.

Plus we like to get to business straight away. It’s something Sara always tells me off for. If I write on WhatsApp, I directly say what I need. No, how are you doing? How was your weekend? For me that’s small talk, which is nice with a cup of tea. Not at the beginning of a meeting, or in a WhatsApp-message.

If you want to call that arrogant, that’s fine for me. But I think we Dutch are more than just arrogant. We’re also organized. So yes, roads are maintained, and cleaned when it snows. Even the little countryside road I live on, is perfectly clean. Here in Belgium it’s a different story.


No charging stations

I had to leave the highway to charge our electric car, as Belgium doesn’t have a lot of charging stations along the highway. To get to one, I had to drive over small mountain roads. It was just slipping and sliding. At some point we were going 10 kilometers an hour. It was crazy.

My first idea was to drive over here on the morning of the race. I’m happy I changed my plans last minute. Okay, I didn’t expect all this snow, but still… I would have never made it in time. It took me more than 4 hours to do 200 kilometers today.

RELATED: Getting nervous for the Houffa Trail


Getting nervous

My sister is getting pretty nervous about tomorrow’s race. She was here already on Friday. I’m fine at this moment. I was too occupied getting here, to get nervous about the race. That will come tomorrow. Although, probably tomorrow morning I will be mostly nervous about getting in time for the race. It’s only 20 minutes according to the navigation, but 20 minutes on Belgium roads….

But that’s tomorrow’s problem. Now I just want to do yoga, finish The Penguin Lessons, which I started reading more than 2 months ago, but then put aside, and go to bed early, because the race is only one more day away.

Photo: Sportograf

Today's training

Yin Yoga
57 minutes


John Kraijenbrink

The Running Dutchman

I run. Trails mostly. I am Dutch. That makes me The Running Dutchman.

I am also a massage therapist, yogi, sports science nerd, and journalist/writer. Everything I learn and research about trail running, I share here, on this website, with you.

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