Post 11: Fat Guys Running Internationally

By the title, you can probably tell I’m headed out of the country.

You’re so clever.

As I write this, I am sitting in the terminal at JFK waiting to board a plane to Iceland. The next 10 days will include stops in London, Brussels, Amsterdam, Heidelberg, Lucerne, Paris, and back to Iceland. Whew…I got winded just writing that sentence. Although, do you expect anything less from a fat guy?

My first overseas traveling experience, I am excited to see the sights, meet the people, and attempt to communicate. But as a fat guy who runs marathons, I’m far more excited to eat the food, drink all the beer, and get my ass whooped trying to run in the Alps.

The trip comes at a difficult time in my race training. Just one month out from an uphill-marathon race, I will be looking for opportunities to get training runs in during this vacation. Maybe a few laps around Big Ben (also my nickname growing up as a beefy young lad…it’s a sore subject), maybe a run under the Eiffel Tower, maybe a recovery jog through Amsterdam’s Red Light District…umm maybe not that last one.

For sure, however, I am excited to test my climbing legs in the Swiss Alps of Lucerne, Switzerland. They are taller, steeper, and have heard far more yodeling than any mountain range I have ever encountered. If the hills of Umstead Park in Raleigh, North Carolina prove challenging, the Alps have the potential to chew me up and spit my back down the mountain. Luckily…there seem to be plenty of pubs to break my fall.

In thinking about this trip and planning some training runs, I found myself curious to see if European runners and trails are similar in customs and habits to those in the U.S. So, naturally, as a budding journalist with a duty to my booming readership (of 20-30 on a good day), I have come up with a list of questions to examine during my time abroad.

Fat Guys Running Marathons Top 5 Questions About European Runners

#1 Do runners keep a passport in their pocket in case their trail takes them across a border?

#2 Do Europeans have an unfair advantage in 5Ks because they always measure their runs by kilometers?

#3 Do European runners pass on opposite side of the trail when they run as well?

#4 Are Europeans as infatuated with shirtless running as Americans?

#5 Is spreading Vaseline on your…umm…sensitive parts…the best solution this world has come to for chafing?

Don’t worry, I will report back my findings in later posts. For now, I am wheels up…just hoping my extra weight doesn’t create extra turbulence on the way.


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