The time for me to pack my bags for Belarus is getting closer. Getting here has been an exciting process. Looking back now to the start of the year and how the project looked then compared to what it looks like now, its fun to see how it has morphed. But it is not done yet!
For this project I owe massive sums of gratitude to a lot of people. Especially Karina Sitnik from Walk to Folk Tours. If anyone wears the hat for organization and answering questions it is her! She has helped me with all the little details that you will never know about, but are essential for this thing to happen.
I will thank everyone individually in a separate post. But I also wanted to mention the power of social media. I found myself meeting different people in Minsk through Instagram. It all starts off with a few hashtags, following a few new people, and discovering the running community in Belarus starts to unfold.
One of these places lead to a man called _bearded_runner. First of all I like his Instagram handle, second of all he looked professional with his kit and his gear -and his social media profile was on another level.
So I sent him a PM saying I will be coming to Belarus and we should run together, his reply was that “I have just run across the country from North to South” and was ready to run with me!
I wasn’t sure what to think, he had exactly done, what I wanted to do, if I had more time and money. He was not afraid of running on one of the days over sixty kilometers! This could be an added element to the adventure!
We communicate through google translate, another technological tool that comes in very handy! This does not worry me if we decide to run together. There would be a few disadvantages of running with a second person, but this is just one of those unexpected circumstances, that you just have to roll with.
My whole idea is to meet the people of Belarus, and also get to know the running community. If the bearded runners is able to come up with some sponsorship then he will be able to join me.
These adventures of course cost a bit of money. Not a lot, but I like to have a roof over my head at night, and as you can imagine there is a lot of eating that has to be done. It is actually the main reason I am running 250km through Belarus, to make sure there is plenty of room of local delights.
So it is not for sure yet if the bearded runner will be able to join yet, we are hoping that because of my story and his story together we are “a bigger headline.” That the boy from America comes to Belarus and meets a local ultra runner and together they go on the search through the country to make an experience together, showing that running and a little help from social media unites.