Bello Gallico 2016 – 2022

The intention was to write a recap of the last 6 editions, but let’s be fair, who cares ?

Everybody knows that the organisation is sublime, the volunteers are a gift of God and that my wife and family were cheering every year, thanks!
I had fun every year, mostly type I, sometimes type II, whilst becoming a household name,…

Sunday, Christmas, 07:36, Dress Rehearsal Rag.

Leonard Cohen is singing ‘hey prince, you need a shave’….
The song is about a man contemplating suicide, being depressed by self-hatred because of the distant memories of his life as a better man. Very bitter, staring at his old face in the mirror…
‘wasn’t it a long way down?’

Will I be that guy someday?

On the profile page of Betrail you can write down your running ‘heroes’.
A lot of the times I read the same names : Kilian Jornet, Jim Walsh, Courtney Dauwalter, … the big stars.
Never get that, they have a talent and make a living on that talent, that’s fine, respect for that, but they are no heroes.

The heroes are the ones that are at the starting line with a not so evident background, who went through difficult times, the becoming-of-a-hero stories.
I read those race reports on social media, more like life reports sometimes.

Those stories always get me, a mixture of compassion, respect and proudness.
And I am sure for every runner that shares his life story, there are 10 other runners that have a likewise mental or physical weight that they carry in their backpack.

Their mental fuel is getting the distance done, no matter what, a victory for life, a crown on a long way up, a proud achievement…
The mental fuel of the Courtney’s and the Kilian’s is winning the race.

So my deepest respect goes to the Ann’s and Kim’s and every one of the backofthepack-midofthepack-men-and-women-overcoming-personal-difficulties in our ultra world.

And I guess chances are that in 10-20 years’ time when they look in the mirror most of them will see the long way up with a proud afterglow.

Disclaimer: My mental fuel for the Bello Gallico is winning, the shallowest of reasons to toe the starting line, mea culpa… But I find pleasure in seeing others getting their personal victory so thank you for sharing your stories.
And in 10-20 years’ time when I look in the mirror the only thing I will probably see is that I need a shave and maybe a flicker of a smiling thought ‘hebtet gij toch maar gedaan éh ouwen 🙂

Ivo Steyaert