the 12th of march – starting

All the long preperation for 9 months find their end at 12th of march.

At about 12:30 (nearly lunch time) and started to 237 day´s adventure….It was a great event wich was organized by 361degree, Victor, me and friends.

Also the media attention was great and the honored guest from Hamburg, General Consulate, 361degree,COSCO, FUNDAMED, Biogena, bdp Team, Freenet, ChinaTours and Nihao Deutschland find a good platform to explain why their interest is to support the idea of an ultra marathon with the main purpose to break down prejudice. It was amazing also to see the whole Team there who supporting me the whole time – 9 long months and also in the next 9 months.

But what was happens in detail at the first day?

We started early in the morning to the start place to prepare the last things. Elbphilharmony was the place where all should began. I was quite exited to finally realize the 12000 km running from hamburg to Shanghai. Today was the day 0.

My feelings are still now deep in my heart – i got strong headache and all around drove me crazy. Every little thing which i not prepared well could stop the project earlier than expected and i had no time to proof what Victor my buddy prepared. So for a long time i drove the last time with my car from my home to the place.

Family, Brother and Sister are already in Hamburg and i realized: „today will be maybe the last time you see them…“ The feelings are between happy to finally start, sad to leave all and worries what i maybe not did well. I also feel the huge responsibility to family and friends, sponsors and of corse victor.

Arrived at the Elbphilharmony there are already some crafts teams from 361° and others to prepare their advertisement tent and sound box and so on. The car was parked already the night before and also the night before i put in the car all the equipment.

Victor and his uncle arrived.

As Victor didn’t had time enough to pack all the day before we did this now. Friends come and helped us. All was a big mess. We couldn’t prepare a system to put in our equipment so we just place it where we thought its fine. Desaster for us german – but also necessary to accept. Later we will find out: many many days we need to find our structure and still up to the end we not happy with our system and optimize all the days more and more.

It was horrible cold and we all are freezing at this time. The sun was shining but it was about -5° to +5° C with strong wind – hamburg was going to say goodby to us.

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I don’t really remember the speeches and the talks we did on the last hours. I only remember my whole team was there, family and friends and i had some interviews with several TV Stations. All was like numb in my body and brain and i just focussed on the real start.

Luckily Marco (Marco Ammer) from Nihao Deuschland TV show was there. He moderate the event and helped me to keep the overview of the situation and he also lead me with all his questions to do the right things.

The first problems started already here. No space, Freenet CEO had an accident so we didn’t get our promised SIM Cards and the restaurant which was booked from 361° for the VIP guest was too small to warm all people, but there was no other place they could offer.

Anyway – the count down starts….

I can’t remember clear but luckily we had TV and many videos which shows me all the situation…

At this moment when he count down i only remember: „hopefully the car can go up the ramp with all the people and i hope nobody gets hurt…!“

So Marco ends his count down, i blow into my whistle and we started… running up the ramp and along the streets out of hamburg city into the direction to Geesthacht.

On the first KM many friends and guest join me and most exiting was all the firefighters including Frank who come the long way from Bavaria to join. I was so touched and i didn’t know anything before he show up there…

So we passed the Europe Headhunter from COSCO Shipping who is a sponsor of the project and mad a last group picture there.

Continue an other 5-6 km with Britta from Runner´s World and some firefighters and others. At this moment i did´t realize that Britta for example will follow me on my tour online and update the website from Runner´s world and also motivates me with her reminder for articles.

But than the moment when all are gone: Alone – finally alone… I wired feeling. I knew i started to break the 12000 km long distance and it was something unique, something special, something no one did before on the silk road. But why i feel sad and useless? Why i not feel any happiness or why i didn’t feel like its really something special?

How describe the feeling? The best is: „it feels like at one of my training runs – just run for the day goal and than make the after preparation and finish the day…“

Often on my trip i will experience this feeling – and more and more i had worries if its really the good way to breakdown prejudice with this kind of event? I didn’t had any doubt for i can perform the distance by running. Even i didn’t had worries to give up – but it feels so not important and useless at this moment.

I continue my run, made the first videos and pictures and arrived finally at about 6:00 the first destination. Victor was already waiting and together we made our first video.

At this time we didn’t know anything about Pictures and Videos and this job will later bring victor nearly to give up as the pressure for perfect shoots and good records was very high and my expectations on him as well.

Arrived at the camping place near the Elb River we prepared our Equipment and we knew that some of our friends will come to bring something back – things we had packed too much. Also CCTV want visit us in our first night camp and Frank and Britta come over and brought some Milk, Water and other things we don’t want pack at the start place.

It was a funny situation. Camping just about 40 km away from home, in a caravan camper and sleep like disappear from home.

The CCTV Team was very late and it was nearly 11:30 pm before we finished all our daywork on the first day.

There are several Camping Trailers and an older couple came over to support us with coffee and bread and asked us a lot of questions. An other Camper helped Victor with a connector cable as he not had one for Special Camping Charging plugs and an other camper give us the first financial donation after the start – 50€ what surprised us a lot…

Tired but satisfied and still with this wired feeling i spent the first night with Victor in the Trailer called Kulba. Oh my good – he snore, not only a little – he snore like hell. hahaha good start – but luckily i was tiered and enough and learnt in my life to sleep also with noise..

Good night form the first night on the project.

Follow my blog to see what was happenes all the way long…

The result of the first day i can summarize like:
  • wired feeling and not feel like doing anything special
  • stressed because we didn’t had a good structure for our equipment now and still it will take quite long time
  • happy the first evening family, friends and CCTV come over to support the last things and get a slow good by
  • interesting to realize the first night with some one i just know since November the year before and now will spent more than 8 -9 months together.

At this moment i could not know what huge trouble but also great support Victor will do on this trip —  read more next what happens in the first country Germany…

Now – one year later i sit here, write some text about this time and feel sad again. It´s over – all the exiting experiance, the friends we meet every day on the road, the smile in some faces we creat, the problems we overcome together as a team… all past. But also i feel happy and exited the same time. Many things we reach, many people we brought to smile, many influence we give to others and many peole told us how the project changed their mind to think about other nations and cultures. Yes – we did beak down prejudice and still i feel it´s not enough – but the work will continue.

Now i sit in a hotel in Shanghai and waiting for the next meetings tomorrow morning. Besides that i have to follow my revocery plan as i still have a lot of pain in both feet. Soon when i´m back in germany i will go to the hospital and we will discuss to remove the plates and screws. A new step than.

In the meanwhile i prepare to produce a Documentary to show all experiance in 1 – 1,5 hours and also working on my two books. The first book will be published in August or September as a Fotobook the second will be published in 2019 after digest all results and recovery from the project. Here i will write more detailed about the work with the countries, the sponsors, the government and media.

During i write here i got several new messages from people who have their own life dreams and ask me for advice – this makes me happy – very happy. Help to reach the life dream is a huge satisfaction as i saw many people they give up and get unhappy because they can´t digest this feeling. So i have to continue the work – no matter what.

Will i do all the same things again?

Yes and no. It´s easy to say something i will do diffrent in a review position. But honestly – i feel i did 80% perfect and 20% bad – this will happens again – whatever i change whatever i prepare. The only important thing for me is:

I´m happy and thankful to get a chance for this experiance and result – also for the accident – it brings a new influence and i could proof myself to be strong as i said before – to say it is easy – to do it not so much…

Your Kai Markus is supported by the United Nations World Travel Organization (UNWTO) and the Senator Chancellery of Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.

We are honored by the Chairmenship of Olaf Scholz – 1. Major of Hamburg City

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