German version here

Hello, my name is Kai Markus and in 2017 I ran from Hamburg to Shanghai, 12000 km as Maratone along the Silk Road.

Foto: Biogena Headquater Salzburg

Here in my blog, I now report what happened at that time, after I started running on March 12, 2017 from the Elbphilharmonie accompanied by Victor Neubauer and his 1984 VW Beetle. Every day there were about 60-80 km on my plan and every 6-10 days there should be a break day, which served as a cultural bridge day to discover the cultures of other countries and to report on our own culture. run to breakdown prejudice is my motto. My goal is actively to do something against prejudice and to motivate people to chase their dreams – no dream is too crazy not to come true someday – like my run of 12000 km from Hamburg to Shanghai. Supported by the UN WTO, the Senate Chancellery of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and with Olaf Scholz as patron, it started.

From Hamburg via Berlin and the Polish border. My route took us from Hamburg via Geesthacht, Boizenburg, Grabow and Berlin to the Polish border. After Müncheberg near Krzeszyce (Graby) we crossed the Polish border on March 18, 2017 after about 490 km in Germany.

I decided to change my shoes after about 500 km and on special occasions – fortunately, with 361 ° Europe and China, I had a sponsor who promised me almost unlimited shoes for the tour. So the first change was already to the Polish border, the first border. Since I also gave each shoe an individual name and also noted the KM, which I ran with the shoe, the first „change“ was announced here.

The shoe change has more components:

  • I have an emotional bridge and memory because the shoes are all named and equipped with their own names and the KM give me a good memory of the KM gone
  • Also for runners who want to see the quality of my shoes, it is helpful to adjust the running shoes with a new model – which, as it turns out later, was surprisingly positive on some models
  • The foot of a runner adapts very quickly to shoes – this is not very good for long, hard runs, as the feet tire more quickly and the risk of injury increases – this alone means automatically regular shoe change and, of course, so-called „platform change“ platform change called the situation when changing fundamentally different models – for example, after a trail shoe in a stable shoe or lightweight shoe.

This means that the feet have to undergo a new adaptation over and over again and the less used areas are required.

So a change of shoes looks like this: I change the shoes, write the KM on the old ones and name the new ones. I have my own insoles and then I change them into the new shoes. Dressed and constricted, these are then back for the next 500-700 KM. By the way: once I tied shoes I never open again – is such a quirk. I always climb in the shoe and notice here quickly quality differences on the shaft behind. My motto: once well-seated – always well-fitting.

Now back to Poland. What happened in Poland? What went well and what less? How did I feel about running?

Bildschirmfoto 2018-04-03 um 00.19.24

Let’s start with the route: about 680 KM my route took me across Poland from west to east. From Krzeszyce via Pniewy, Poznań, Slupca, Klodawa, Kiernozia, Warsaw and Kotun and the border at Terespol.

Break days, my so-called culture bridge days were planned in Poznan and Warsaw. For Posen this was the last visit of my family with my son. The weather was cold and humid. At night down to -10 ° C and this made Victor more anxious than me.

Frozen Bug – crazy cold and between inside the camper 10°C  plus – outside -10°C the camper

But for me the highest risk are all the old rusty parts of trucks and cars which are flying around. I had to jump always away to not be hit by such parts…

Well, after crossing the border, which went quite unspectacular over a simple bridge, it just went straight straight out of the street. Despite all the wind, rain and the cold despite the nose. Our Bugavan (as Victor calls his beetle with the Kulba trailer) was the Schlepperei noted and he overheated and was very deep in the street. Victor decided to use the Polish car screw skills and get the Beetle up. Wow, he had not only found a top workshop, but this had us also carried out the free building. Only the material we had to pay. And this careing support of the polish people continues…

Everywhere on the street where you saw me running, people came and wanted to know what’s up with the weird car and the crazy runner. Great, we had barely told the story and idea, we were already invited home – to eat. Kottlet, one of the favorite dishes of the Poles we knew from Germany, but these Kottletts we had eaten there – heavenly.

Then it went to Poznan, the city in which I should now see my family for a long time the last time.

Arrived on the 20th of March in Poznan, we were able to afford the donated money accommodation in order to enjoy the time with the family in peace. A day exploring Poznan, getting to know the culture and telling our story. It was also very interesting for my Chinese in-laws and especially the Schwiegerpappa explored the history and history, buildings and social life intensively.

But as nice as it was, I had to keep going. My plan was to stay on schedule for as long as possible. A delay leads quickly to the next and a schedule to run behind a) makes no fun and b) not typical German – so at least we have always noticed – on time and well planned.

So we continued towards Warsaw. There we should already expect the team of CCTV which we got to know at the start in Hamburg. But the way there was a lot of surprises for me. The hardest was probably the first attempt to make a „selfi video“ of the shoes while running. I took out the telescopic pole, fastened the phone and started the Slo-Mo recording, but no more than 100 meters away was this verd … Metal rod sticking out of the ground and I had overlooked quite slim times. It hurt like hell and I was afraid that my toes would be talked about. But luck – everything went well and it was „just“ a strong compression. The video but is the hammer – unfortunately it takes a bit to look at – but the end of the video I found the blast itself – but the phone is again like the famous smeared Toastbrotseite me the camera on top and filming my stupid face when I pick it up again … hahahah

After the shock had been digested – after all, this could have jeopardized the whole project – we continued along the road, past cemeteries, rest areas that served us as a campground and various dirt roads. Accompanied by lots of dead animals on the roadside who have fallen victim to road traffic.

I’ve already counted all the dead animals on the roadside in Germany – frightening …

I’ve already counted all the dead animals on the roadside in Germany – frightening …
At times, Victor had to screw the sun visor back on, measuring the places where he was waiting for me with provisions and warm coffee anyway.

Arriving in Warsaw on March 25th, Victor had to wait around 1 hour for the camera crew of CCTV in front of the city and we were sooooo cold. We were there in the cold of winter, in our 361 ° winter jackets and sang, „I like to move it, I like to move it …“ and had to laugh heartily about this really unspoken syncone dance sing-ins ,

Followed by the CCTV team I went in Warsaw – there were about 15 km and Dirk (his European name – Chinese like to give European names so we can speak better), the cameraman and reporter should run along with me – but he quickly gave up and fled into the car. So it was a speed that did not slow me down.

These pictures were also found in the CCTV coverage. We were greeted warmly in Warsaw. Especially from a fan who had already seen us in Hamburg, when he was on vacation with his parents. Now there was a reunion and we still got a great CD with pictures from Hamburg.

Our instant soup from China – a real highlight of our tour – until the end …

The next morning we were then equipped by our companion Dirk with Chinese instant soup – Victor received a detailed introduction and as we later realized, the Chinese instant soup served as a basis for the times when we could hardly get past enough supermarkets.

Marathon in Warsaw at the start of the next stage. Victor from the bridge and I somewhere in between …

From Warsaw it went then with a marathon which took place at the same time in the city, in glorious sunshine …

But a short time later, just before the end of our day’s stage, Victor and my way parted for the first time longer. I had to walk through a forest which was very moarastig and Victor could not follow here – so he drove about 30 km detour to the end of the forest to come back to me. Followed by a fan on the bike, it went further east. Pure sunshine and good mood were us hold. It was spring …

At the end of our tour in Poland I had the best experience apart from seeing my junior. At the height of Swory just before the border to Belarus, I had seen a beautiful husky in the morning. He probably also me, and he pursued me the whole day and did not leave me from the side.

If I wanted to cross the street, he stood in front of me and stopped me, inspected the road in both directions and if nothing seemed to come, I was allowed to pass the road first. That’s how it went all day long. As I passed an inch control, I approached the customs officers. They only said: Oh that’s alright, he’ll be back home again – and if not, just have a great dog as a companion. HaHaHa – no problem in Poland – but I could hardly bring it across the border to Belarus.

What to do? Good advice was expensive. Victor did not know that yet and when we found ourselves at the meeting place in the evening he was not surprised. We destroyed some cookies and of course shared with our companion. But then it was time to say goodbye and I sat in the car to Victor and we zigzagged a few KM of it to shake him off, and we hoped he finds safe home.

That evening, we had a great sunset, which almost offered to film. The last day in Poland.

Fun must be, even at the end of very long and exhausting days like this …

Fun must be, even at the end of very long and exhausting days like this …
I had already gotten used to running and Victor and I had now developed something like routine. The shoes – until then I had only the Sensation 2 of 361 ° were top. No blisters, good grip and the necessary support in the foot area which makes the foot easy but safe. I had made a good choice with my sponsor. But every day was still a challenge, my body had to learn to deliver the daily performance and deal with the slight pain. I knew that if I could not do this, it would be very difficult to keep up the run to Shanghai.

Therefore, I have true to my conviction number: 1000 set as an intermediate goal, the first 1000KM. And then Victor and I zelebierten this accordingly. „If I made 1000KM, then I can do another 11 times 1000 km!“ I thought to myself…

But how were the Poles now? What of our prejudices has been confirmed? What not?

To make it short. The Poles are a very funny and friendly folk, incredibly helpful and clever. We met everything from car mechanic to truck driver and lawyer to doctor. But always one thing was interesting: Respect for our culture and many open questions like why, what, why …

A deep interest in the own culture and the care of these we could feel in all corners. The hospitality can best be understood with a Polish sentence. „Guest in the house – God in the house“. Also we had met the Polish men as a gentleman who appeared very polite. In addition, many are not only very athletic but also ambitious, which is probably the result that there are many well-known athletes among the Poles.

As far as the classic prejudices are concerned, I just realized that unfortunately there are too few Poles or that we have met too few who speak English. Many still have good German language skills. All in all, too few Poles speak more international languages. However, they can communicate with anyone they like.

Apparently the Poles never smile, but they complain very often. We could hardly tell. With the older people one could perhaps still recognize, but also there it was very rare and if one knows the history after all also hardly surprising. But the Poles could make fun of themselves and are sometimes famous for excellent comedies and cabarets.

Do the Poles drink too much alcohol? There is a saying: „eat, drink and loosen your belt“ – but that does not mean that you meet many overweight drunk Poles in the street. We were never brought into drinking and had never unpleasant Bekannstschaften or experiences made. And yet we realized that it is somehow – positive to the culture of the Poles to be sociable and to enjoy. In any case, there is delicious Polish beer – we can say that. Of course, people like to drink in Poland. But there are borders to which many Poles hold, and most of us had seen drunken foreigners (tourists) who have beaten the strings.

And yes, one should still park his car in Poland in supervised and guarded parking lots. We have not had any negative experience, but the local police has urged us to always turn off Victors vehicle safely. Where and if really so many cars are stolen I can not judge. But I think in Poland, too, there is a constant change and we should be more open about it. Anyone who observes the safety instructions will probably take his car into the country and take it out again – just like we did with our support vehicle. By the way, Victor had a bike with which he shot running videos – never locked – and yet not stolen!

And one more thing – Poland and the Poles themselves are by no means as often said „backward“. In reality, Poland is a very progressive country: Modern skyscrapers can be found in Warsaw’s skyline as well as there are well-trained professionals. The development of the first European hybrid bus in series is another example of this.

comparison of both countries:






312.680 km²



357.380 km²


more about (german) Ländervergleich

By the way, the 16 districts in Poland are called voivodships and ends with ..skie.



Kategorien: Poland

1 Kommentar

und weiter durch Polen – youshouldrunhere · April 6, 2018 um 9:44 pm

[…] Englisch version here […]

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