The Gulpener Brewery Winter Trail had been noted in the calendar for a while and after meeting Dave at the Schneeberg Trail, I was reminded of this event again. So upon returning home, I decided to register and prepare to participate in another trail race in South Limburg again, the second one in two weeks' time. And happy about it, because that's where the most beautiful altitude differences in the Netherlands can be found for trail running.

Distance and conditions

There was only one distance to run, the 25 kilometers, and the start was on Saturday afternoon, December 17th at 3:00 p.m. Regardless of when you are reading this, you will understand that you will finish in the dark if you are not a very, very fast runner. It was therefore mandatory to have head light with you. Arriving at the Gulpener Tasting Room *, the start and finish location, Patrick (the organizer) came to meet us. A few weeks ago we already saw eachother in North Italy and now we were participating in a race of his. Of course it was briefly chat, since more participants are dropping in. Therefor we put away our drop bag and prepared for the start.

The race begins!

And off we went! The sun was brightely at/after the start and I quickly got warmed up and unzipped my jacket. Iit was about -4°C, and I wore a thermal shirt, a short-sleeved shirt, and a jacket because you will also finish in the dark so it would be colder. With this clothing, the training that week went well at those temperatures, but now in the sun it was a bit warmer.

And of course, as soon as we left the village, there were some beautiful views over the area. It was really enjoyable. Meadows turned into forests and back to meadows. Paths became narrow, turned into single tracks through the forest, and then became paths again. And since it had been freezing for a week, the ground was frozen everywhere. So no mud this time, I am a bit disapointed because running through mud is of course lovely. Maybe a spring, summer, and/or autumn edition with a start at 10:00 p.m. or so Patrick? ????

What is wisdom?

I ran the entire route with Dafne, I had briefly considered running at my own pace but it was also nice to be together. Along the way, I had a few moments of recognizing the area, then we passed a part of the Dodemantrail, as I had not run hard on this part of Limburg before it can only be from this trail.

Suddenly, Dafne was startled and shouted something like "You again!", it turned out that our fast friend Dave, who we have known now for 5 weeks since Italy, was running up from behind and making a weird coughing sound. We kept on running together from there, talking a lot. At the first Aid Station I grabbed a handfull of winegums and shared a cup of cola with Dafne and we went on running. There Martijn the tail runner joined us. He was discharged of his tail running duty and coudl run at his own pace. He is quite a fast(er) runner and has big plans for next year. And so our couple became a group of 2, then 3, then 4 and eventually of 5 people.


It was nice this way, just chatting a bit and enjoying the last bit of the sun. I already put on my head light for when I would need it. And at a dark descend I turned it on, so I could see the the surface and the rocks on it. After this descent we came to the second Aid Station, which is in fact also the first one. Some cola that was spilled on the table was now already frozen. Yeah, it was a bit cold at that time.


It was a really nice trail that Patrick put together. It was beautiful in daylight and also in the dark. Patrick mentioned he likes to organize trails for smaller groups and that is the way I like it. Not hundreds/thousands of trailers, just 50/60.

* Gulpener is a beer brand in the Netherlands. The brewery is in Gulpen and they have a "tasting room", or just a pub there.

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