I stood in front of him, in the middle of nowhere, soaked in mixture of sweat and light rain, in my yellow fluorescent T- shirt, impenetrable Oakleys, shorts, with hand-held bottle, asking about Kazakh Embassy...
Today I decided to run first time Brussels’ famous La Cambre, aka Ter Kameren (depends on which side of Flemish/French debate you stand…) and got lost like never before. Well may be in Tirana, Albania in 2011, but this would be a different story.
The guy, trying to help, offered the name of nearby city. I had no clue. He tried one more. Same result. At this point the dog disappeared inside the house. To answer my question regarding “direction to Brussels” he only vaguely pointed into the forest, somewhere behind my back - and wished me good luck… At that moment it became evident that my relaxing Sunday run (I had 10km on the clock by that time ) will significantly extend. I quickly assessed available resources: remaining 350ish ml of GU Roctane in my handheld bottle, zero energy bars, zero gels - I did not bring any. Not much. Standing out there, the drizzle turned into solid rain. I had no waterproof jacket, just my T-shirt and shorts. And Oakley shades. Especially useful in the forest…on a rainy afternoon… It was time to move on.
Suddenly an idea! Am saved! No reason to despair - my GARMIN 910XT! Should have thought of this in a first place! Let's ask mighty gods of GPS for help! With this, I decisively ordered my GARMIN: “Back To Start” and…nothing. for some strange reason the arrow on the display continued to ostensibly point towards the house where chatty gentleman and his dog disappeared. I was stuck.
To make long story short, I survived and found the car. To get back took me more than 12km in the rain - and I had to swallow my pride and ask for direction two times. First, Sunday walker who had about same idea where Brussels was as I did and later on two weekend mountain bikers. I tried my Kazakh Embassy trick again. They retorted with the question if it is close to Russian Embassy - which I could not answer... When the things started to look bleak again, the girl suddenly pulled out the map from her rucksack. Good God! Thanks!
From that point it took around 30 seconds to understand where do we stand and probably 45 minutes for me to get back to the car, simply copying one of the major roads…Until very last crossing, probably 300m from the car (which was parked on the other side of the road - to the left), GARMIN insisted that my “destination" is 8.80km away. Running time 48 minutes, pointing it’s arrow into dens forest by my - right.
Once I reached the traffic lights where from the car became clearly visible - GARMIN suddenly turned the arrow, pointed in the direction of parking lot, changed the distance and announced I have 45 seconds to reach the destination! Technology at its best! You have to love it! What a great 22km trial run I had this Sunday!