Our story begins near Edersee dam which was partially destroyed by a “bouncing bomb” in WW2. Starting in the shadows of a mid summer night, you will swim North towards Castle Waldeck atop a forrested hill towering above the lake.
The 200km bike course takes in numerous relatively small climbs with some steep sections which all add up to well over 2000m of ascent. It passes Rapunsel’s tower (above) and Sleeping Beauty/ Briar Rose’s castle as well as crossing what used to be the iron curtain that separated East and West Germany.
Athletes who wish to live happily ever after must again cross the iron curtain on foot, completing just over a marathon, the vast majority of which is offroad. The route brings the total elevation gain to roughly 4000m, passing above the tree line on the Brocken mountain where you might race the steam train to the top, huffing and puffing. If lucky, and fast enough, the views can stretch over 200km.
You will be following in the footsteps of poets Heinrich Heine and Johann Wolfgang Goethe who both visited the summit. Brocken is the setting for Goethe’s Faust I and a large granite memorial to Heine can be found at the top. The Soviet military had an outpost atop the mountain until 1994, two “golf ball” listening stations remain there to this day.