A gorgeous German fitness influencer plans to run more than 5,200 kilometres along the German border in just 140 days after being playfully challenged while drinking in a local Biergarten.
Joyce Huebner, 35, says she regards her project as a motivation for couch potatoes. She starts the run in the city of Frankfurt/Oder, at the German-Polish border in the German state of Brandenburg next Monday (8th May). Moving south, she plans to arrive back in Frankfurt/Oder on 20th September.
The ambitious hobby runner plans to cover the approximate distance of a marathon (42 kilometres, 26 miles) each day and intends to rest just once a week.
Joyce will be accompanied by her boyfriend Sven, 41, who agreed to transfer several pairs of running shoes, clothing and food in his car from one hotel to the next.
Joyce – who has almost 25,000 Instagram followers – reveals that it all started with a bit of banter at a typical German beer garden.
Speaking to Sports Illustrated, she said: “We met some friends at a beer garden last summer. As we were discussing extreme competitions such as runs across the United States, my boyfriend said: ‘Wouldn’t you fancy running along the German border? I don’t think anyone has ever done this before.'”
Joyce added: “My head kept spinning ever since. I eventually told myself this was actually a great idea. Why travel to faraway places? There are so many beautiful regions not far away. I thought, it’s now or never!”
Joyce – who said sleeping in a hotel bed each night during the 5,200-kilometre (3,146-mile) challenge would be of great importance to her – admitted that she had “respect” for what the endeavour may hold for her.
She said: “Fear and doubt are ‘bad words’ for me, but I do have respect.
“However, I’m not the kind of person who worries too much about something.”
Joyce added: “Anticipation is the dominant feeling. I just wanna start!”
Joyce – who works in customer service – underlined: “It’s not about pressure. I won’t have any time pressure. I’ll have 24 hours to finish each stage. My aim is to prove to people that everybody can achieve great things. I want to tell them: Hey, I’m just like you. I want to motivate them.”
As temperatures are rising slowly but steadily, Joyce braces for steep trails along the border in the German-Austrian alpine regions.
She explained: “Luckily, I enjoy running on my own. However, I appreciate everyone with an interest in my challenge. People can find out how I’m doing by visiting my website.”
Joyce and Sven have taken unpaid leave from their day jobs throughout the coming months.
The runner admitted with a smile: “Our lives are currently circling around this project.”
Sven will transport 12 pairs of running shoes, several sets of sports clothing and various kinds of food in his car as he accompanies his girlfriend.
Joyce told the Bild newspaper: “I’m unsure how my body will react to this extraordinary challenge. Hopefully, it will adapt after a few days. I’ll need at least two to three litres of water a day, some protein bars and special liquid sports nutrition.”
Joyce said she was looking forward to discovering her home country in a different kind of way. She explained: “I normally take the train or go by car for holidays. There are so many regions in Germany where I’ve never been before.”
She told Sports Illustrated: “I’m a normal person. I want to demonstrate to all the couch potatoes that average people can achieve great things, not just world-class athletes.”
Looking back on how she got into long-distance running, the blonde 35-year-old said: “I hated running when I was young! As a teen, I was in a boxing club. I used to make covert shortcuts during our runs through the woods.
“It was only in 2015 that I took up running again. It just seemed to be an easy way to stay fit. One year later, I participated in the Berlin Half-Marathon. That was when I fell in love with the sport.”