running from dakar TO vilnius

Beyond the finish line

   In 2017, Aidas embarked on an ultra-marathon dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Vilnius. Starting at 6 a.m. Lithuanian time, he began his journey from Dakar, Senegal to Vilnius, Lithuania. Over the course of 100 days, he traversed two continents, covering 8000 km through 12 countries, averaging approximately 80 km per day.

    Aidas commenced his run in a symbolic location near a monument in Dakar representing African resistance. Over 103 days, A. Ardzijauskas conquered the deserts of Africa and the mountains of Central Europe, passing through Senegal, Mauritania, Morocco, Spain, France, Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Poland.

    Throughout his journey, Aidas was accompanied by videographer Aidas Bubinas and photographer Gedmantas Kropis, who provided logistical support, carrying water, drinks, and over 10 pairs of running shoes in the car. He emphasized the importance of recovery during the run, particularly sleep, adhering strictly to schedules for eating and resting. Despite the extensive distance, he used just six pairs of running shoes.

Beyond the Marathon: A Test of Mind Over Matter

The athlete himself emphasized that such runs are more tests of psychological qualities than physical abilities.

"I was very curious to see how the body responds to the challenge. Many ask, what drives you forward? Basically - just curiosity. You always run and want to see what's beyond that hill, what's around the corner.”
“If you set such a goal and prepare for it, the most important thing is the team that supports you, financial support, and your own readiness. It very clearly shows whether you really want it or not. If you really want it, you will run to the end, wherever you set your goal.”
“I like running. And yes, it's tiring”

   He acknowledges that Africa presented him with the most challenging running conditions: not only sweltering heat, wind, and dust but also chaotic traffic flow, road crossings, and a lack of security. So he was happy to run in Europe, because everything is familiar.

“I moved at a slow pace, allowing me to take in much of the surroundings. Running along the coast in France and Spain was enjoyable, but I also found pleasure in traversing the mountains. Despite encountering snow, wetness, and cold, each region held its own fascination and potential benefits” - sayed Aidas.

“I had certain fitness procedures. An hour and a half of massage and a special muscle recovery procedure. Specialists used a specific device to repair torn muscle fibers, eliminate micro-tears in tendons. They warmed up a bit, cooled down a bit. It really helped during the run” - Aidas.

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The Woods
Cinque Terre
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Northern Lights
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Snowy Mountains