🏢 Engineering Manager ⛰ trail runner 🇭🇺 Budapest, Hungary

New HM PR: 1:39’47”

It’s been a while I wrote about running here but the Nike sponsored blog getting closed down means this is about to change. I never stopped running; sometimes more sometimes less but I’m always out there. As a general tendency, however, I felt I’m getting slower.

And then at the annual summer marathon relay’s individual half-marathon I managed to run a new personal best. It was so surprising I didn’t even realise it at the time, only afterwards.

Granted, the conditions were perfect. Held in the middle of June this relay is usually ran in scorching heat. Last year tents had to be erected for the runners to wait under for the baton exchange. Not this time: although rain was predicted, the sky was only heavily clouded with the temperature between 15 and 20°C.

One other thing I dislike about this event is the fact that the track is only a 7 km circle, which means individual half-marathoners have to complete three laps. I’ve always found these kinds of races quite disheartening. I rather run a track with no repeats, if possible.

I have not trained specifically for this distance, neither before nor now. Usually I could finish under 1:45′, and my PB was just barely under 1:40′. Some races I ran with my dad at a comfortable 1:50’+ pace. Here’s my progression in detail:

  1. 2010 September: 1:53’23” — my very first official HM time
  2. 2011 April: 1:44’39”a very windy HM I was quite happy about
  3. 2011 September: 01:44:05a small improvement
  4. 2012 April: 1:41’54”tried to get under 100 minutes
  5. 2012 September: 1:50’14”
  6. 2013 April: 1:39’51”the now beaten PR
  7. 2015 April: 1:53’37” — accompanied my dad to his first HM
  8. 2015 September 1:53’39” — again, my dad’s (60) tempo
  9. 2015 November 1:42’31”
  10. 2016 April: 1:44’54”

Without any special training or set goal on June 12 I managed to run an official time of 1:39’47”. That means I’ve only shaved four seconds off of my PR, nevertheless I’m still quite proud and happy. It feels like I’m back in the saddle and not that old just yet.

K&H half-marathon


During my birthday weekend we visited Bad Hofgastein where my brother was attending an emergency physician course. With all the mountains around, we definitely had to go for a hike.

Peti looking at things

And not even without an aim: thanks to a brochure we stumbled upon a local equivalent of the Hungarian Blue Trail called the Salzburger Almenweg. The Almenweg is a 350 kilometre long circular route divided into 31 stages from one alpine hut to the other. Alm translates to alpine pasture, land covered with grass suitable for grazing animals.

A notable difference from the Blue Trail is that rewards are tiered and even completing just one stage already allows the purchase of a hiking pin showing the gentian flower, the symbol of the Almenweg.

Labeling the routes differs as well. Instead of signs on the bark of trees often poles painted in Austrian white-and-red are planted to show where the route goes. Also, there are fewer signs in general than in Hungary; only when it is not obvious which way to go is there an indication of some sort. Crossroads are clearly marked with yellow arrows also indicating the estimated time required. Despite the tourist map we had proving to be pretty inconvenient—it showed the mountains in isometric 3D, which may look nice but makes it hard to gauge distances, for one—the signs were so clear we never lost our way.

On the Salzburger Almenweg

We planned to complete Stage 9 of the Almenweg which meant first climbing from Bad Hofgastein (859 m) to Biberalm (1734 m), its starting point, then crossing over to Schlossalm (2070 m) and take the ski lift back down. “Romance of low- and high-alpine huts” is the tagline of the section, but more on that later.

Bad Hofgastein from above

Even though the forecast only showed rain the first part of the ascent was completed in undisturbed sunshine. Soon after starting the actual Almenweg leg, though, rain started to pour quite suddenly. The earth, wet enough as it was, soaked completely very soon making the trails slippery and muddy. Also the alms are not just for grazing animals in name: we’ve passed many sheep and cows. Especially the latter tended to excrete all over the path too and it became hard to tell what was mud and what was something entirely different… maybe that’s the romance part that was promised?

Attention, grazing cows 🐄

I have to admit though, the rain added a great atmosphere of adventure to the hike. We’ve been enjoying ourselves tremendously despite the fact that unfortunately we couldn’t complete the planned route. The kind owner of the Fundner Heimalm—about halfway into the stage—informed us that we won’t catch the last ski lift ride down so we decided to walk back to the town instead. It still took more than two hours from there and we were soaked through.

Bad Hofgastein hike

Luckily the tourist office had a very relaxed attitude towards checking the stamps. Having the one from the starting point, Biberalm, was enough.

Now, of course, I want the diamond one, for completing the whole route.


Number  33

Blue Trail #14

The 14th section of the National Blue Trail takes you through the hills of Buda. Starting from the Children’s Railway it goes around a former airfield and over Hármashatár-hill ending at a brick factory operated by Wienerberger.

Hármashatárhegyi Repülőtér

The airfield closed down in 2014 and is now pretty much just a grassy plain. When we were there some people flew model airplanes which sounded like mosquitoes. Since it used to be an official airfield, it even has an IATA/ICAO code: LHHH.


A gentle climb follows up to the Árpád-kilátó offering a scenic view of the city below.


The next stamping place is up on Hármashatár-hill. The stamp used to be at the old lookout tower, but since its reconstruction the box was moved to a utility pole along the route. I assume now that the new tower’s been finished, the stamp will be moved back to its old place again.


By the time we were descending the hill the sun was close to setting.


A short walk later comes another stamping place where the weekend cottages start appearing. Here, again, the official site proved to be outdated: the stamp is on a pole instead of being affixed to the first hut’s fence. First time I saw a sign like this, though.

pecsét helye

From there the path mostly goes down in a serpentine track. Until the very end it stays in the woods. As the route curves around the steep hillside sometimes trees can be seen that could no longer hang on and fell. Even important ones, like this.


Current status: 35.6km of 1118km.

They turned traffic lights off in this junction. You wouldn’t believe what happened next.

For reasons unknown the traffic lights at the crossing next to where I live stopped working for more than a month now. They’re just flashing amber all the time. It instantly reminded me of a social experiment I have read about a while ago where a city decided to turn traffic lights off and let cars navigate following the signs only. A quick search resulted in this video of a small town in England, Portishead, where a lights-off trial happened in 2009.

I regularly use this particular intersection of Népszínház and Nagy Fuvaros streets. As a pedestrian it is definitely faster for me to get across since cars give me the right of way with only very few exceptions. Seemingly traffic flows much better and everyone seems not only more careful but even more considerate towards the others. How much better the experience is is even more apparent in the off-peak hours when cars or pedestrians used to wait for no real reason other than the lights being red.

I doubt that this behaviour is intended, though, and I’m afraid after a while the lights will be fixed.


A Kéktúra útvonala a Vas megyei Írott-kőtől a Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén megyei Hollóháza között 1118 km hosszúságban kék sávval jelzett turistaút.

A Budapesti Lokomotív Sportkör Természetjáró Szakosztálya már 1952-ben bevezette a gamificationt, így indult el nem csak Magyarország, de egész Európa első hosszú távú turistaútja. Lehet persze csak úgy mászkálni is a világba, de Fannival kitaláltuk, hogy végigmegyünk ezen.

A teljesítéshez igazoló füzetet kell vásárolni a Magyar Természetjáró Szövetségnél. Az iroda a Károly körút 11. 7. emeletén van az Európa Center irodaházban. A füzetben benne van az összes szakasz térképpel együtt. Egy szakaszt teljesíteni akár részletekben is lehet, a lényeg, hogy minden kezdő és végpont pecsételőhelyen legyen, és minden újrakezdésnél kerüljön a füzetbe pecsét.


Első alkalomra egy Budapesthez közeli szakaszt tűztünk ki: a 13. számú túra Piliscsabától Hűvösvölgyig tart. Piliscsaba vasútállomásra a Nyugati pályaudvarról mennek óránként vonatok, és nagyjából egy óra az út.

Bár a oldal tartalmaz leírásokat a pecsételő helyekről, kapásból rossz információra bukkantunk, hiszen a piliscsabai pecsét az állomás felújítása óta máshová került. Az épületnek háttal állva balra, a Wesselényi utcában van egy póznára szerelve.

Kéktúra pecsét, Piliscsaba vá.

Hasznos tanács volt a füzet vásárlásakor, hogy legyen nálunk bélyegzőpárna. A három érintett pontból ugyanis egyiknél sem volt, és az elég lutri, hogy a pecsételőn maradt-e épp elég festék az előző alkalom óta. Egy ilyen kis négyzet alakú cucc bőven elég, pont ekkorák a pecsétek is.

Kéktúra felszerelés

A másik—gondolom—tipikus hiba, amit el lehet követni, hogy nagy elégedetten elindultunk a Wesselényi utcán, és majd’ egy kilométer után ugrott be, hogy ellenőrizni kellene amúgy jó-e az irány. Nyilván vissza kellett fordulni, mert a 12. szakaszt kezdtük el véletlenül.

Naptejet sem vittünk, amiből végül nem lett gond, de nem árt, mert a szakasz első pár kilométere itt is a falun át illetve füves területen vezetett. A vasárnapi ebéd után nem sok élet volt az utcákon, mint azt a mellékelt ábra mutatja.

Vasárnapi ebéd utáni szunya

Az erdőben hűvösebb volt, cserébe millió bogár rajzott, egyenesen bele a szemembe. A szakasznak ez a része egy völgyön át vezet, majd hegymászás következik.


A második eltévedésünk a Zsíros-hegyen történt: a füves hegytetőn a földön fekvő kövekre festett jeleken kívül nem nagyon volt más lehetőség az út követésére, így lemaradtunk egy kanyarról, és majdnem elkerültük a Zsíros-hegyi turistaház romját.

Nagy-Szénás teteje

Pedig a volt turistaház avtaásának 90. évfordulójára emlékezve pont az ottjártunkat megelőző nap helyeztek ki egy emléktáblát.

Nagy-Szénási turistaház romja

A hegyről lefelé menet a bélyegző ezúttal tényleg ott volt, ahol a weboldal írta: a Muflon Itató előtt egy fán.

A felfestések minősége és mennyisége pedig tényleg attól függ, melyik település felelős értük. Nagykovácsi például egészen komolyan veszi a jelzéseket.

Nagykovácsiban komolyan veszik a tájékoztatást

A végéhez közel még jutottak izgalmak: a Remete-hegyről egyrészt gyönyörű a kilátás, másrészt egy jó meredek köves lejtőn kell leereszkedni a Remete-szurdokba.

Kilátás a Remete-szurdokba

Az út vége kicsit unalmasabb, lakott területen aszfalton vezet. Majdnem ránk is sötétedett, mire elértük a Gyermekvasutat. Itt található az emléktábla az Kéktúra megindításának 50. évfordulója alkalmából, a pecsételő pedig az első vágány mellett fent a peronon.


Bár azt gondoltuk, majd mennyivel gyorsabbak leszünk a 4 km/ó sebességnél, amivel a tájékoztató füzet az időt számolja, végül nem így lett. Viszont a kerülőkkel az eredeti 21,7 kilométerhez képest 25-nél is többet mentünk.

Kéktúra az Endomondon

Endomondon követtem a túrát: az általam használt alkalmazások közül csak ezen van hiking opció. Előnye, hogy GPX formátumban bármikor exportálható az út, ha esetleg átköltöznék más rendszerre. Az iPhone-ra elérhető túrázós alkalmazásokról amúgy gklka írt az Appleblognak. Én ebből a Stemplit néztem meg, de teljesen elvették a kedvem az érétkelések: ahhoz képest, hogy fizetős, régi adatokat mutat, és még jó ronda is hozzá.

Szóval ott tartunk, hogy 21,7 / 1118.

In Japan

This is all very 懐かしい. So many places in this video I’ve been to… 伏見稲荷大社、渋沢、広島. The part when they go to the コンビニ and the music plays cracked me up. 😂

via @gklka


This is not another X things to do in Copenhagen article. Ok, maybe it is, but I am too lazy to count.


Torvehallerne is a modern market in the Nørrebro district with all that is cool: smørrebrød, fish, sweets, craft beer, new-wave coffee, and wine. Two halls house a fascinating array of small stands. I think it speaks for the place that thousands of bicycles are parked around it all the time.


For dinner a recommendation of our Airbnb host was Madklubben. According to her the restaurant’s philosophy is to serve excellent food for affordable prices for regular people. (The prices are up to interpretation, I guess they are not too horrible for Danish standards.) They have more than one restaurants, but the best one—I’ve been told—is Bistro-de-Luxe in København K. It fills up quickly, especially on weekends, so a reservation is a must. Fortunately they have an excellent online booking system for that. Besides the exquisite food, the kindness of the staff is to be emphasised.

Too bad I didn’t know about this last year but the Palmehuset in the university’s Botanisk Have is open from ten to five, is heated to tropical standards, and has no entry fee. Just what a frozen to the bone sightseer needs.

Botanisk Have

This time the tide was higher so I could take of a photo of Den lille havfrue without a million tourists blocking the view.

Den lille havfrue

Another destination I have skipped before is Fristaden Christiania, the self-proclamed autonomous neighbourhood / commune. The most intriguing part of which is the ‘Green District’, where visitors are warned not to take photos, refrain from running and in general behave well. Also that the buying and selling of hashish is illegal. Inside there are well curtained stalls with mostly black guys with covered faces selling ready-made joints. Beware, here be dragons.

Beware here be dragons!

Here’s a photo of the bicycle counter on Dronning Louises Bro. This was taken at 10.35 am on a very nasty, cold, rainy Saturday, February 20. 2583 bikers have passed that day already, a total of 535920 in 2016. This number is astounding. The daily total traffic of one of the most used bicycle lanes in Budapest doesn’t reach 3000. At the height of summer. On a weekday.


Maybe because in Denmark, cars don’t park on the bicycle lanes.

If you cross this bridge, you can find the Assistens Kirkegård where, among others, Hans Christian Andersen and Søren Kirkegaard are interred. And yes, I just wanted to use that word.

Assistens Kirkegård


Our host in Copenhagen had this poem fixed on her fridge:


Coming home I’ve checked it out: it’s Lykken by Benny Andersen. His Selected Poems—which contains Happiness too—is freely accessible in English on Google Books.

What I have especially liked was the last line. And serendipitously enough we’ve just been talking about positive psychology at one of my meetings today.

Dansk 🇩🇰

Nyhavn 1

I’m going to København (again) in a few days so I decided to try how well I can do on Danish Duolingo. On the placement test I managed to clear 14 skills and advance to level 6. Most of the time just using Norwegian as an answer was a clear win. A few pointers:

  • Getting used to spelling can be tricky but there seem to be “rules” such as a p in Norwegian is often a b in Danish, an e becomes an æ, etc.
  • It is pretty much cheating, but setting a Danish keyboard on the iPhone corrects spelling on the go.
  • Also, Duolingo often accepts words when only one letter is different, writing it off as a typo.
  • Duolingo can be criticised for teaching its own logic, which once you’re familiar with can help a lot in solving the problems.
  • Don’t try to say ‘rødgrød med fløde’ to a native.