In this part of the route segment introduction, we focus on the Lister Ellenbogen. Situated in the north of Sylt, this bird and nature reserve is one of the most unique segments of the North Sea Ultra 2023.
After having loosened and warmed up your legs over the first 11km, we turn at the toll booth onto the Ellenbogen. Why toll booth? It’s a private road, meaning on days when you’re not traveling eco-friendly, a toll is charged for motorized traffic.
This, combined with its location at the very top of the island, makes it one of the quietest parts of Sylt. Even during the peak season, anyone can find peace here, and the area, also known as Listland, is a refuge for those wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of the more well-known Sylt communities.
The route’s eastward direction and the early start allow the first ultra-runners to experience parts of the path towards sunrise in this surreal dune landscape.
The route passes one of the narrowest spots between the tidal flats and the North Sea, the West Lighthouse, Germany’s northernmost structure, and right behind it, Germany’s northernmost point is passed. If you look to the right, a bay opens up, which you might have noticed already at the toll booth.
The history of this peninsula has been varied, as have the ownership conditions of the northernmost part of the island. The Listland itself was at times, among other things, a royal Danish enclave, hence the name of the bay: Königshafen (King’s Harbor). Today, no ships lie here anymore, as the natural harbor no longer offered enough depth. However, kitesurfers have now taken command. Depending on the weather and tides, we might see them on race day in the water.
As you’ll probably recognize from the mobile network provider, geographically we are very close to Denmark. The neighboring island Rømø is visible, and depending on the schedule, you can observe the ferries between List and Rømø entering and leaving Königshafen.
The road is partly newly paved, while some parts are remnants of the previous military use of the northern part of the island. What the beautiful nature doesn’t reveal is that under the dunes, there are still many bunkers and remains of ammunition. Today, fortunately, only sheep graze here, and they always have the right of way!
Where the Ellenbogen ends, Germany ends, and only the North Sea remains. So, it’s time to turn around.
Now, it’s worth looking south. Across the King’s Harbor towards List, the next major route destination, the sheep greet you on the way back, as you are now familiar with this section of the route. Now, with the sun at your back, it’s time to enjoy the landscape until you turn back onto public roads at the toll booth.
The Ellenbogen segment is one of the reasons why we urgently want to invite the ultra-community to Sylt. Rarely, especially in Germany, are there segments where the feeling of nature and freedom combine with such vastness.
If you don’t enjoy running here, you won’t enjoy it anywhere!