Blog. Daniel Nielsen’s Ultra Marathon Mozart100

June 15, 2022 | Author: Maria Boney

This Saturday 18th June, Daniel Nielsen will run the Ultra Marathon Mozart100 (105 km) through Austria, raising money for Hospitality Action. We caught up with Daniel to learn a little more about him and his ambitious challenge.

Q1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m Daniel Nielsen, 28 years old and I’m a Front Office Manager at Strand Palace in London. My entire life has been a journey through hotels. I grew up in Germany, spending most of my childhood in my parents' hotel in a small city called Kiel. I studied Hotel Management and decided I wanted a career in hospitality, I wanted to work, travel and see new countries. I moved to Washington D.C. and started off as a Management Trainee for Starwood Hotels. After that, I made my move to the UK and worked in Liverpool Marriott Hotel City Centre as an Assistant Front Office Manager and was promoted to Front Office Manager.

Since I arrived in London I have been Front Office Manager at Aloft London Excel, and now Strand Palace. In my current role I aim to create an environment for my team where they can flourish and develop a passion for hospitality. Living through the pandemic I strongly believe that the only way forward is having 100% focus on our teams, making people feel that hotels are more than just a place to work, but a favourite place to be. If I succeed in doing that, I will be able to pass on to my team the passion that initially attracted me to work in hospitality – the sense of belonging.

Q2: You’ve taken on quite a challenge – the Ultra Marathon Mozart100 (105 km) through Austria. Tell us more. 

I’ve always been attracted to physical challenges that test me to the limit. I’ve been living a very fortunate life (one of the reasons why supporting Hospitality Action is an important cause to me) and by acknowledging this fact I asked myself: What would I be capable of, if I was to face an extreme physical challenge?

It started with Marathons, then transitioned to a full-distance Ironman, and now to Ultra Marathons.

I found that most of the time we exist in a constructed world where everything is designed to keep us comfortable. Extreme challenges, bring discomfort, and you have to find something to fuel your determination, which is why I love taking part in them. During all my challenges, there always comes a moment that the pure exhaustion takes you to a dark place, often referred to as “the wall”. When you are on the trail and everything starts crashing down around you, you need to find something real to keep you moving forward. The love and support of friends and family will keep you going, that comfort is real.

I started training for this event a year ago and found myself forgetting all about the stress in life. When I run long distances, all I really think about is putting one foot in front of the other and I see a true beauty in the simplicity of being in that moment.

My friends always ask me: "What do you do during the 4 hours of running, don't you get bored?". The answer is: “No, I love experiencing 4 hours where there is nothing else, but constantly moving forward."

Q3: You’re obviously very passionate about running and we can see why you’re doing this Ultra Marathon. Why have you chosen to fundraise for Hospitality Action? 

The answer to this is indirectly related to the reasons I run. I take on challenges to seek discomfort and get through it. In the time I’ve lived in the UK I have been very impressed with the work of the charity and the many ways you are supporting our industry. I know that not everybody is as fortunate as I have been. I know that there are people in our industry who will not have to seek challenges on the trail but experience them in life, often through no fault of their own. They will face much bigger struggles than just running an Ultra-Marathon. I know that Hospitality Action is the charity that stands on the side of the trail when times get tough. Hospitality is such a great industry because it brings people together from all walks of life and if I can support with a small contribution the work HA does for the industry and the people that shape it, I will.

As part of his training, Daniel has been doing one marathon each month: Rome, Athens, Hamburg and many more. The photos show him in training, the kit he usually uses, and Daniel with his dog Benji who sometimes accompanies him on a 10k training run.

Our sincere thanks to Daniel for taking on the Ultra Marathon challenge and for raising funds for our charity. For his kindness and bravery….and for teaching us determination.

To show your support, please click here to donate.