This year I started the season with a fantastic race. The Sandsjöbacka Trail which did not disappoint the expectations during this editions. The weather was great, as it should be during January in the southern part of Sweden and the trail conditions were perfect as well. The icy trail conditions were changed just the night prior the race with a few centimeters of fresh powder thus making the surface soft and not that slippery.
I went into this race after a tough encounter with the Covid virus in December and weeks of rehab after that. I had just hours of proper training prior the race and just a few runs with 15v km as maximum. The race expectations for me were pretty low. I knew that I had nothing to race or push for. The only thing that my tired body could maybe ask for was a nice day in the forest with other fellow runners sharing 60km of pure Narnia -adventure.
I started the rade waaay too hard, keeping the usual pace as I normally do during such races but after 25k I had to back off. The chest pain started to be an issue and my lungs were absolutely not in a good place with the cold air flow and the effort. By lowering the pace I could enjoy better the experience.
So, from the km 25 to the km 45 I moved forward more or less using the same controlled pace and energy, Nothing more about that. My legs were good, but unfortunately the rest of the body was not. The goal was the adventure, the experience, not the result of the race. Not this time.
Anyhow, when I reached the last part of the race, the one that I marked a few days prior the race (that effort was a killer for my body actually) I knew that I needed to do. I lowered even more the pace, and I just wanted to enjoy that part of the race course which is quite demanding and tough. I had only one goal, I refused to use my headlamp. I needed to reach the finish line before the dark!
With that in mind I pushed forward sometimes questioning the race directors choice to plague the runners by guiding them into crazy directions, tough climbs during those last miles. Many times I was thinking about those runners that have chosen the 90k course or the 180km one! Impressive indeed (only 3 runners finished that course)!
I did enjoy the race and I can highly recommend it to everybody that wants to experience the winter conditions in Sweden. This year the trails were kind to us. The next year we might have once again mud and water..... who knows!? We do know one thing, our shoe choice will be made just ours prior the start of the race. As usual! ;)
Feel free to check out the video on Youtube made by our friend Marcus Kjellberg: