The start of the race. A Momentary Lapse of Reason"?! Yeah, I like that sh*t! 😃
The SM Ultratrail 2022 is done!
I finished the race in 8:29:20.
Running on tired legs wasn't easy.... like at all! But the experiment went well and I'm quite happy with the performance. Really lovely trails in the area. I will surely run a few sections again!
I decided to participate to this race a just days prior the start. I felt good after all the trouble that I had with my body the last two weeks after the 100 Miles of Istria race. The visit to the dentist that fixed an issue with a tooth that broke after another race, the necessity to take antibiotics to prevent infections and the cold that I got right after I returned back home in Sweden. My body was really weak and I felt drained from fluids and energy. I decided to stop the medication a day earlier than prescribed. I was in a bad place! Already the day after I felt better, much better!
I started hiking and walking and the same week of the race I did a few runs. Enough to feel the "need" to see this course and follow other fellow runners into this adventure. I was too curious to resist the temptation! 😀
I knew from the very start that I had nothing to expect, that I wanted to enjoy the course and never suffer. That gave me the opportunity to relax and the luxury to DNF if needed. I started the race easily, keeping my heart beat in control, relaxing my body and all. It was really easy to run fast there during those first miles. But I had to remind myself that I needed to run slowly and with patience.
Luckily, I found a good pace that I was happy with and I shared a few miles with other runners as well during the course. I never adapted to their needs, I went out with my own pace which usually was a bit faster. I felt in control the whole race and I'm happy to say that I ended up learning new things as well despite the fact that I never had this race in my schedule. It just happened!
Running when both legs, body and mind are still recuperating from a tough race that I had just weeks before and other issues after that was not easy. But I'm quite happy that I made the decision to take part of this event. My FIRST SM (Swedish Championship) of trail long distance running! WOW! So proud that I was a part of it! 😀
The course was quite challenging. There are no huge mountains in the area that is quite hilly with max 80mt of elevation for the toughest climb. That means that everybody needed to run course that was like a roller coaster! Up and down, up and down. The trail conditions were almost perfect and some sections were quite technical as well. Never boring!
The first part of the course is a fast one and I just needed to keep calm and find my flow, nothing more. I knew well that section and those first 18k to the first CP as I marked the course a few days before the race and ran that section a few times before as well. Well, actually the part after approx. 11.5km was new to me! I usually turned left there towards Jonsered. Not this time!
The trails were really lovely, Perfect running conditions and great weather and temperature. I could really enjoy the course. The technical sections along the whole course made it quite difficult and tricky to enjoy the surroundings. I had to stop in a few occasions in order to enjoy the nature which by the way is fantastic!
The first CP was fantastic! Simon was there waiting. The dude had his birthday and he was there... helping us!! Amazing. Every volunteer there was really understanding and quick to help us. Great! As it should be! I left quickly that station and found another fellow runner to run with. He had a bit faster pace that mine but I figured..."whatever, let's do this!".
I enjoyed running a bit faster. Not too much, just a bit faster. It was enough to miss a few markings which by the way were on point! It was almost touching when we met Robert walking with a bunch of flags in one hand remarking the trails. I will never understand people that have a "special need" to do damage!
Anyways, the trail led towards Landvetter. The hilly trails, the downhill (quite interesting indeed) to Landvetter and than the following climb was an interesting section where I chased Mervi, than ran together with her for a while and after that I decided to run faster just in order to have her behind me just to create the necessary "race stress" and thus not allowing me to relax too much and fall asleep somewhere! She is an amazing person and a great runner. It's always nice to meet such great humans! :)
The CP2 (approx. 37.4k) was placed near the road after a faster road section. It was nice to run a bit faster and stretch my legs a bit. Jörgen and Fredrik did an amazing job helping me with the sport drink and after 2 minutes I was more than ready to continue. Getting help from other fellow runners is indeed the best support you can get! They really understand the effort and know perfectly what we need and how things needs to be done. Just perfect!
Turning into the woods surrounding the Gravsjön lake was really like a fairy tale. The trails near the lake, the sounds of nature. Really lovely...
When we got to the Finnsjön area I felt good. I knew the trails and it felt nice. I could relax and enjoy the views. Well, not too much, we turned to the left into the unknown for me! The trails got different. A bit rougher, tougher. The trail conditions changes a lot and I felt for the first time that my legs were getting tired of the effort. The watch showed 48k and I was crushing a paved gravel road... yes, paved with smashed mud cups and pipes. Incredible! In the middle of nowhere. Than we approached a huge power plant descending the trail and the noise of that was a bit scary to me.
I knew that were approaching the Tulebo lake and from there on I knew each and every stone of the course. It felt so good that I started to run pretty fast the paved road to the Bohusleden trail connection. That section was as usually nice, a bit tough when the legs are a bit tired but I forced myself to run the flats as good as I could and even the runnable sections as well.
Arriving at the last CP (approx. 60km) was nice. Not only because I felt the finish of the race "in the air" but because I expected to see some friends there. Well.... unfortunately they were not there. But I found the best crew that I could get there. I felt like being a Formula1 car. I got "serviced" and ready to go in a matter of seconds. They filled my bottles and placed them into my vest while I was eating quickly a bit and drinking a bit more! Unreal! That felt like being an elite athlete! WOW!
Thanx to that feeling and the incredible support I got wings (it felt so) and I ran all the way to the climb to the Hobo Hill area with a huge smile enjoying the view to the Stensjön lake.
The Hobo Hill area is well, a hill where we usually practice our hill legs in order to survive those tough races in Europe. It's one of the few hills where you can do hill reps and actually feel the pain after 7-8 reps already and 12 reps are approx 100mt!
The rest of the course was a fast gravel road. Not really technical but hilly.
The last 2-3k I ran in a "boost" mode. I felt great! Just perfect! No pain, no nothing! Just joy pleased with the day and the overall performance. A race as every race should be! Amazing!
Summarizing I need to say that I needed to dig deep just to finish the run, but the idea to run the 73k race on tired legs went quite well. I learned more about my body and i kinda liked it. The way that I ran the last 2-3k gave me new information. I'm already looking forward for the next challenge! 🙂
Huge kudos to all the runners that finished the race and wow... those that crushed the course are really inspiring and motivating me to push more! I know that I have much more to give and that I have new limits to explore! This is really exciting! 🙂
Great images Fredrik Andreasson! Thank you! 😀
A great race, amazing volunteers and organization! Great work! 😍
Have a nice evening folx! 😃 😉
The race stats: