At the beginning of November, precisely on Saturday the 4th I ran the Kullamannen 50k race.
The idea was to start the race as a middle-of-the-pack runner and to run accourding to the feeling during the race evolution. I wanted to race a bit harder than I usually do and potentially close it a bit outside my usual comfort zone.
The race started controlled.... for the first 500mt. :)
A short bit after the race while still running pretty fast on asphalt I met Jasmin Krhan. He looked stable and strong so I decided to keep running with him a bit. The pace was a bit faster than the one I wanted to run. I might have said that as well. Still, I continued running with Jasmin, chatting and enjoying the trails.
The trail conditions were quite good. A bit muddy and slippery here and there but nothing unexpected in autumn in the southern part of Sweden.
We ran and led one another with good pace. It was nice to run behind Jasmin and just relax and chat and sometimes it was nice to be in front and run my own thing that sometimes was a bit slower. Well, as soon as we had a downhill I went down stronger as I usually do. The idea was to test my legs during suck short(er) race.
After 20k I stopped and there was nobody behind me. I lost Jasmin and I guessed that he just stopped for a short moment. We met after the race. He unfortunately had to DNF due to muscle issues. Accourding to him, he trained too much thus affecting negatively the muscle fibres. These things happen.
The flat section was a long one, but never boring. A lot of water, wet trails and slippery conditions required full attention and constant concentration. I could barely look around and enjoy the surroundings. The tempo was good. I was running and enjoying the race cruising at a controlled pace. While passing the 100 mile runners it was nice to encourage and cheer other fellow runners and friends.
Still, sometimes it felt a bit cocky to be able to run fast while many were just walking and struggeling. I had just like 30k in my legs, they had 130! A huge difference indeed!
We reached the final two hills. The final tough part of the course and boy it was tough. The first one was very challenging with a lot of deep mud. I had to speed hike uphill and use my speed while running downhill. I tried to chase the speed a bit, still I knew in my mind that I had a long way to the finish line.
It was nice that I still had a complete control over my speed, energy and speed after 40k. I was moving properly and I was quite happy with the evolution of the race.
After the last climb another friend caught on me. Lars Kårlin. He was very fast at the start. I lost him directly. It was a good thing that we met there and he seemed very strong. Perhaps even stronger than me at that point of the race.
He pushed and I responded. I knew the risk. I knew that I had another race the week after, a 85k one. But the feeling was right, we were just criusing and pushing the pace. The downhill was sooo lovely that we missed a turn which resultet in a double passing of our friend Niclas Gällentoft.
Crazy things happen. Anyways, Niclas got twice the boost from oss and we kept on pushing. I usually get depressed when I take a wrong turn. Not this time. It was just a short mistake, and it was "just" the third error during the race due to discutable choice of markings plaacering.
However, we reached the last section of the race, the last 10k. I usually hare those flat sections, but now, with a friend pushing together that felt quite cool. Interesting for me to push a bit harder than I usually would.
Unfortunately Lars got some issues just 5k from the finish so he chose to let me run at my pace which was solid. I did reduce the pace a bit in order to avoid injuriues, but I did push the same pace to the very end of the race. The feeling was great!
I am very happy with the result and this is the Strava record: