If somebody told me just a year ago that I would run a 34km trail race I would have laughed loudly! But yes.... after my first race (may 2014) something happened. I started running trails, got inspired and I noticed one thing: I love trails and I love challenges!
So.... after just 7 months here I was... at the start line for the Sandsjöbacka Trail Marathon 34k!
The feeling at the beginning was unique as my family was with me so I was not as stressed as I probably would be. Still, I was there, after four days without running because of a nasty flu.... a litte bit stressed because I wasn't really confident on what my body could manage and how much should I push.... or.... should I push it at all!?
We started.... a kiss and hello to my family and we were running....
After 4km I noticed that I felt surprisingly well.... but hey.... a pace of 5:15 was unacceptable.... I needed to slow down! A LOT! I knew that I was not in a good shape to run fast.... I needed to just relax and enjoy the run.
The Halland region was something new to me... those trails are just fascinating! I enjoyed every single step there! :)
After about 30 minutes we entered the real "trail massacre"! It was nasty... muddy and messy... sometimes up to the knees. It seems impossible, but it was nice! I almost forgot that I had a camera, the difficoult part was behind me and I didn't want to look back.... to take a picture of it was not an option! I was fully concentrated to enjoy my run and not to destroy my feet.... :)
Suddenly I noticed that I knew the trails... i recognized the Sandsjòbackaleden and parts of the Torrekullaleden where I run quite often. I relaxed.... took out the camera and had a little bit of fun! This part was just lovely to run... still a little bit tricky sometimes.... You don't want to stumble and fall down here! :)
In terms of avoiding obstacles, energy consumption... bla, bla.... Just forget it! After trying to avoid mud and water I got so tired.... I noticed that running through it was a better practice! :)
The Oxsjön lake was there and my legs were tired... the different and hard pavement was not really appreciated. Strange but true, the soft and muddy part was kind of easyer to run. Maybe because of me still recovering from being sick the day before the race... I don't know. Still, I ran the Oxsjön and the Sisjön lake trail a little bit faster. I needed that check point to take a nice energy drink!
The last part, the last effort: The Änggårdsbergen Nature Reserve and Botanical Gardens in Gothenburg! The trail was still muddy, quite technical.... sometimes tricky so I decided to walk through this part to avoid "surprises"! ... A great moment to take out the camera again! :)
I made it to the finish line!
I wasn't really that tired. I was super happy that I finished the race, that the body responded well even after the sickness, and most important... that I enjoyed (almost) every single step of the trail!
I have to say this.... it's impressive how the mind reacts... I met a guy that asked me if I would apply for the next year.
My answer exhausted, cold and wet, but content was: "Maybe the 83km one!?" - He took the answer seriously!
We are a little bit "different" people here.... you have to be! To be able to chat on almost everything possible, covered with mud, dirt and stinky... is something that not everybody would consider doing. Still the feeling was great!
Everyone was helping one another to get over the obstacles and to get through the mud and water.
Thanks so much to everyone at Nedevska Coaching and every single volunteer who came out and helped and made this event possible! :)
Following images by: Johan Moberg