The race.... THE Mother of all Trail Races..... The UTMB (Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc)!
"I'm in?! Shit!!!!".... "What have I just done!??"
That feeling of panic came across my whole body the same day I found out that me and a few fellow runners from Gothenburg were accepted in the draw to run the UTMB race a few months later!
At that time I just made a first DNS to a local race and the feeling was not at top! I had a virus and no training at all... not the way I wanted!
Great video! I love it! :)
I felt a huuuge need to train again but my body was weak due to a virus..... But somehow I managed to train OK-ish to the "100 Miles of Istria" where for the first time of my life I raced well and made a 8hrs better finish time than the year before! Great!
Just after that race I made another rookie mistake.... running fast on asphalt just 7days after a 100-mile race! NOT-A-SMART thing to do!
I had to rest my right foot and train using the bike or the gym. Well, that was OK for the next race at that time: the "Göteborgsvarvet". I raced that half marathon without any specific speed training and was able to match almost the same result from last year! That was quite good..... my form was OK!
Well.... that lasted just a week! Because the week after I got a nasty cold! Just great before Lavaredo Ultra Trail 120k!!! That was simply not good.... The whole 2017 fighting with injuries, viruses and stress..... I suppose that my expectations were too high! When you have a family with small children you have to prioritize things the right way, and the only way I can do that is by putting my family first in line of everything!
And that was the reason why I made my family come with me to Cortina d'Ampezzo and "feel" the Ultra-race spirit in the air. What happened there is another story..... :)
And the summer training went well to the 10/7..... and there while running i tackled a tiny downhill well.... it felt just great and I wanted to push it to the max. I was flying and there, at the very end of that tiny descent there was Mr. "SharpRock" waiting for my heel to land on it! That was a huuuuuge mistake! What a pain! I couldn't walk....
After a couple of days it felt better so I figured that I didn't need any medical assistance with that.
The thing is that I manages to injure my Plantar fascia and if you don't know what the pain is.... well.... it hurts - A LOT!
I managed to stay focused, to train despite the pain and keep a decent week mileage. The last week came and I wanted the party to start! :)
Anders and I met in Copenhagen. After the flight to Geneve we travelled to Chamonix using the Mountain Drop Offs airport shuttle service! A great choice! We could rest all the way to the front door of the B&B we stayed at in Chamonix! Great service! :)
We managed to do every preparation with the proper calm and avoid stress despite the bad weather that came over Chamonix. It was colder than the days before and we were discussing a lot about the weather conditions during the race.... Well, somehow you have to trust the gear you have chosen and race your race and if necessary adapt to the race conditions.... that's it!
So, we were there, at the gear check! The Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc organizers specify and enforce minimum equipment that runners must carry during the UTMB. The control is quite detailed. You have a random printed document where some of the gear is checked and that gear you have to show to the officers. If something is wrong or the gear does not meet the requirements you have to buy something else at once or you'll face a lovely DNS!
It went nicely for us! :)
The UTMB® imposes obligatory equipment which all runners must have with them permanently to avoid risk of penalty! The list is LONG:
After the gear check we had to eat! I was soooo hungry! Anders managed to find a lovely place in Chamonix where we could chat in Swedish with Lisa Wallen working there.... a lovely "family" feeling!
The cozy place is named: "Cool Cats". Beautiful spot with amazing food! Highly recommended! :)
The next day the weather was nothing better. Rainy and chilly..... (check the images below):
After a lovely night, we went for a walk in Chamonix. Anders needed a new jacket and we walked around chatting, socialized a little with other race organizers (met Alen Paliska from "100 Miles of Istria" too). We had a meal and after that we headed to the room in order to get our gear ready and rest a little before the start. The gear choices are crucial sometimes. A race outcome may depend on your gear!
After a short relax we left the B&B ready for the start. We needed to find the spot to leave our drop bags first.
After that we met Fredrik and Joakim and we decided to eat something together at that lovely place called "Cool Cats"! :)
We went to Fredrik and Joakims place in order to relax a little before the start.....
The start was.... WOW..... all those runners at the same place, wanting the same thing!
All that training, all that sacrifice with the UTMB in mind.... The energy was unbelievable! Just..... Magic!
The start was just mind blowing! The music, the vibes, the expectations.....
After the first 500mt we started to run. I was quite relaxed.... my heart was dancing like crazy! I wanted to run at a comfortable pace without pushing my luck. Everybody told me not to push it too much in order to preserve the energy for those first climbs but at the same time it would be nice not to stop and wait in line with hundreds of other runners......
That was what I had in mind up to Les Houches I was able to execute without issues. My first 8k went flawless.... great feeling and good pace. The first climb followed and.... well, there I was in line with other runners. That was nothing too bad. I needed to relax a little and remind myself that the race was long, really long and that the terrain was nothing to joke with!
The descent to Saint Gervais was quite easy. I managed to relax and never cared about all those runners that passed me.... The first descent was the first point of the race where I had to remember that I was racing the UTMB with an injured foot! I had to play really smart without crazy decisions. I had to roll without pushing my luck! I had to relax and preserve my energy where possible, I had to move my foot differently where possible and set the foot on the ground carefully on each and every stride. That was one of the reasons why I had chosen my "Merrell All Out Peak" instead of the Altra Lone Peak 3. I needed more control, cushioning and stability and more traction on the muddy slippery sections.
Saint-Gervais -- Friday 21.31
The shoe choice was the perfect one! The whole part from Saint-Gervais, through Les Contamines, the climb during the first night was a tough one. A lot of mud, slippery trails and rain. A lot of rain! I needed to be patient and just move forward.
Fredrik and Joakim passed me at some point and at the very start I was there.... pushing a little but I got a "foot reminder" not to do so if I wanted to have a tiny chance to finish this race. So I relaxed, just kept an "enjoyable" pace and let the runners that wanted to pass me without issues.... I had to do my own race here!
Les Contamines Montjoie -- Friday 23.19
I was never tired at that point. My shoes did a lovely job. I felt really confident and I managed to react every time by changing my gear in order to keep my body warm. Because of the fact that I couldn't run fast on downhills my body was never really warm, but I felt great. The night was never silent. I had always somebody in front and behind me. But not so many chatty runners here during this UTMB. Maybe due to the tough weather conditions... I guess.
The climb after Les Chapieux went nicely. At that point the clock showed 3:30 and I remember that I was quite surprised how well I felt after the first 50k. I felt really well. The foot was in pain but the pain was there, not worse, and not better.... just a reminder that I should never do something crazy! But sometimes I did crazy things, like passing runners during some technical sections.... I just had to do something in order to keep my mind occupied with something. The night was long.....
I met Anders after a while.... we were soooo close the whole time! He was running with Primoz who decided to do a short stop at the station and continue running together with me. The funny thing with Primoz is that I met him before during the Lavaredo race in Italy! It's a tiny little world this "Ultra World"! We are like a tiny family out there..... I love it! :) When it comes to Primoz I have to say that he is a really special runner for me! We have a lot in common and we ran both here during the UTMB and during the Lavaredo race many miles together.... I found out that he was forced to DNF the UTMB just shortly after we split during a climb to Refuge Bonatti on km 95.6.... I noticed he had issues during the climb! He is a strong runner, he'll be back! :)
At the aid station I met Christian too. He was sitting there and eating relaxed but he was not really approaching the race with the positive attitude I figured.... I hoped back there that he would catch me later on (he never did!).... he had a bad day I guess.
I just kept rolling.... the night was long. My Nitecore HC30 was doing a really pretty job! I had never the need to change the lamp or something else. Just the way it should be.
After Col de la Seigne, after that first tricky climb up to over 2500mt I felt that the morning is about to come. I felt that I had this, my legs were just fine, my foot was OK, my body and mind were just fine.... I was actually enjoying this race without pushing a thing! I was quite happy and I was really looking forward for the light to come! I wanted to see the surroundings..... not just the light on my trail and rocks, muddy trails and the wind with rain/snow on my face.... I wanted the whole thing! :)
Photograph: Anders Sandegård
Well, I did'n have to wait too much. The Lac Combal aid station on km 66/67 was something wonderful! We were able to see the aid station from the top.... from the dark a tiny spot down the mountain..... all around us white snowy mountain tops, what a nature creation! The Mont Blanc best there in that spot for me! One of the best sensations during the UTMB was that section to Arête du Mont Favre. The whole area back there was just like "too much". The tiny lake, the gravel road that allows you to admire the nature while you eat the food from the aid station and walk towards the next climb.... the mountains all around me..... I had to stop a few times just to "absorb" the nature..... I was enjoying the race!
Photograph: Jeff Pachoud/AFP/Getty Images
The climb to Arête du Mont Favre was really nice. I enjoyed that lovely trail. The spectacular views is contrary of what is happening during the night when you have to do something with your mind to keep it occupied, now, with all that scenery.... well, it was almost too much! I was like a kid in a candy paradise!
Still.... you have to be really focused on the trails..... tricky, muddy, technical and wow.... steep! Really steep!
Well yes.... that downhill to Courmayeur just started..... I was running behind a guy with some Inov8 shoes on.... and boy he was unstable... he was like Bambi on ice! I decided to stick behind him! I didn't wanted him to fall down on me and.... whatever..... I had no hurry!
He had a good pace and I felt confident running behind.
He was falling and rising again....
I was thankful that I decided to run in my Merrell All Out Peak shoes! Great decision! I knew that my feet would suffer a lot, but during a race such UTMB security and safety comes first before everything else I guess!
As we reached the gravel section before the asphalt I passed right away the poor Inov8 runner..... I hope he's OK! I felt really OK. I was running inside the old part of Courmayeur and was curious that pretty much everybody was speaking french despite the fact that we were in Italy. Well, I know that Aosta has a special status like other Regions in Italy.... but still! :)
Courmayeur -- Saturday 09.51
The stop in Courmayeur was like I planned.... maybe 5 minutes extra long. But who cares! I managed to change my clothes - and make one of my biggest stupid/rookie mistakes I made during the race. I ate some pasta, a warm vegetarian soup and refilled with gels and other things I had in my DropBag.
I met Anders, Joakim and Fredrik too. That was nice! After a short chat I continued my race.....
I continued the race with Primoz. At that point he was still OK. He was also quite OK during the first uphill to the Refuge Bertone but something was not OK...... Later on I had to continue the race alone.
But you are NEVER alone during the UTMB! There are runners all over the trails! It's quite unique with 2300 runners running and "spreading" from the start to..... well..... The first runner was almost finishing and I was still heading to Refuge Bonatti! Quite crazy right!
Well, wen you race the UTMB with an injury you don't have the luxury to think about the "racing" and to be "competitive".... it's all about finishing and "surviving" the race!
And surviving the race was never soooooo damn true like during this UTMB!
Arnouvaz -- Saturday 14.42
At the Arnouvaz aid station the lady stopped me and "forced" me to wear my pants and jacket due to a snow storm on Gran Col Ferret! I was like... "WHAT"!!??
Ok, the weather was rainy, quite cold on the peaks, tough conditions to run a 100-mile race on mountains but are we exaggerating here a little?.... But well, I had to wear my gear otherwise I would had 1h penalty directly! So I stopped, put on my pants and jacket and.... damn was I "frozen like a rock"! If you see me passing through this point well.... it's "Robocop" passing.... not me! LOL
But after 200mt I was OK. At that point I was still just fine. I was inside the race, I felt great! I was happy that my energy was great, my gear choice was OK, my foot was still OK - well, I had pain during each and every step but the pain was never an issue. I never needed any pain killers, and that is great!
The weather was getting nasty.... the visibility weaker. I wanted to have my glasses on but with that weather sunglasses would make everything worse.... I kept climbing, fighting the winds that begun to blow stronger and stronger for each meter of the climb. Climbing was a fight. The trails were a mix of mud, stones/gravel and snow. Sometimes you miss a spot and you just slide.... that was really energy consuming! My mind started to freak out! I started to freeze... a lot! That is my biggest mistake I made in Curmayeur! I had chosen a synthetic long sleeve running top instead the merino one! What a huuuge mistake! A mistake I will never again repeat during such races! No way! Nevertheless my hands started to freeze despite the fact that I wore my brand new water and windproof gloves from "Ultimate Performance". Well.... what a rubbish product! My hands were freezing and my gloves freaking wet and frozen at -9°C! At that time I just wanted to go down to La Fouly. Not to relax or to refill.... but to DNF, to close it for the day! I was finished, beaten and chilly.... I was officially in "survival mode"!
I was just walking, my racing was over. I found all the excuses needed to DNF. I accepted the defeat and I was sorry for my family back home that is hoping to see the daddy and father return safe back home, all those happy friends that are supporting me in this race.... But I was empty! I was alone.... Actually I was not alone.... every runner around me was defeated. We kept fighting against the winds, the snow storm killing the skin on our faces. The sliding on the trails.... we were all in the same boat. I was not fighting anymore. I just rolled down towards my defeat.
The winds started to calm down when we abandoned the top of the mountain, I managed to call my wife back home and to describe to her my need to close the race. She told me calmly to do the best I could and to choose wisely when I reach the next aid station. I was soooo happy when I heard her! That moment was one of the best during the race... that moment made the race worth racing.....
The love and patience that my wife gave me the power I needed to calm down.... to get my crap together and to reflect deeply.... the need to escape from the panic and think..... I needed to focus well! So I did that and I reached La Fouly.
If Arnovauz was not a pretty sight on the Live cameras, the entry in the La Fouly aid station was an entry of a walking dead! Seriously! I was quite scared when I saw the clip myself! I can just imagine my family and friends that followed my race! Scary shit!!!
La Fouly -- Saturday 18.31
I went inside the tent... it was warm. Immediately I took off all my wet clothes and let them dry a little while I ate a divine soup, some pasta and other things I needed in order to start thinking straight!
There was this warming thing in the middle of the tent and that was a real blessing! I started to look at the race profile that every aid station has in order for the runners to understand the position during the course and I was like...... "I'm here and I have approx. 70 km to the end! How am I going to do that!?? I'm done! Finished!!!??"..... But that profile was less scary after each bite, after each minute of that kind warm thing behind my frozen body. I started to hear my wife in my ears, my kids..... I wanted to do more.... "I can NOT finish like this!".... I had to try something more.... I had to dig really deep to find a hidden energy deposit to use! And there was such inside me! A HUGE energy deposit!
While I was exiting the aid station I looked at the race profile and I figured: "I have a lovely downhill, than a tiny uphill and those three hills...... Let's GO!" - Champex Lac is waiting for you! :)
It's a loooong downhill in front of me... a lot of lovely asphalt too... What? Do I really mean "lovely asphalt" here?!??
Well yes, I really needed a little bit of easy surface to roll on.... to relax my mind and my sore body. Moving forward exiting the "survival mode" and trying to understand the actual power level is not an easy task.....
"Should I run here? Should I wait and save the energy for the next hill(s)?..... What should I DO?"
I did like many I guess. I mixed the walking and the easy jogging..... eating a lot and preparing myself for those three last "hills"...... and YES... I pictured those mountains like "hills" in my mind!.... Here somewhere in the middle of nowhere I guess.... a lovely village.... a few kids had a table in front of the house with coffee and water and other things..... Well... THANX A LOT! That coffee was one of the best cups in my life I guess! Tasted divine! :)
I was there.... on the bottom of another climb.... and I went up with good mindset! I wanted to reach Champec-Lac before the 30hrs limit, actually after approx. 28hrs running. The clock showed 22:00-ish and I was really tired. But I knew that If I would take a sleep now not even a bomb could wake me up! So I relaxed, refilled with energy and good vibes from other runners.... many of the runners passed me here. I did not care. I just wanted to feel OK when I would be ready to continue because after that point the map showed an "easy" flat/downhill before the first climb. Right! How wrong! :)
Champex Lac -- Saturday 22.11
I managed to climb to La Giète and arrive at 02:40.... so approx 3hrs in order to climb 12km!!! Crazy slow!
Well.... that was actually quite OK if I compare my hiking to many runners sitting or even asleep along the trail.... for many of those runners the race was sadly but true.... over. I remember runners sleeping and warming wrapped in survival blankets around a fireplace... really cozy! For a second I was really tempted to join them! :)
I leave the top of La Giète fast... I'm passing runners here with speed. Others seem like still while I feel great! Crazy how things can change during such a race! I had a LOT of fun! I was actually enjoying that long downhill.....
BUT! That was just the first of the last three downhills. Something I reminded myself inside a tiny and quite low wooden stable. Inside it was humid and quite chilly. many runners that came inside wanted to rest and relax but the man told everybody not to do so and to proceed to the next aid station - Trient instead! I listened to the man. The adrenaline from the well performed downhill was still pumping inside my body, so I took some Coca-Cola and continued the downhill with the same pace....The pace was nothing too great actually. But on that terrain, me being quite exhausted that was a turbo speed.... :)
The Trient aid station was in front of me.... I was really pleased, happy that I managed to reach that aid station without injuries, with my left foot still sore but still not swollen or really painful. I was blessed to be there... I felt great!
maybe too grear! Why?....
Trient -- Sunday 04.03
Well, I was so madly and crazy stupid to stay there relaxing from Sunday 04:03 to 04:42!!! Almost 45 minutes!!! Crazy indeed! But I knew that. I needed those 20 minutes of meditation... of contemplation in order to focus, in order to understand who I am, where I was etc.... My mind was a mess..... but I was present the whole race. No issues with hallucinations!
I ate, refilled with energy and continued the race. My legs were like "Pinocchio's legs"! It took like 2km to relax my muscles I guess.....
The fact that I raced with an injured foot made me slow... really slow. I had to decide between two choices:
- see the whole course and be slow or
- run like I usually do and kill the race when I bonk or due to the injury failing my foot.....
I chosen the first choice!
At this point at the km 145 I decided to take this climb really slowly and carefully....
I remember here thinking a lot! My mind was always working here. I was at home with my family.... My kids and my wife were there during the whole climb! I had to stop twice and yes... it is NOT that easy to find a proper rock where to fit my lovely bottom.... and that was a game I played the whole climb. To find the right spot and sit max 2 minutes - proceed and find another rock - another 2 minutes and I should be there... at the top! It took me more than 1.5hrs to Les Tseppes... the top.
The downhill went slowly. I just "rolled".... hiking and enjoying the surroundings. The scenario there is something that everybody should see. It's really spectacular! I enjoyed this part sooo much that I never cared about the fact that almost 100 runners passed me there during that tiny sections. But I knew one thing........ "I have this! I will finish this race!..... Nothing can stop me now!!!"
And that feeling was growing stronger in me..... while my energy levels were gradually collapsing..... or not!? I was still moving forward and my body temperature was rising. I moved away my gloves too because it was better not to have any that to have wet gloves on!
And so I was there.... Vallorcine. The last aid station before the last "hill"... before the last climb.... another last "step" and I would finish that race.. "The race"!
I assume that for all the people following me from home that was not a pretty show! That was a "freak show"! Actually I was more like a "Dead man walking"..... But actually I remember the whole part running to Vallorcine well, and walking to the aid station. I just wanted to go inside the station, focus, regain focus and continue! It took me approx 20 minutes and I was outside. A toilet stop was included here.....Well, I did another stop in Champex Lac too actually.... but a longer one! Ehehehehe...... :)
Vallorcine -- Sunday 08.35
After Vallorcine I had food in my hands and I was eating like a pig during that last flat section.... I felt really good, positive and really lovely. The morning was there. The sunlight almost there to caress the runners.... I wanted soooo badly to start the climb to reach the sunlight!
We crossed the road, but before crossing it I ran approx 100mt in order to pass with that group and avoid waiting for another group of runners far behind me..... Well, I was still fast! I ate the last food bit I had with me from the aid station and I stopped right after the road crossing. I had to put away my jacket.... I was sweating too much! And I felt strong again... I was ready for the climb!!!
Photograph: Jeff Pachoud/AFP/Getty Images
I was putting my gear back on when a well known voice named my name...... WTF!!! Anders, Joakim and Fredrik here there?!!! Right behind me!? I was done.... they were doing great! While I was just exiting from a "dark hole"! So i figured really fast: "Shit dude, you have to kill this climb otherwise you don't have a chance on the downhill! They are much faster!" - And at that point I wanted really much to finish the race together with the guys! We raced like a group always in front or in front... but close.... really close.... and you may feel it in races like this one.....
So I just said "Hi" I guess and pushed the ground with my legs! The foot pain was gone! My longs were working flawlessly, my heart pumping happiness and I was climbing strong! I had a french guy in front of me at that time. We climbed strong up and at one section we rolled downhill - A really crazy section,a really technical trail! At one point we stopped. There were just him and me there..... nobody behind and nobody behind! That was quite an awkward situation in a race with 2500 runners! We decided to run down towards a rock in order to check if there were other runners under. Well, he checked.... and told me: "There are approx. 50-60 runner in front!"
We were really happy to avoid the climb back and that we were actually on the right trail! So we continued the downhill and after a few more minutes we were back on the climb.... the last one! He started pushing right away. I was a little bit scared of the pace but I followed him! I enjoyed the fact that I was able to climb strong after all those miles and suffering! That felt really amazing - almost unbelievable! Such a feeling and state of mind is impossible to describe! It's a mixture of adrenaline, endorphins, craziness, brain damage and other chaos in the mind and body.... I was quite emotional during the climb! I was enormously grateful that my body aged 44 was still able to do things like that! I wanted to share that feeling with my family.... a few teardrops ran down my face... I was happy! Pure happiness while suffering and climbing.....
The Frenchmen in front of me met another guy. I don't remember if he was racing or not but the pace dropped fast and I felt the need to continue the good work pushing that hill so I saluted the man and wished him good luck! After a few 100 meters I noticed that there was another man in front! The hunt began! I felt the urge... the need to catch him! For the first time in the race I wanted to race against another racer! I felt really strong there.... and after just a few minutes I was there behind this guy from Asia in front of me and boy he was climbing strong! Crazy strong legs too! His pace was a little bit too aggressive for me but I accepted the challenge and hiked just 50cm behind him all the way to the top... or almost to the very top.... at one point he stopped and turned back to me: "Dude you climb soooo fuck*ng STROOOONG! Go man... go for it! You're killing this climb!!!" - I felt just love and admiration... another fellow runner that appreciated the effort! Wow..... Boy what a feeling! And I did not stop there..... A french runner passed me there. He had a great pole technique there and he was actually almost running on those rocks and that "almost" flat section before the very last climb to Flégère. That pace was waaay tooo strong for me. But I wanted to learn something from that runner. The pole skills were amazing! So I ran behind him controlling the distance. I wanted to have him "in hunting sight". So I ran too! Yes.... I ran the uphill for a few meters!!! Just in order to see the runner....
Photograph: Jeff Pachoud/AFP/Getty Images
We came here on the wide gravel road that headed to the top - to Flégère. I hiked like I usually do - STRONG! I felt great! The distance between the runner in front and me was tiny..... we passed a few more runners..... the crowd was there cheering us. The clouds were low around 12:00 when I reached the station. Quite foggy and chilly. I just wanted to refill with water. Drink a little and fly down to the end of the race!!! The camera that catches this moment caught just the last few meters before the aid station.... the whole climb was really great!
Flégère -- Sunday 12.18
I guess that I can say that the climb to Flégère and the downhill down from La Giète to Trient were the TOP moments during the race for me! During those sections of the race I felt to be a "part of the race"..... maybe because of the fact that during those sections I managed not to think about my injury and relax and do what I was supposed to do... enjoy the UTMB!
And I was there.... rolling down this last really steep downhill from Flégère to Chamonix. That was the first time I felt my quadriceps burning... but it was not a painful pain... it was a "joyful" pain! I was rolling easily down the last downhill.... after the first easy gravel part came the trail... a tricky one sometimes. After 160km each and every trail is a trick one I guess! This one was a steep one too! :)
So I rolled carefully, easily, I managed to look "outside" the trail too. I often looked down that hill and the trail seemed really loooong! It did not help at all that from the top to the end of the downhill almost every hiker told us "Just 4km to the end!".... They have a quite sick sense of humor I guess! LOL
The asphalt came and I figured.... "I will run now... finally asphalt!" ..... but I couldn't. My legs were gone! My quads burned, my calves too I guess. My left foot was already "gone" at the start line.....
So I walked.... and ran a little, drank a little, enjoyed the sun, walked a little, ran a little and than..... in the distance..... like a "Fata Morgana" came Martin Clemensson!
Photograph: Erik Billerby
I started running at once.... no issues at all - I often ask myself what is the actual level of human possibility to avoid the brain to prevent "system" damages because the fact that I was able to run like "nothing happened" back there and just meters before I was "death walking" is something quite fascinating!
I was able to run, chat with Martin while he was live filming and I was so very incredible thankful for LIFE! That moment was pure melody, magic..... running while the public aside the road was cheering for the runners... Amazing! I managed to avoid crying.... but my heart was filled with love and gratitude to everybody and everything.... I "highfived" everybody, and when I saw Anders and Erik in the distance .... well..... that was crazy amazing too! I was able to run even faster.... I felt that I could run like forever back there....
I pushed to the finish line and there on my right there was a guy that wanted really badly to finish in front of me! I remembered that I smiled and I tapped on his shoulder and I told him just: "Dont't worry! Go for it!" - And that was just 20 meters from the finish line!
That one was another lovely moment for me during this race.... among many great moments I will cherish for the rest of my life! :)
Chamonix Finishing the race -- Sunday 13.48
Chamonix Finish Line -- Sunday 13.48
After the race I collected my finisher vest and waited for Anders, Fredrik and Joakim. From the moment when I met Martin I just forgot that I wanted to finish with them! I just enjoyed too much running that part with Martin! Pure magic! When Anders, Joakim and Fredrik arrived we started the fest! I was so incredibly happy that we made it to the finish line! Anders and I took a beer and after a short pause went ahead to collect the drop bag and went back to the hotel in order to relax a little, have a shower and return later on back to party with other fellow runners.....
Well, I did take a lovely shower, ate a little and checked my phone etc.... but after 5 minutes I crushed asleep like a baby! Anders woke me around 23:30.... NO idea going nowhere! "I'm not moving from here dude!" - was my answer to any question! Ehehehehe
He managed to shower and fix his things before the travel back home. I did that in the morning. I have taken the large suitcase with me in order to throw everything inside without the need to think on details or packing "routines".... that was a god one! :)
The day after I was like..... "No way I am doing this another time in my life!!!" - but now, not even a month after the experience around Mont Blanc I say just one thing: "I'll be back!" :)
My UTMB Finish:
Credit: Martin Clemensson
Thanx to Martin Clemensson for the finish run with me!
To see a friend after more than 165k was something really great! It was a special thing running those last meters to the very end of the race and a great thing that you could film my first UTMB finish! Great job! Thanx again!
• A HUGE LOVE goes to my family that supported me during both the training, and race! Without your love I could never made it to the finish line! I love you!
• A special THANX goes to each end every fellow runner from the Löparbössan Facebook group!
You sponsored the whole fee for my UTMB and I am very grateful for this! Your help, trust and support is appreciated! I felt your energy too during the race and I know that many of you followed me during this madness! Thank you once again! :)