Month: December 2011

My Marathons 2011 – Part IV

The last Part of this series concludes on the best marathons in 2011, i.e. I give my you my take on the best marathons in 2011, i.e. amongst the ones I have participated in myself. Best does not necessarily mean ‘objectively best’ but does also emphasize the magnitude of the experience including ‘other’ factors such as city/nature facilities etc. not to mention my own performance.

I have divided the marathons into four groups and as always, you find links to the races via ‘My marathons’ in the menu.

1. New York City Marathon (USA)
2. Vancouver (Canada)
3. Thorshavn (Faroe Islands)
4. Madrid (Spain)
5. H.C. Andersen (Denmark)

City marathons
1. New York City Marathon (USA)
2. Vancouver (Canada)
3. Madrid (Spain)
4. Barcelona (Spain)
5. Copenhagen (Denmark)

Nature runs
1. Thorshavn (Faroe Islands)
2. LGT Alpin (Liechtenstein)
3. Rudersdal (Denmark)
4. Pihlsbech #100 (Denmark)
5. Furesø (Denmark)

Small races
1. Dr. Nielsens (Denmark)
2. Wedding Marathon (Denmark)
3. Holstebro (Denmark)
4. Kalundborg Vintermarathon (Denmark)
5. Sydkyst (Denmark)

These are lists based on my personal experiences, of course. To mentain memory of the best races ‘ever’, I  have a category of the ‘all-time best’ marathons as well. Here, the big marathons do live up to their famous names !

Best ever
1. New York (USA)
2. Zermatt (Switerzerland)
3. London (England)
4. Rome (Italy)
5. Chicago (USA)

My Marathons 2011 – Part III

Performance has been a key word in several respects in 2011. The year opened with a series of talks on the book ELSK AT LØBE,

ELSK AT LØBE - Tor Rønnow & Bente Klarlund Pedersen

the most prominent being the evening at POLITIKEN where my co-author prof. Bente Klarlund Pedersen and I entertained several hundred people. The book contains a 7 step Marathon Management programme to secure a good marathon experience and I have personally applied several pieces of the advice myself, especially the stuff about an “optimal weight”, the metabollic fittness and the scientific core facts on why you have to train with high intensity.

Actually, I had proclaimed a 3.45 result as the goal for 2011 but honestly I thought that such a figure was quite unrealistic on my race list which after all said 207 marathons on plus-4 hours to none sub-4 entering the year. So imagine my delight when I finally booked the first sub-4 ! As written several times before, this came about in my marathon no. 218 and in stunning Vancouver, Canada, well paced by my friend Vagn Kirkelund.

Vancouver Marathon 2011 – pictures

Then came some months where no improvement seemed to occur all until the fairytale race at H.C. Andersen Marathon where I had the fortune to establish a brilliant cooperation with Anders Brandt. I think that those 10 fast kilometers we shared together laid the cornerstone to both our PB’s (Anders with 3.45 and I with 3.54) and it expanded my mindset for sure on what is possible.

H.C. Andersen Marathon 2011 – pictures

Thus, a series of sub-4 results now followed and even an elusive new PB 3.42.39 was booked in Amsterdam, this time under the secure guidiance from Mogens Pedersen. Three weeks later it was even possible for me to go sub-4 in New York running as Spiderman and my race list now features seven sub-4’s and 9 of my 10 best times are from 2011 (and 12 of my 14 best times – no. total races is 238). Cutting 24 minutes off your PB can’t be too bad, can it ?

Amsterdam Marathon 2011 – pictures

So what and whom have inspired me to this performance stunt ? Well, the facts in the book are for sure major drivers. But indeed so many of my already strong and well-performing friends are sources of inspiration too, some are already mentioned here and I could add a few more: some of my young facebook friends that run insanely fast and always criticize me for being too slow (Jonas Berg, Jeppe Farsøht), my VIP-guests at LøbeMagasinet Rudersdal Marathon Frederik Lassen (Danish Champion in 24-hours) and Erik Steffensen (an art professor that at age 50 is now running 5 k at 19.19 and the like) and some of my new friends on the Faroe Islands (Pól Sundskarð, Guttorm Sørensen and the very talented young Marnar Djurhuus).

I think Performance will continue to be on the agenda in 2012 – having declared 3.15 as the target !

My Marathons 2011- Part II

In Part II of this series I will account for my races in Denmark. In case you didn’t know we have a zillion marathon races in Denmark each year, many of them being small local events. However, we do also have marathons with international class and appeal, first and foremost the two biggest events: Nykredit Copenhagen Marathon and H.C. Andersen Marathon in Odense. Although I really treasure many of my other Danish races, these two take a very special place and this year is no exception. Although I was a bit disappointed with my performance in Copenhagen I was extremely delighted with the organization of the race and also very pleased with the new route which I find very scenic and representative for our Capital.

Nykredit Copenhagen Marathon 2011 – pictures

“Organization to perfection” is also the phrase that comes to mind about H.C. Andersen Marathon. This year proved to be quite if not catastrophically rainy on the race day, nevertheless I managed to book a new suberb PB in Odense (more to come about this in Part III). You may browse the wet pictures here: H.C. Andersen Marathon 2011 – pictures

Before these events I had run the usual classic winter races in Kalundborg, Holstebro and the infamous Dr. Nielsen in Vejle and also seen some improvement in my form at Sydkyst Maraton in Greve where I actually ran my 2’nd best marathontime at the time. But the races that I will remember the most are probably those three where I was lucky to celebrate some of my friends on days very special to them, namely the Marathon Wedding (!) for Peter Buhr and wife Lotte,

Wedding Marathon – pictures

marathon no. 100 for Morten Pihlsbech and Susanne Gren,

2*100 Marathon – pictures

and marathon no. 500 for Anders Munch Madsen, the latter also being my own event at LøbeMagasinet Rudersdal Marathon on beautiful Zeeland.

LøbeMagasinet Rudersdal Marathon – pictures

The friendships are an important part of all this running and it is for the same reason sad to note that 2011 saw some abuse on that account, i.e. so-called friends clearly overstepping the “unspoken conventions”. Who knows, perhaps life needs to include some idiots in order for us to spot the fine people in our lives. Thus, I am actually pleased to scrap the garbage, cf. #1 in this fine list of advice: 30-things-to-stop-doing-to-yourself, but it is of course a little confusing if “trust” is not a common part of the marathon community anymore.

I will indeed enter 2012 with some rage in mind and body, but even worse: with sadness in the heart. Not so much for saying “f*ck-off” to these few assh*les, not at all, no, I am more concerned that other friendships may be at stake. I foresee divisions. I liked running more 4-5 years ago when the friendships were clean.

My Marathons 2011 – Part 1

My marathon year 2011 has come to an end, perhaps a bit earlier than normally but various events have led me to this decision. I will train speed for the remainings of December and then look forward to see my marathon friends next year. Friendships is one of the great assets of the sport, right ?

Anyways, I will make a few posts on my phenomenal 2011. This year I managed to cut 24 minutes off my PB and to finally achieve a sub-4 hours result. The latter came about in my marathon no. 218 (!) in beautiful Vancouver, Canada, and by the graceful coaching by my friend Vagn Kirkelund, a very strong runner currently on the Danish National Team for 24 hours races.

Vancouver Marathon 2011 – pictures

My international year started off in Barcelona, Spain, a race I have now visited three times and this year was for sure the best experience and also my best performance though the streets of the Catalunyan capital (Barcelona Marathon 2011 pictures here). The next race abroad was also in Spain, this time Madrid Marathon (Madrid Marathon 2011 pictures) which was an interesting, varied and quite tough run to complete ! The night before I had the pleasure of watching “Il Classico” between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona at Santiago Bernabeau (1-1) and I could easily make a habit out of combining marathon running with visiting other great sports events.

Ok, then came Vancouver in May and later the mountains of Liechtenstein in June, sadly in rain but an awesome challenge in which I did rather well, I think, cutting off at least an hour compared with my previous and very similar mountain marathons.

LGT Alpin Marathon 2011 – pictures

Then came summer and thus a pause in marathon travelling. The next marathon was “partly” on Danish soil but then again not, namely the breathtaking Thorshavn Marathon in the Faroe Islands. Thorshavn Marathon is easliy one of the most beautiful marathons I have ever participated in, do check out the stunning pictures: Thorshavn Marathon 2011 – pictures

Then came October and the much anticipated Amsterdam Marathon. An unusual high number of Danes had found their way to this event and my friend Mogens Pedersen was amongst them. What luck for me that was ! Mogens simply assisted me to book the “unheard” finish time 3.42.39 and we had a great time in the Dutch capital. Amsterdam Marathon is for sure one of those races where you can expect to break your old records if you’re well prepared.

Amsterdam Marathon 2011 – pictures

Last exotic marathon was then the biggest of them all – New York City Marathon !!! It was my second attempt through the five borroughs and this year I managed to secure a sub-4 even running in my Spiderman suit. New York City is just such a cool place to be, so I can only recommend a trip to this perhaps “most wanted” marathon in the world. See for yourself: Spiderman runs New York City Marathon 2011 – pictures

In the next Part I will look into some of the best Danish races during the year (i.e. on my list).