7 marathon in 6 days !

Two weeks back I was in the middle of the perhaps toughest contest thus far in my humble marathon career: the completion of seven marathons within the timespan of six days ! The races were part of an ultra-event organized on the Danish island Bornholm in the Baltic Sea. Runners from 8 different countries, at least, were contesting throughout the week in 6-days, 48-h, 24-h and, as you may appreciate, the 7 marathons events.

The short version of the marathon contest is that 15 of 17 prevailled ! Indeed, the field was packed with very strong and experienced runners, myself clearly being the perhaps poorest runner of all. Therefore, I was quite happy and proud to make an overall very satisfactory performance in these seven races, during which I even managed to break year-best times in race 4 and 6 ! The presence of many good friends and the upstart of the soccer World Cup added to the unique atmosphere thoughout the week not to mention the good if not perfect running weather.

Day 1
I was quite nerveous, actually, before the first race (13th June), having not been running since June 1th. The start was thus very slow, controlled so ! Pictures day 1.

Day 2
The strategy was to run the first three marathons on the “exact” same time… this failed on day 2 to 12 seconds ! In other words yet another day in full control and beginning to pick up on the whole running-business. Here on the picture we some of the stronger runners in the event, from the left Vagn Kirkelund, Jesper Elfving, Mogens Pedersen and, undressing, Stephan Grabow whom on this day, his birthday, produced an incredible rally against his own PB.  Pictures day 2.

Day 3
Then came a beautiful day with sunshine, blue sky and a somewhat intensified competitive atmosphere in the marathon pack. Most attention drew, however, the famous danish ultrarunner Lars Skytte Christoffersen (on the picture) in the 6-day race. Lars was the runner-up in Sparthalon 2009 and completed 850 km (!) during a 6-day race in Sweden last year as well: Thus, Lars was of course amongst the favorites for the Bornholm event and he gracefully returned the honors winning the event with 790 km, well done !  Pictures day 3.

Day 4
Before the event I had forespoken that days 4 and 5 would be the crucial ones. So I was VERY surprised to clinch a year-best time on day 4, running even seemed easy and I felt I could have done even faster ! I’m sure that this unexpected inspiration came from my fellow contesters, here we see Mogens Pedersen, Jesper Hahn Jensen (the uncontested winner of the seven marathons), Anders Munch Madsen (the most experienced marathonrunner in Denmark), Gurli Hansen and Pól Sundskarö.  Pictures day 4

Day 5
Ready for day 5, ie. the fifth marathon within four days ? Yup ! And then again… perhaps not so ready. For certain, day five proved to be a tough one in the office. Apart from general fatigue I also struggled with beginning cramps in the left achilles/leg and the mood was not too good even though I finished off the day in 4.38.  Pictures day 5.

Day 6
Luckily,  the mood changed quite a bit on day six… perhaps due to the addition of the 24-hours runners on the 1-km track, who knows… well, we did for sure get new things to look at 🙂 Pleasantly, my legs were just fine again and I recorded the second year-best time during the event. Having completed day six in fine style, we felt certain that we would be able to secure the completion of the event overall, and this also turned out to be the case the following morning. On the picture we see the very strongly running Anne Dorthe Mahato, Anne Dorthe ran just about 190 km in the 24-hour event.  Pictures day 6.

Day 7
The last marathon startet Saturday morning at hours 06.00 and should be completed before noon 12.00. I neeed 4.34.26 for the job, thus securing the overall event. But boy oh boy this was a tough one, a really tough one ! For the first time during the whole week I had glimpses of doubt whether these seven races were actually achievable and several of the kilometers took a looong time. But I somehow managed to wrap the whole thing up and suddently seven days of running had come to an end. WE DID IT !!!

On the last picture we see some of the marathonrunners… from the left young Kasper Skriver who bravefully completed in spite of a bad injury, the winner Jesper Hahn, strong Jesper Elfving, heroic fighting Morten Skram, overall no. 2 Mogens Pedersen, super-finisher Peder Thorup, steadily improving Gurli Hansen and myself in front.

Congratulations to all and thanks for a very memorable week on Bornholm and thanks to the professionel and kind organizers (TIF) of Bornholm Ultramarathon 2010.  Pictures day 7.

Copenhagen marathon 2010

Sunday 23th of May will become a historic day in Danish marathon running: this day, Copenhagen marathon lifted itself into the brand of International marathons with a spectator-crowded Capital cheering the runners through a very scenic and adventurous route passing many parts of Copenhagen !

Here the pack is flowing through idyllic Nyhavn,

and moments later “Langelinie”, the home of the famous Little Mermaid (presently outsourced to China !).

Later, we passed the museum of the renowed sculpturer Linus Thorvaldsen…

an at parts we were enduring cobblestones and rather severe turns

passing many historic buildings, churches, squares and places in Copenhagen…

and after the endurance of the 42.195 meters, the runners could finally celebrate the completion of Copenhagen marathon 2010 on this very fine day for distance running indeed.

You find the full story with images and video here.

End of Year 6

My first marathon was in Copenhagen, Denmark six years ago, ie. the 16.05.2004.

Thus, my personal marathon year spands from the 16th of May each year and I have thus just now completed my sixth year of marathon running :

Year 1: 4 marathons – including Berlin and London !
Year 2: 12 marathons – including Stockholm, Amsterdam, Dublin, Elbtunnel, Paris and Hamburg.
Year 3: 28 marathons – including New York, Boston, Rome, Barcelona, Vienna and ‘my own’ event GARMIN Rudersdal marathon.
Year 4: 36 marathons – including Chicago, Magdeburg, Paris, Zürich as the biggest events. Notably, I collected the last of the World Majors with the completion of Chicago Marathon.
Year 5: 46 marathons ! Including marathon no. 100 and two-on-one-date (28-jun-2008) as some of the memorable events. To be highlighted is also the fantastic Swiss Alpine 42 K, Zürich New Years Eve, Budapest, Frankfurt and Dublin, Rotterdam and London marathon where I ran in my Spiderman suit… with a concussion !

Year 6: 57 marathons ! Including North Sea Beachmarathon (weeekend Triple !), Samsoe, Blokhus, Thy and Fjordmarathon, the perfectly organized HCA marahton in Odense and my new PR in Amsterdam as the top races in 2009, the year in which I completed 61 marathons !
2010 thus far indcludes Barcelona, Rome, Hamborg and Limestone Mine as the main races.

You can find picture and stories from most of these races via ‘My marathons’ from the menu at the page left.

Marathon in a Limestone Mine (Kalkmine)

Thursday, I completed one of the toughest marathons ever for my part, the absolutely brilliant “Underground marathon” in Jutland, Denmark, including 12 trips into two Limestone Mines plus a quite tough hilly route all in all.

We were in the realms of the Danish Robin Hood “Jens Langkniv”…

… and so many of my friends and running mates were present… we had a wonderful and challenging day indeed !

Here we see Mogens Pedersen just leaving his first pass in the Mønsted Mine…

… and here we fully understand what unusual sorroundings this race took place in ! Look at this !!!

Tough hills had to be conqured as well…

… and cute goats to be passed too. Sexy small bastards, eh ?  😉

Later, the Daugbjerg Mine was on the route, this one much more narrow and low, thus the use of a helmet was imperative…

… as you might comprehend by this picture:

After four tough rounds I was a very happy man to finish this one off.. and in a for me good effort, I believe, having overun several of the usual suspects otherwise (almost) always faster than me.

Thus, Im proud to have earned the coolest medal ever, this bat statuette.

You find the complete story from this fantastic marathon here.