Six, that’s how many times I’ve run this course, the most famous part of the Kungsleden trail, that starts in Nikkaluokta and ends in Abisko. I’ve run it the opposite way once and I think it’s fair to say that I know it like the back of my hand. Still there’s something new to discover every year. The conditions changes and so does the weather. This year was no different, the snow melt had started earlier than usual and it seemed like it would be the driest year yet, but that’s not always a good thing.
Me and my friend Mikael had decided to drive up to the start this year, make a road trip out of it. I’m not entirely sure why I thought this was a good idea. I hate driving and it isn’t awesome for my back to sit still for a huge amount of hours at a time. But in the end I guess the adventure and the company more than makes up for that. It’s a blast just hanging out with your friend and getting to see a lot of this beautiful country of ours and we also planned to head over to Norway for a few days after the race.
We arrived in Nikkaluokta just in time for the regular pre-race meeting in the church. All the usual suspects were there, Sten, Adrian and Rober, Bruno, Perttu and Jonathan to name a few. That’s what makes this event so special, it’s like a homecoming every year. You get to meet your trail family and run around in the mountains for an entire day, that’s pretty cool if you ask me.
Spirits were high and everyone seemed really excited. Usual talks about the... read more
August 27, 2018
I’m really gonna have to work my memory for this one but I have some notes from after the race to get me going. A few weeks before the race I took a pretty bad fall and had some pain in my right knee. It was so bad I even had to abort a shorter run I did in the week before the race. That didn’t bode well. As if that wasn’t enough I also had a bad back which gave me ischias pains and a lot of pain in my left hip. I was worried but it wasn’t going to stop me from at least standing on the start line.
The bus for the start in Courmayeur left at 4am. As usual I hadn’t gotten much sleep that night, nerves and excitement made sure of that. When I got there I just took it easy, sat down for a while, had some breakfast and just looked at my fellow runners. There’s always this weird kind of excitement in the air, nervousness and the lack of sleep puts people in a strange state.
The race started and once we hit the first uphill the sun also started to rise. Almost right away I got pains in my left hip and my right knee, as expected, but it wasn’t too bad. I kept on grinding up that mountain and once I hit the the top the pain was almost gone and I felt pretty great actually. I kept on moving well and gaining positions all the time, even in the uphills which is usually where I do the worst. After the Col Chavannes there’s a 7-8 kilometer long traverse which I flew down. Those were by far my fastest splits and that’s probably where I felt the... read more
October 28, 2017
Monsanto Forest Park
How to get there?
You can just walk or run there and if you’re lazy take the bus to somewhere close by. The only thing to watch out for is to not get stuck behind the freeway or train tracks. I’ve circled the places where I’ve found it the easiest to enter/exit the park.
What is the trail like?
In the Monsanto Forest Park you can find the most accessible trails in the Lisbon area. A 2500 acre forest park right next to Lisbon city center, it’s not all forest though. There are small communities inside of it and roads and traffic, but if you know your way around the park you can go for a rather long run without even noticing you’re still in the city. Mountain biking seems to be a huge sport in Portugal, that is apparent when you explore this place. There are MTB tracks all over the place which is great for trail runners as well. If you use the Movescount map to navigate you’ll even see all these tracks.
It’s a mix between dirt roads, asphalted roads (very little though) and single track trails and if you make an effort you could even get some decent vertical gain here.
Cabo da Roca - Azinhas do mar
How to get there?
We took the train from Lisbon out to Cascais which takes about 30 minutes and from there we jumped on bus 403 (Cascais Terminal - Sintra Station) to Cabo da Roca, it takes about 25 minutes. If you... read more
October 20, 2017
There I was, back in Nikkaloukta again. Ready to toe the line with a lot of familiar faces and a few new ones. Even though I had problems with my back/hip, I had never been so well prepared for this race. That probably says more about my consistency than my form though. Also it looked like the stars would align and both me and my brother would be able to do the race at the same time. In the past we’ve taken turns for a variety of reasons but it seemed like this would be the year.
Everyone was talking about the weather, how much would it rain on race day? How wet was it going to be out there? How much snow was left, more than a couple of years ago? How cold would it be? The questions were many, but the answers were few.
Roland did the countdown and suddenly we were off. Me and Jonas went out in a moderately high pace since this is the most runnable part of the course. After a few hundred meters we noticed no one was chasing us and that’s how it would stay for the rest of the race, even though we felt people closing in more than a few times.
Everything went well to Kebnekaise, we were there in about 1h45m. Filled up our bottles and continued on. The weather was great, around 8 degrees celcius and a cloudy sky. Just about perfect for running in the mountains.
Hip pain and dark periods
In Singi, about 35km in, I started to feel some pain in my hip and told Jonas so, but we kept on going in the same pace, either it... read more
October 14, 2016
I decided last minute to join the race. I haven’t been running much at all since CCC, read my report here, and the longest run was 13k. Now to compete in 48k wasn’t the best idea but I had no expectations, I thought of it more as a long training run with other people.
I got to Björkhagen early, since pre registration was closed I had to join at the start. It was a cold morning and I was among the first people there, and that includes the organizers. Almost nothing was ready when I got there and I had doubts they would be able to pull it off in less than two hours. I stood around for a while before I was able to register and then I headed to the locker room, had some yoghurt and a banana. Changed clothes in no rush at all, watched other runners slowly fill the locker room. With about ten minutes left I headed for the start, left my bag for transport and did some warm up runs. To my surprise everything was ready. It was a cold morning but I didn’t want to wear a lot of clothes, it’s better having to put on an extra shirt than to have to remove clothing after a while. I did wear my rain jacket from start though, since it was blowing cold winds.
Photo by Maria Viberg
We were off and I’m way up front as usual, I always try to get a good position in the start. It’s more fun and have some advantages in the beginning when it tends to be crowded.... read more