Race report from Copenhagen marathon
I often end up falling in love with places and this weekend in Copenhagen I really fell in love with this city. I liked it before but after this marathon weekend I really like this place. Actually so much I wouldn’t mind living here. But I didn’t came for sourcing a new home base, I came for running a marathon, my 25th and I ran it. All the 42 195 meters and it was a blast. If you are looking for a flat course with great atmosphere this is it. It is a bronze label race but one of the best I been running. Are you ready for a marathon story? here comes mine from one of the best races I ever been running.
On Saturday I took a Tier scooter out to the Sparta sports complex in the North part of the city to pick up my bib. The expo was medium sized and it all went smoothly. I also ran into some people I know. One girl that recognized me from Stavanger marathon and one man from the time I worked at Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg. We all participants got a really nice Nike T-shirt and a waterproof bag. I also bought two gels to energize with during the race. After close to an hour I was finished and continued my mission of the day to walk as little as possible. The outcome was soso I realized when I came to the hotel. 21 000 steps.
For me to function well I need my eight hours of sleep and I don’t mind a bonus hour so at 22 I went to bed and slept like a baby the whole night and woke up just before my alarm went off at 07. I had looked for a breakfast place near my hotel that served healthy running friendly food and found the place Bowl Market so I walked there for breakfast when they opened. The place was ran by a very friendly american and he told me it is a popular place with runners. I got my banana nut bowl and a cup of coffee before I walked back to the hotel to check out and grab a Tier to go down the 2,5 kilometers to the starting point. My mind felt prepared for forcing the distance and without the right mindset you cannot run a marathon. I was (as always) a bit late to the start and arrived 30 minutes before run off. Going to the toilet wasn’t possible due to the incredible long lines. Race organizers – listen up – there can never be too many toilets! I had nothing with me to hand in so just had myself to take care of. And when the time was up I lined up with the other 12 000 runners ready to take over the streets of Copenhagen.
I wrote about running mindset and for the day being I was not out for hunting seconds or getting a new personal best. Of course I like to perform well but training is my hobby, I will never be an athlete athlete and a marathon I am honestly thankful for being able to finish every time I do. 42 195 meters is far. But running marathons becomes more easy when you have done it a few times. Your body gets used to it and you know how it “should” feel and you know if you have a good or bad day and can perform thereafter.
The start was a bit slow in Copenhagen but after 3-4 minutes I crossed the starting line. There were no starting groups but it worked good anyway. It was rather crowded but no idea to stress. Its gonna be a long day and if you lose half a minute here you have plenty of time to catch up on it. I was surprised by all people that was out cheering already from the start. So many people! Compared to Stockholm, in Copenhagen people were really cheering and not just looking which Swedes has a tendency to do and just cheer for their known ones. Since everyone also had their names on their bibs I could think that was a fact making people cheer more. I can’t recall how many times during yesterdays race I heard “Go Pernilla”, “Kom så, Pernilla” or similar cheers. That is worth everything! At a marathon it always takes me 10 kilometers to get into the race. So also this day. I badly had to go to the toilet but the lines were long at each and every one of them so I kept on going.
The course was very enjoyable. We ran a flat loop in central Copenhagen and the amount of refreshment stations were exactly where you needed them. From 10-30 kilometers I had the most enjoyable part of the run. I was in a good flow, took a bathroom stop, stretched a bit and had a gel. It was getting very hot at some parts but same for us all. I had unfortunately not prepared myself with any sunblock or sunglasses since I completely forgot about that so I tried to stay in the shade as much as possible. But with over 20 degrees warm I got of course thirsty so I had a lot to drink to stay hydrated. That made me take two additional toilet stops during the course. But those were nice breaks!
The final approach 30-42 kilometers
Here the real marathon starts. At some point between 30-42 kilometers most runners get tired and the body starts to ache. That was the case for me aswell. I am not a superwoman. Around 34 kilometers my legs just wanted to stop. So I stopped. Walked hundred meters and started up the machinery again. I know that it helps, but only if you have stopped earlier on the course, otherwise it is for me difficult to start up again. I focused on “one foot infront of the other” and that took me some kilometers further. I walked a bit, ran and got super thirsty. I saw the sign for 39 and knew Red Bull was going to be handed out at 40K so having those minor goals during the way it worth everything. Normally I do not even drink red bull but this hot summer day it was everything. I had a couple of mouths and the drink really gave me wings as they say in the commercial. I paced up and ran over the finsihline of Copenhagen marathon. It was the 25th time I finished the distance and I am still happy about every time I manage to do it.
The finish line was at Islandsbrygge where also the start was located. A beautiful place in Copenhagen by the water. We got refreshments and got to meet up with near and dear ones. After a bit of walking around I stretched a little and then I was laying down with all other worn out runners. Reflecting of the race and being thankful for that I am able to run this far.
I really, really enjoyed Copenhagen and had a great weekend trip to the capital of Copenhagen. If you are looking for a flat marathon or if you live in the area and want to have a short weekend trip it is a fantastic place to go to for a runacation. If you are not aiming for a full marathon, Copenhagen hosts a half marathon in September. Do you have any runs abroad planned for the future? or have you been to any this year?
/ Pernilla that definitely could think of running Copenhagen marathon again