Last week, I ran a race I did not expect I would run this year, TCS Lidingöloppet in Stockholm, Lidingö. Mainly because it’s a flat race (from what I’m used too anyway) with only 440m elevation gain in 30K, and the terrain is mostly gravel road, aphalt and smooth trails so most people run with road shoes. But what excited me to do this race was because It’s a classic in Sweden and the world biggest cross country race with over 15000 runners in the 30K distance and runners from all over the world. I knew before hand that I had absolutely no chance of finishing on the podium or even top 20, but for me it was a test to see how good I really am on the flat running and an opportunity to improve on that.
First time I ran Lidingöloppet, I was only 7 years and I ran it every year until I was 15. The race was one of the highlights of the year for me back then. It was always so fun to travel to the capital with my team mates and to race agains hundreds of other kids in my own age and to cheer on my family and friends. It was also the perfect way to see my improvement for each year and it was in a way, my way into trail running. When I was 8 I was 91th position but I gradually become better and better for each year. And when I was 15 years old, I finished 7th.
Gear, nutrition and statistics
Salomon S/lab Sense 7
New Salomon S/lab Tee
Salomon S/lab sense Shorts 4
Salomon S/lab boxers
Suunto 9 Baro
During : 3x Maurten Gel100 Caffein
After: Moonvalley Bar
The first out of 11 start waves for Lidingöloppet 30K started 12:30. It was some rain in the cool air but the atmosphere at the start was nice. As expected, the start of the race was fast, 3:06 the first K and probably faster the first 500m. I decided not to try to follow the fastest guys but to find my own pace from the beginning. It worked well I think and I split 3:24min/km for the first 15K. I took Maurten Caffein Gel every half hour and managed to not get low on energy during the whole race, though the legs started to feel the high pace pretty early. The last 3K was really tough for the legs, even though I had a lot of energy left in the body. In the last small upphils, it felt like I was standing still but I just had do keep moving and fight all the way. It was a great feeling to sprint into Grönsta Gärde again and finish on 23rd position and the time 1:48:44.
It was a good time and result, because it was so close to Ring Of Steall, just one week before. And with no specifik training for this race. It definetly gave me more motivation to run more races like this in the future to improve my running on flat terrain and speed.
Thanks a lot to the organizers of TCF Lidingöloppet for all help before and during the race!