I took the car to town and then ran the two kilometres to our meeting place. The city was still quiet; not much traffic or people around, the shops still closed. It's a different beast altogether, just an hour or so after the shops open.
There were ten of us who met, as always, at 10, chatted for a few minutes and caught up with each other's training and lives. Then we were off. We ran through the city on wet pavements, almost no ice in sight. Talked with the lovely Mia for a while. After a couple of kilometres, we were joined by Henri, who had just missed us at the meeting point and ran, presumably quite fast, until he saw us. Impressive!
The first part of the run took us past some cruise boats, parked at the pier. Not long after that, it was time to take on the first of the two bridges across the river. I have to admit that I was dreading this moment. I don't know why, really. It is long but not so steep, so it turned out to be child's play to run up it. Still, nicer to run down it.
The other side of the river used to be an industrial area, mainly for building boats. Nowadays the area is experiencing a housing boom, which has transformed it into one of my favourite areas in Gothenburg. The style is modern and quite exclusive. The prices are even more exclusive.
In the summer, lots of people walk along the pier, sunbathe or eat some icecream at one of the cafés. Sometimes we cycle there and just lie in the sun, enjoying the atmosphere.
Leaving the residential area behind us, we ran through an industrial area. Not so beautiful to look at, perhaps, but chatting with the others in the group made these kilometres fly by. Then it was time for the second bridge, and I wasn't sure what to expect. The first one didn't pose any problems, but I couldn't for the life of me remember how steep this one was. I found out soon enough: it was steep.
Shorter steps, slower tempo and soon we had reached the top of the bridge. At this point I had run 16 kilometres and was looking at a couple of easy ones through the city centre. Sure enough, the way back to where we started was flat, if very muddy and wet.
18 kilometres later, most of the group had completed their run, but not me. I still had to run back to the car. I stayed and chatted with the others for a few minutes, and then joined forces with Henri and Daniel, who were running home in almost the same direction as me. It was all uphill from here, and I could really feel the distance I had run in my legs. I had to stop and walk for a minute or so, but then I started running again, lowering my tempo even more. I finally arrived at the car with 20 kilometres under my belt.
As you can imagine, I am very pleased with today's run. Great people, sightseeing, and a distance record for this year that I didn't think I would manage before the summer. If my foot keeps behaving, this might actually turn out to be a good running year!