Sunday, 3 April 2011

23 on a Sunday

Göteborgsvarvets premiärbana is a yearly event. It takes place along the 21,1 km course of the original Göteborgsvarvet in 1980 and it is organised by volunteers. It's not a race; it's training. That's why the tempo was low, that's why I had energy left to run the two extra kilometres to the car afterwards.

The sky was heavy with the promise of rain. The prospect did not exactly make me happy, but as it turned out it wasn't half bad to run in the rain. Well, I kind of knew that from the countless times I've run in the rain before, but I suppose it's a primitive instinct to want to stay indoors when it rains.

I met up with some guys from the running group a few minutes before the start. Even though I would be running with maybe a hundred other runners, it was still nice to see some familiar faces and have a little chat. The crowd gathered pretty fast.

Soon we were off and the rain started pouring down. We ran down Avenyn, the main street of the city. The few cars that were around at this early hour stopped to let us pass. After a few kilometres we were running through Slottsskogen, a big park in central Gothenburg, which was still in its autumn colours. Running up one hill, the collective effort of all these runners produced a cloud of respiration above our heads.

If it was one thing that this route offered, it was variation: city streets, parks, urban and suburban neighbourhoods. And now, one of the bridges that connect the main land with Hisingen, an island of sorts, that's separated from the main land by a river.

We ran through neighbourhoods that were completely new to me. I lost my 3 running buddies right about that time, but I didn't feel alone. I saw many more familiar faces and chatted with other runners I knew.

The second bridge took us back to the city centre. I was looking forward to this moment.

We ran through Nordstan, one of Scandinavia's largest temples of Mammon shopping centres. As soon as we entered, everyone started clapping their hands, causing a thunderous applaud to echo through the shopping centre's still-empty spaces. It was surreal. During the daytime, Nordstan is flooded with shoppers. Now it was flooded with runners.

But the best was yet to come. A couple kilometres before the finish, we took a detour in order to run through Ullevi, a sports arena with a capacity for over 40.000 spectators (60.000, if there is a concert) and the largest arena in Scandinavia. To run on proper tracks, where legends have run before, and to look at size of the crowd stands around was awe-inspiring.

Many thanks to Marcus for taking this picture. I look so happy!

After we left Ullevi, my legs still felt great. I increased the tempo a little bit and reached the finish after approximately 2:12. I met up with the guys again and after exchanging a few words and eating some chocolate, Marcus and I started running again – he was to run home and I to the car. We said our goodbyes and I continued alone, feeling strong.

23 km. On a Sunday. Huh. Who would have thought it was possible?


  1. Grymt! Jag är så besviken över att jag inte kunde vara med, det verkar ha varit hur surt som helst. Men jag hoppas hoppas hoppas att jag kanske kan börja jogga lite i slutet av nästa vecka.
    Bra jobbat i regnet idag! Kram

  2. Snart, snart Karin! Jag håller tummarna att det går bra för dig och att du kan börja springa snart igen. Ha en trevlig eftermiddag! Kram :)