A cold, dark, rainy evening last November, I was having dinner with some friends from the club. Then, I blurted out:
- You guys. Wouldn't it be cool if we put together a 6-hour event?
It wouldn't be official. Just a fun club thing maybe. Just to see how many people would turn up. Were people interested in this kind of thing?
I had run a race like this before. Skövde 2012. 6-hour races usually take place around a loop of approximately a kilometer. You have 6 hours to run (or walk) as many loops as you can and want to. I had had a great time in Skövde and broken my personal distance record. I wanted to share the elation I had felt then with my friends and everyone else who wanted to participate.
My friends were immediately on board with my idea. We started planning on the spot. It was going to take place by the river, on a 5,5 km long loop, on the 28th of June. I am so happy to have friends who share my kind of crazy.
As months passed and winter turned to spring and then to summer, all the bits and pieces slowly fell into place. We worked hard, fueled by enthusiasm and love of running. I won't lie and say that it was always easy. There was some stress involved. Especially on my part. But I knew that my friends were there, working just as hard if not harder, and we were going to make it.
A few days before the event, I borrowed some bibs and water tanks from the club secretariat. This was it. It was really happening. As this fact slowly dawned on me, excitement and trepidation took turns occupying my brain. This was not just a club thing anymore. The news had gotten out and people outside the club wanted to participate in our unofficial race.
This was serious business. Even if it was ”just for fun”, I felt I had a responsibility to make sure that everyone had a good time, everything worked as it should, hell, even that the weather was good enough.
Again, my friends were there. An hour before the event was due to start, we gathered at the start/finish area and started getting things in order. Signs, bibs, food and drink, a makeshift toilet, tables, chairs...
People started showing up to get their bibs. They chatted with each other as the sun shone on us all, and spirits were high. Soon, AIK showed up too. They were going to run the same loop as us, partly to keep us company and also, for those that wanted it, to provide pacing. I was so happy to have them there, both for the sake of the event but also on a personal level, knowing that many of my running buddies and our coach were out there.