To celebrate a long good friendship, what better to do than run a mountain marathon?
Ingela and I started to plan this marathon a year ago. We have already experienced so much together: first boyfriends, gymnastics, volleyball, party period, “get-out-from-our-little-town-and-study-in big-town” period, moving to Stockholm, swapping a lazy lifestyle for a sporty one, quit smoking, becoming an adult. You name it. But we’ve never really done any sports together since I’ve became a climber and she a cyclist.
A few years we both started to appreciate running in nature, me at the French Riviera and she in Sweden, we therefore thought our friendship was hopefully mature enough to be able to suffer a mountain marathon together?
Off we went to Åre with three other women traveling by train for seven hours north-west of Stockholm, just by the border to Norway.
The morning started out great with around 10°C and cloudy sky. We had been warned that the trail was very wet and muddy. Can’t be worse than my rain forest experience in Guadeloupe I thought. It was. Much worse. Ingela ran easily in the mud while I danced around like if I was on ice. “I forgot you are not used to this terrain” she said with a smile…
8km after the start we ran downhill and traversed multiple puddles of mud when I suddenly sank down to the thigh folding the other leg to get support and smacked it into a sharp stone. I felt a hot flash through the whole leg and I felt dizzy. The pain was really strong. Ingela was in front running great and fast and didn’t realise I was nowhere behind her. I succeeded in taking some steps and after a while I could start limping down the hill where Ingela was waiting for me. I was bad…
We decided to go to the first food and water station where I could have a doctor take a look at my knee. Well – the doctor was busy and I thought we should go ahead instead of wasting time. I asked Ingela if she was ready to walk a big part of the lasting 30 km or if she – since she was in great shape – preferred to try to get a good time. “If we need to walk the whole resting part I prefer to finish it side by side with you”, she said. True friend.
After 7 hours of pain and swearing, Ingela telling me to shut up and accept the fact that I was injured and keep on going, my mood changing to actually appreciate the scenery and company despite the pain, gazing at the vast nature, we ran the last 3km ending hand in hand over finishing line. 43 km and 1800 m elevation gain.
Done that, got the t-shirt and loved doing it with a good friend.
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