The year is coming to an end and it’s time to, for once, look back and evaluate 2014.
It is a somewhat strange feeling as this year has been both very successful, but at the same time a complete failure!
[Please visit this page for some great stuff to buy]
I would like to start with a big THANK you to all of my greatest supporters:
My dear family
Triathlon Väst the best Tri club.
Nordic Wellness for great training support
Icebug fantastic traction
GoCoCo superdry socks
Fusion training and racing clothes
X-Kross best vision
iBike power to the people!
Duells biking gears
Continental traction on the road
Maxim for the energy
Ecco running comfort and speed
Perfekta hydration on the go.
I came into 2013 with great lofty goals; completing and finishing Norseman and Celtman Extreme Triathlons and finishing on podium or at least top-5 in both of them. 2013 was the starting point of going from the more race-based triathlons (Hawaii Ironman, Hald Ironman races) to the more scenic and special triathlons and ultras. (links to all race reports in the list far below)
In addition to this, I was aiming to qualify for Ultra Trail Mont Blanc 2015 by collecting 7 qualification Points.
The season started well with a new cooperation with Icebug, the innovative shoe developer. The cooperation (along with some training) made it possible for me to take a second place in the great and very popular Sandsjöbacka Trail Marathon. For me, it is a special race, as the very scenic track goes through my old hoods.
Next up was the Ursviks Ultra, a very special race in Stockholm, also run on winter time (ice and snow), but this one is during the night (starting midnight) and consists of 5 laps on a 15 km trail (75 k run). A very hard race, but also fun. Yet another second place on this one! This qualified 2 points for UTMB 2014.
Just a few weeks later, it was time for a real ultramarathon. This time in Barcelona – 115 km very very hard trail run with a total of 5000+ height meters. This was my first real individual ultra (I have done team-ultras before of 100 km, eg in Hong Kong), and I gained some great experience from this race. For instance that without proper training, the quads are completely gone after the downhill running already half way through the race. Unfortunately, the weather was no good in Barcelona. I completed the race with some decency, but with more experience and certainly some more specific training, I could have taken a much better position. 3 more points for UTMB.
Göteborgsvarvet – worlds largest half marathon with 60.000 participants was very slow this year with many contestants dissatisfied after the race. My time was far from a personal bes at the distance, but still my position was OK (81st), even though I have paced myself better before as well (67th).
After some weeks of additional training, the annual Vätternrundan together with Team Continental Test Team was up. 300 km bike ride. This year, the goal was the magic 7 hours, i.e. averaging 43 km/h. We failed the 7 hour limit, but I placed myself 27th of the ~20.000 participants, with only one group of riders before us.
Finally then, it was time for the first A-race of the season, the Celtman Extreme Triathlon, one of the 3 Extreme triathlons (Norseman, Swissman, Celtman). I was supported by both my family and the Swedish top triathlete Oscar Olsson as support runner. However, less than a week before the race, when doing the last easy run on a treadmill, I felt a strong pain in my right foot. Not bad, and what an irony! I instantly knew something was bad, but pushed away those thoughts. I raced strongly during the Celtman and during the main part of the race I was second. All the time I knew the running over the munros (mountains) would be a challenge for all of us. Certainly me with my issue with the foot. Even during the first half of the marathon I was strong and ran the fastest of all participants during that part – giving me the Redbull speed price (a weekend mountainbike racing in Wales). Then, during the last and very very hard part of the race, my foot became extremely bad – as bad as the weather – fortunately I did not know at the time that is was completely broken, and it would take 6 months before I could run again….
I managed to take fourth place in the end. Even though my stamina and speed might had been enough for the second place, my body was not. First place was probably too far away – Graeme the winner went on to take 7th place in Challenge Barcelona with a time of 8:17 later that summer…
During the summer I spent a lot of time with various doctors, all giving different advice. Clearly the foot was broken due to a stress fracture, but then completely broken. I had a cast for a week before I took it of myself. Just up until the Norseman starting date I had hopes to compete, but I had to drop that race.
Instead I was doing a lot of alternative training – kayaking and a lot of open water swimming. I organized the first swim ever (?) from the very distant and dangerous lighthouse Nidingen with some competent swimmers. An event that was appreciated in the media.
My motivation to complete all the three Extreme triathlons is still there and I am very happy to announce that I will race Swissman and Norseman back to back this summer. Its going to be hard, but I aim to take podium or at least top 5 positions in both of these, thus top 5 in all.
I will also do one or two ultras in order to collect the 2 last points for Ultra Trail Mont Blanc 2015.
Still in December I have not been able to run, and I am waiting to start my run training until 1 January 2014. Its becoming stronger though, and I am becoming confident that I will be able to run strong again, even though it will take several months more.
2014? Stay tuned for the next blog post!