Or that is one opinion you could have. This coming weekend, we are going to be participating in our second Danish ultra, The Copenhagen Ultramarathon, though we will just be running the marathon as a training run and actively observing the 60 and 100k's.
In order to understand Danish ultras, you need to understand the way Danes view their countryside. "I have been out hiking on some trails behind Mogenstrup Kro that are so beautiful, you actually think for a moment you aren't in Denmark anymore" said an 80 something member of the Dansk Vandrelaug, as she stood naked in the pool lockeroom rubbing lotion into the skin of her breasts.
While Danes love their countryside, they seldom find it exciting or remarkable. And maybe this is why ultras tend to be run on repeated asphalt loops instead of forest or countryside trails.
A typical Danish ultra is the one this coming weekend.
Vis Copenhagen ultramarathon på et større kort
A 10k asphalt loop repeated either 6 or 10 times to make 60 or 100k (the marathon is a 2.2 km detour followed by 4 loops). The attractive part of these races is they are easy to measure, easy to plan for and allow for fast times. But what is lacking is the "I wonder what natural wonder awaits me around the corner". The exact opposite of Danish ultras is the Trans Alpine: a winding trail/rock line across several countries, often taking the most challenging route. The most extreme Danish ultra is 6 days straight of running a 1.023 km loop on the island of Bornholm. May-Britt, who some of you have gotten to know through her comments on this blog, holds the Danish female record in the 6 day race. How can one have the mental discipline to keep running, I have to wonder!
I personally love the stunning, wide open Danish countryside and the charming forests carpeted with wildflowers. I would love to see more exploratory ultras here. As I have mentioned, I want to organize a trail 80k with start and finish at Gavnø Slot, but can't do it alone and don't know if Danes and/or foreigners would be interested in this.
I really look forward to this weekend, though, and will enjoy the mental and physical challenge this loop format brings. Although my legs felt like shredded tires as I tried to run intervals today. Despite it being a fast course, I don't think I can aim for a wildly fast time. A 3:30 seems reasonable. I think SR could get a really fast time, but he is also just treating this as a training run.
My running song of the day, Dance Floor by The Apples in Stereo, is hot off the presses. If you don't like the song, you may like Frodo singing like a robot. I think I exceeded the reasonable limit today for the number of times one can listen to a song in a row while running. By the way, does anyone ever listen to the songs I recommend besides me?
Photo from Mount Royal, Frisco, Colorado.
"Children are fascinated by the ordinary and can spend timeless moments watching sunlight play with dust. Their restlessness they learn from you. It is you who are thinking of there when you are here. It is you who thinks of then instead of now. Stop. Let your children become the teachers and you the student" - William Martin