Does 52 km broken up into repeated 2.7 km hilly intervals sound like good training to you? Do you like the like the idea of running as part of a team all day and all night? Then 24 Holte is just the race for you. I know of no other race like it!
Quick thoughts from morning after the 24 hours: I just slept an uninterrupted 12 1/2 hours. And the last hour consisted of dreams of beautiful landscapes (which I enjoyed with an old lady) and then a woman singing with a gorgeous voice for just my dad and me. It's been a long time since I was reminded of the fact that dreams become more pleasant and fantastic the longer one sleeps.
The setup of the race: 24 hour run either solo or as a relay team. A 2.7 km route through the hilly forest, Rude Skov, and then one trip around the track. I was on a team with 6 other women. We ran with a partner, who we switched off with for 1 1/2 hours, and then got a 3 hour break. Repeat and repeat.
My partner, Henriette, and me (that is my Star Wars first aid kit on my lap).
Highlights in (more or less) chronological hour.
- Finding a barely legal parking space
- All 6 ladies present:Helle H, Helle A, Helle W, Grit, Henriette, moi
- Conversation with May-Britt Hansen. I had some time before I ran, so I was happy to see May-Britt there supporting everyone. She looked completely recovered from running 145 miles last weekend. I had never talked to her in person, so was amazed by what a beautiful speaking voice she had (wondered if she also could sing). We talked and talked and though it wasn't the case, she made me feel as though it was me she came to see. What a cool gal.
- Ran my first loops. Was happy my second loop was in 11:40 and this ended up being the time that earned me second fastest woman of the female relay teams. Maria Damtoft had otherwise the first 7 fastest times. She rocks. And I rock a bit less.
- Conversation with Kenneth Munk. There is a paucity of adjectives a married woman can use to describe this guy. But he is the holder of the 100km Danish record time of 6:57 and is only 29. He told me he has only run 100km twice, never runs more than 25 km in training and his marathon PR is 2:32. He said he's turning back to focusing on the marathon distance. His fascination with the 100km began when he figured it was the longest distance he could run at a decent speed the entire time.
- Massage with brutal Danish woman. My right hip was a bit tight (too much non-barefoot running), so I thought I'd take advantage of the free massage offer. My masseuse had the theory that laying all of her weight and all of her hand strength into my sciatic nerve would loosen things up. Perhaps it did, but wow did I scream, and many times. And every time I lifted my head she yelled at me for straining my neck. Henriette just stood there and laughed.
-Confused skinny girl. There is a girl on our Facebook Løbeklub running club who was quite pretty and quite thin. But the most remarkable thing about her was she was never there when she was supposed to relieve her partner and start running. Multiple times someone had to hunt her down and then she would nonchalantly walk to the start. And then, at some point, we just never saw her again.
- The two stray daughters of Michael S.K. Mortensen. Michael was doing the 24 hour run and parked his 9 and 10 year old daughters in a tent to hang out with our Facebook running club. Once they got over the fact that I talked funny and that I was actually from the land of Disney and Lady Gaga, they really opened up. "Sometimes our dad says he is going out for a short run and then comes back hours later" :). Me "what does your mom say about that?" "Oh, they're divorced". "Our dad just got a new job. He's a chef." Me: "Oh, does he make good food for you guys?" Girls look at each other with extreme confusion. Older girl: "No." Still wondering what that might have to do with being a chef. Couldn't help feeling I would be good friends with Michael.
- Diaperless Lorax. Classic miscommunication between SR and me leaves the Lorax diaperless only to lay a turd in the area under our Facebook tent. Helle H scurried to clean up the turd while we rushed The Lorax to the bathroom to get him cleaned up. Luckily SR would take him to his parents' soon, where his mom (who always thinks of everything!) had diapers.
- My running posture becomes a source of laughter for all. Yes, I look like I'm going to fall over backwards regardless of how fast I'm going. But no, if I trip, I actually do have forward momentum. I guess you've gotta see it.
-Rasmus Nøhr/Delightful Guitar: accousitic performance by Danish star Rasmus Nøhr. Natali gets an autograph on her favorite white scarf and The Lorax is sure to say to everyone we encounter "dejlig guitar" (delightful guitar) while the performance is happening.
- Vegetarian food at dinner!
- Running with SR at night: There are highlights and then there is the REAL highlight. Well, this was it. SR arrived at 11 pm to run two loops with me. He snuck in behind me after I went over the chip mat and followed, though I had my music on. He had no headlamp, so had to follow close behind. After I switched off with Henriette, he said, "I thought I would have to cheer you on, but I actually didn't even know you could run so fast, so I wasn't about to tell you to go faster." Well, if his goal was to encourage me, he certainly did.
- Midnight shower
- sleeping in a gym: 2 hours.
- cheese on bread with coffee. I'm starting to love Danish breakfasts.This is real cheese and bread, folks. The good stuff.
- My total:19 loops: 51.3 km! And it didn't feel like it. Resting is just so crucial.
- We ran to through the finish as a team, taking second place, with a total of 275.4 km. Here is Helle A on the homestretch, us waiting for her, and then the exciting race to the finish.
- We all received a 400 kr. gift certificate to Puma. Sweet. Here are all the results.
- Friends. Well, I too am human and love having friends. Moving to a new country and living in a new language has made it a bit harder for me to make friends. But feel extremely happy and fortunate yesterday to have wonderful friends, who are crazy running gals, too.
Left to right: SLG, Henriette, Helle H, Helle A, Grit, Helle W