Time for a status-check I guess. I won’t go down the old justification highway once more. Yes, life pays its toll, but lifetime outdoors is just more appealing than writing inside. I used to write a lot when I was flying with work. I was travelling a lot and that, fortunately, has changed. Consequence is, well, a Blog that slips bring up-to-date. Still I’m highly staggered by the traffic on the site. Thanks for keeping the faith and thanks for your understanding and persistence. 

Running. Some street. Somewhere in Stockholm (Picture: Dennis Wernersson)

My 2019 season kinda progressed back in December 2018. As sketched in an earlier post, some friends and i realized a pleasant mission in order to raise money for Sweden’s biggest fundraiser Musikhjälpen. For the full length of a week, Sweden goes crazy for this 24/7 show that is broadcasted live on TV and radio. A friend was one of the TV hosts and we tried to help spreading responsiveness for the Program and in order to do so, gather money for a good cause. The motto for the 2018 version was “Alla har rätt att funka olika” (“Everyone is entitled to function differently”). We bounced around some concepts and finally ended up with hacking the idea of Rickey Gates. He ran every single street in San Francisco. An idea that was just too good to be ignored. So we did the same and ran every street in inner Stockholm. People were free to join the daily runs and donate as we tagged along all the streets. The project was so much fun and amazed us more than we ever thought. Well over 10.000 EUR were raised and more than 160 Kilometers jogged. Undoubtedly my legs were worn-out but the whole week was so encouraging albeit powerful that it will be recalled for a long time. Once more, thanks to everybody that joined and more significantly contributed for this. Plans for December 2019 are already being discoursed. 

Night Run (Picture: Dennis Wernersson)

160 Kilometer weeks in December is not something I typically do. I felt tremendously good after a week of slow running on subzero roadways around Stockholm. As my application to run the Berlin Marathon was rejected and I decided to take a break from ÖtillÖ (after racing it 5 years in a row), I was searching for something to stimulate my training monotonous. I need a goal. I like training, but I do love working out when there is a clear goal on the Horizon. A competition that is always in my mind is the New York City Marathon. NY was perhaps the first marathon I watched on TV, at a time when athletics was far away in my line of interest. This contest is fairylike and since I watched it live in 2008 and raced it myself in 2009, it has a special part in my heart. In 2009 I competed well. However I fell apart pretty desperately once I had to climb up 5th Avenue besides Central Park. I ran 2.52. Which is a great time for such a course. Back then I was satisfied even though Austrian doping empress Lisa Hütthaler overtook me 2k before the finish line. 

I examined the sign-up practice and found out that I can sign up in the “Best for age Program” with a half marathon time of sub 1.22 ran a year out of the qualification deadline. Haven’t ran a half marathon in the last couple of months did not leave me with numerous choices. Deadline for eligible times was the 31.12.2018. In the middle of December I met three tasks. 

1. Being able to run the demanded Half Marathon time
2. Find a race that suits my pre/Christmas family plan
3. Getting recognized into the 2019 edition of the New York City Marathon 

At one stage I wasn’t sure what the main challenge might be. I started to check for competitions in Sweden but short of any luck. We had planned to go back to Germany for Christmas so I had a quick look through the local race agendas. Crowded with traditional New Year Eve runs, I more/less fortuitously, came across a competition not too far away from my where my parents life in south Germany. 41st Silvesterlauf Rastatt/Wintersdorf on the 30th of December. Exactly a day before the deadline. I had never heard of this race so I checked the website. And to my pure amazement, their major event for the day was a 2/loop half marathon in the flats of the Rheinebene close to the French border, a mere of 1,5 hours drive from my home town. Lucky punch I guess. 

Kilometer 11 – Cruising with the french dudes.
Kilometer 20 – Nearly there. Nearly.
The Gang!

On top of all that, I was able to get my trusted ÖtillÖ companion Fabian out of superannuation. It did not take much to sell the New York idea to him. He also did not had a qualification time so he was along for the ride. On race day we toured down to the location with a car additionally loaded with Gabi and Basti as well. I love my boys. Spontaneous journeys like these are my favorites – Good times. 

Not only the race report is told fast, also the course was quick. Generally flat and a good portion on hard gravel streets all over the local Forrest. Two Frenchmen went out fast and I let them go but then decided to jump in with them. Collected with an additional Frenchman we shaped a formidable 4 men leading pack. I continually reminded myself to hold back. My goal was clear. I wanted that qualification time. At times it was hard to stay on track for that. The pace was quick. We toured at a decent speed and I felt contented. Soon after the 15 Kilometre mark one of the Frenchies stepped the gas pedal and our bundle was no longer. I was on my own. I thought of attacking as well. But I already felt tired and, this could be the maturing-process setting in, reminded myself of the goal. Just run the time. Just run the time… So I found myself totally on my own. No one in the front and no one in the back. Well, at a sharp left corner I observed the shoulder and could spot Fabians singlet. Initially I was happy to see him so close by as that meant that he was also well in the wanted time range but, for understandable motives, there was no time for me to hang around. Looking back, I think this state of affairs was key for the both of us. He could not go any quicker and, well, I did not get any slower. We arrived within a couple of second amongst each other. I was happy. We were happy. 

Another snap from a week of running every street in Stockholm Running. (Picture: Dennis Wernersson)

As soon as the official registration opened for the New York Marathon, we signed up and crossed our fingers. A couple of days after we put our names down. The confirmation email came a couple of days after that. New York in November, it can’t get any better!

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

The Great Gatsby

Tune of the day: Joy Division – Disorder X Promoe – Footwork