Now what’s it like to be part of the biggest half marathon event? I wanted to experience it and registered for the 40th Göteborgsvarvet on 18th May.
I made it just in time on Thursday to get my bib at the fair before the doors closed at 9 pm and was surprised at the speed I needed to buy 3 pairs of socks, a sports bra, tights and matching shirt.
On Friday I treated myself to a breakfast buffet at Rasta Lilla Edet and a gentle 11k run along the Götaälv, the river which the racecourse crosses twice in Gothenburg.
Some 40,000 runners starting in 25 start groups from 1pm to 4pm, video walls being put up so I could see the winners crossing the finish line while waiting for my start at 2:15 pm from startgroup 9. Shadrack Kimining and Tabitha Gichia, both from Kenia, won the race, and the Swedish championships were won by Charlotta Fougberg and Robel Fsiha.
The first kilometres felt very easy and I crossed the 10 k mark in less than 52 minutes. But constantly having to overtake slower runners from earlier start groups turned out to become more and more difficult, the moist warm air and some narrow passages distracted me and I couldn’t keep a steady pace.
Lots of live music at many places and cheering crowds along the course make turn this into a very unique race, crossing Älvsborgsbron and Götaälvbron (the two big bridges)provides a scenic view.
But tired legs are tired legs. Regathering strength at the end I finished in 1:54:28 hours.
Considering the topography of Gothenburg 230 metres in altitude are very moderate, three years ago I cycled around and found many steep hills which are challenging.
Loved it, something to be repeated!