Me enjoying the sun in the park, just before the race started.
Last weekend I ran Goteborg Varvet, the half marathon of the city of Gothenburg, in Sweden. This race has been the biggest in the world with about 65.000 registered people. This year 48.000 people finished the race, and there were about 200.000 people watching the event. The entire city stops in this day, and people go all over the course just to enjoy the live bands and support the runners, with more or less humour. As a runner, this is probably one of the most enjoyable races as your mind gets off the pain and more on the atmosphere around. I lost count on how many kids I high fived, how many words of encouragement I heard, and how many funny things I saw (from people drinking beer to make the runners jealous, to hand written signs such as "if you decide to stop come and join our picnic"). It was all great!!
The park next to the start and finish lines, full of athletes and families, and other people just enjoying the race and a picnic.
The start of the race was celebrated with colorful fire works!
Such big race requires quite some organisation and I'm impressed by it. There were 32 start groups, which means that not everybody started at the same time, but in groups according to their speed. The first group started at 13h and the last at 16h, which is quite a big range of time. In this way, even though there was always a lot of people around, I never felt it was the 50.000 people that ran the race.
This is one of the start groups... there were 32.
With me were my favourite athetes, my boyfriend and his brother. We have planned this race together, and we have virtually trained together, which means even though we live in different countries we shared our trains, tips and efforts. It has been great fun to challenge each other! Of course no team is complete without a good support team. J.'s parents waited there for all of us to complete the race, carrying food, clothes and towels. They sat in the stadium where the finish line was and watched people finishing the race for more than 2h (Thank you!).
Johan, me and Daniel
Of course the boys are much faster than me, and did a great job on the race. As I said before, I decided to take it easy and enjoy the atmosphere. It was the right thing to do, because I didn't die in the hills, I didn't hit the "wall" and I only got really tired around kilometer 18, so almost in the end. I made it in 2h04m07s.
Now let's have some rest, train just for fun and make plans for next year. These 3 pairs of shoes still have a lot of kilometers to run together.