Paul has been on his travels again, this time to the wonderful city of Copenhagen for the half marathon with time for a Parkrun too.
Flying out on the Friday afternoon meant I could do Faelled Parken parkrun in the morning at 9am, a lovely park, right by Denmark’s national footy stadium and the location of the race itself. The run talk of course was in Danish but I, along with a few other Brits who were in town for the half, managed to get the gist. First timers, visitors, achievements, special occasions and then on with the run. Three laps round the park, nice and flat. The legs felt a bit heavy after the Wednesday club session with Abby so I took it steady and racked up a nice 23 minutes and setting all sorts of club records in the process – first Pont Runner home, overall club record, club age category etc !!
Then it was a short walk round the corner from the Parkrun finish to the Expo to collect my race number & shirt and in to the Expo for a quick look at the latest gear. After a little sight seeing & some light pasta, it was time to think about the race, get an early night and be ready to see what I could do the next day. I was there to race, keen to test myself, to see if I could do this distance in a respectable time.
This was only my 2nd half and first on the road since picking up a knee injury in 2015. I knew I was a little short of miles as I’d entered at the last minute but I was feeling confident with my running and ready for a race and to see if I could do sub 1:50. With perfect weather conditions, the race announcer fed through results from the Berlin marathon where the record was going to go. I thought of Paul, Elliot and Stefania who were running there and wondered how they were getting on. Then it was Copenhagen’s turn, and at 11:15 we were off under sunny clear skies.
The initial rush of adrenaline at the start soon was under control and I settled in to a good rhythm, slightly faster than I thought I was going or planned. This is a real city route and takes in all the major sights and main streets in the city – long straight roads with a few tight corners here and there. I managed to keep under 1:45 pace at each km and began to wonder f I could keep this up, if I could I would be in dreamland.
Each km passed and I was still under 1:45 pace but as the race went on I could feel myself tire. I knew this was due to lack of miles and discipline but I just managed to hang in there and achieved 1:46:55.
As I crossed the line all I could think about was how I had faded and just missed out on what would have been a fantastic time. It’s easy to beat yourself up when you come so close but as I got my gear and walked back to the apartment where I was staying I actually thought about it some more. There I was, running half marathons again, in a lovely place, and I had come well under my target. Everyone I had met was so friendly , courteous and interested in talking to visitors to their city. Anyone who has been out and unable to run knows how much you can miss it so I was just grateful for running again and putting in a respectable time.
Job done, and on to the next one. Stavanger half in early November anyone? Contact me if you are interested or have any other suggestions!
Paul travelled courtesy of:
Easyjet – direct from Edinburgh
Accommodation – Airbnb – Johans and Louise and family – you couldn’t find nicer hosts or a nicer apt which is on the route itself. Contact me for details. Watch out for the parrot that they let fly around inside!