It feels like just yesterday I learned about Vår Ruset (Spring Rush) and decided to make it a goal – my first 5k (3.1 miles). Vår Ruset has been running for 25 years and is one of the biggest races in Sweden with thousands of participants in each of the 17 participating cities throughout the country, taking over a month to reach the last city. It’s only for women and raises money for a different cause each year.
I started training (jogging) three weeks before with absolutely no running experience to speak of, horrible cardio, terrible feet, and really old sneakers. See my improvement below – the last one is my time for the actual race: 36:44. My goal was to finish it between 40 and 45 minutes. I think I was able to jog about 90% of the time, which felt pretty awesome – next step is improving my speed.
Prepping for the race:
After our group zumba-like warm up session with the instructors high up on scaffolding:
The race is split up into six different start groups depending on if you are being timed, if you are running the 10k, if you are running, jogging, or taking it easy and walking.
This is our start line:
Behind us at the start line (did I mention there was a lot of people? Imagine, our start group is second to last so most people are already gone):
And we’re off! It was motivational to be running along side so many women:
Hubby found me in the crowd about 2 km in:
Afterwards everyone received metals:
And a goody bag of stuff from the sponsors (and bananas and juice):
I bought a bracelet to support children in Kosovo who need homes:
The weather was perfect for the race and to sit down afterwards and enjoy a picnic.
And as we were leaving an hour after the race, I heard my name in the distance being called over the load speaker. I went on stage and sat with 8 other women, all anxiously waiting to see what we could have won. Half way through the prizes got significantly better and my name was still not called. I’m told that I looked excited and terrified at the same time.
With a microphone in my face I received my first place prize: a trip to Portugal for a whole week to attend Training Camp with Vår Ruset.
I was shocked and didn’t know what to say, let alone in Swedish to thousands of people picnicking after the race.
I explained that I’ve never won anything before and I’ve never traveled outside of New York and Sweden.
I didn’t dare mention that I’ve only been training for three weeks… but now I’ll be sure to continue!
Each day there will be activities to participate in such as running, “nordic walking(?)”, yoga, dancing, strength building, core exercises, and of course lots of fun in the sun!
I can’t wait!!
After an unbelievably exciting day I came home, collapsed, and dreamed of my next adventure.