Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Stockholm Marathon

The 20th running of the Stockholm Marathon is two weeks from today. I ran the race in 1990 and 2000. (If you don't believe me, see here.) The first one was really interesting; Stockholm in May is as nice as any place, anywhere, in my opinion. The days were getting long, the weather was sunny, and the whole city just unfurled in the sunshine.

My long runs took me from my house out to Drottningholm (I waved at the King one day as he drove by, and he waved back) and to the Stadshuset. I ran past the academy where Björn Borg learned his tennis, and past the sunbathers along the shore of Lake Mälaren. I've run thousands of miles since, but nothing has topped those weeks in Stockholm.

Anyways, as much as I enjoyed my training, I didn't do enough of it, and the race itself became a bit of a slog. I was passed at one point by a runner dressed as the pope, with miter, robes, and crook, and another as Batman, complete with mask and cape. So I don't consider my finish that day as much of an sporting accomplishment.

A decade later, I ran much more easily. The Swedes really make an effort to support the race, and the finish is inside the Olympic stadium so I can say I actually ran competitively on an Olympic track.

I had hoped to run it again next year so I could have a set of three medals, exactly a decade apart. However, the 2010 date's just been set and it is the same day as Grant's graduation, so my running will have to wait another year. At least it gives me extra time to work on my Batman costume...!

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