I like to have a winter series of competitive races to break up the monotony of winter training. Not that I don't enjoy running in the winter, but it is easy to slip into a routine of always running the routes and the same pace. So it is good to mix things up with a bit of racing.
DGI (the Danish Sport and Gymnastic association) has a winter series of trail runs in the forests in North Zealand. For some reason they have called the series 'Soul trail' this year, and have a slightly creepy logo.
The races themselves are pretty straightforward - marked loops of 6 km that you run once or twice. First time out was the beginning of January in woods near Helsingør (Elsinore) on a cold, grey day on the first Saturday in January, the woodland covered with a sprinkling of snow. I was pleased to finish 5th in the men’s 12km out of 33 starters in just under an hour, just managing to hold off no.6. A cup of hot chocolate was very welcome at the finish line.
The second race took place in Allerød, another cold still day, but this time in glorious sunshine. It turned out to be a slightly disappointing course, mostly on broad forestry tracks and not so much on the smaller footpaths or mtb tracks. It was still fun though, with a slightly faster time due to the easier terrain, and a 7th place this time of 44 male starters. This time I couldn't quite catch the bloke I had narrowly beaten in the first race, but that's just the way it goes.