The Danish championship in short trail running for 2018 was held on Bornholm this year at the iconic Hammer Trail winter edition, hosted by Tejn IF club. A geology with cliffs and granite give Bornholm a landscape that is unique in Denmark and probably the spiritual home of Danish trail running. For the winter event there were races over distances from 10km to 50miles, but the championship race was a half marathon with 800m ascent.
It takes a certain investment of time (and money) to get to Bornholm. We left Hillerød in two cars at 05.45, pausing to pick up more in Birkerød and Copenhagen, over the bridge to Sweden, and then onwards to Ystad for the ferry to Bornholm. 30 mins drive across Bornholm brought us finally to Allinge by 10.30, for the midday race start.
In fact, it already seemed like it had been a long day by the time the race got underway, but finally it was time to start. Despite having had an hour and a half, I hadn’t really warmed up properly (duh!) and it felt like a struggle to get moving after all the waiting around. The first couple of kilometers were flat, ‘transport’ out of the town and across a muddy field. Then it was into Slotslynge and forest trails. After about 8.5km we reached Hammershus castle ruins and a lot of steps up to the top!
This was a route of two halves, and when I reached the halfway point after just under an hour, I knew I had done the easy half. From here it was a constant up and down over the rocky Hammerknude and past the Hammer lighthouse. But running in this terrain is the whole point of making the trip to Bornholm so now was the time to make the most of it. Despite being based in a flat land, I try to do as much ascent as possible, so it was now it was time to put it to the test.
It seemed to be paying off and I overtook quite a few on this section. Unfortunately, I coincided with the back markers on the 10km race on the narrowest, most technical part of the course and struggled to come passed them as quickly as possible – irritating for all parties. Eventually I managed to pass them, and also managed to overtake one or two more of my competitors. Just when I thought it was over came the sting in the tail, with probably the steepest section of the whole route, but it gave me the chance to overtake one more before getting back to level ground.
The last 2 km were the same as first two, but back on the flat it turned out that I didn’t have the speed left in my legs to maintain my position over the guy I overtook on the final climb and he came passed me again a kilometer before the finish.
I finished in 2:08:46 which gave me 6th place in my category, 4 minutes off what seems to have been a close race between three for bronze. So, no medal for me but I still felt like I had had a good run, and feeling inspired to train for the coming season. A great result however for my clubmate Guillermo with a gold in the M45 category, with an impressive 1:45:16, especially considering that he really feels most at home with solid tarmac under his running shoes! Also a good result for clubmate Carina with a bronze in the W35 category.