Training began in March, perhaps a little too soon, perhaps too much too often for a brand new runner or perhaps, as I keep hearing it was IF not WHEN, being the reason behind the injury that stopped me doing what I had worked so hard to do.
Whatever the reason I had an amazing weekend in Stockholm and was proud to support the people that got the best view of this beautiful city, the ones running 21 km around it!
Dom and I landed at an airfield that looked the size of the one you’d find in Thames and took a 2 hour bus ride into the city in peak traffic. After a quick map check we made it to our hotel located perfectly located, only a short walk to the city centre. We wandered through the city centre over to the start point of the half marathon to pick up Dom’s information pack. Thankfully wearing my big black glasses to hide a few sneaky tears creeping up – in case you haven’t gathered I was devastated to not be picking up my own pack.
|View towards downtown Stockholm|
My first impressions of the city (which were confirmed right throughout our time here) is that the Swedes have good jeans and great genes. I had heard it was a stylish city and for me it definitely wins the prize for its particular style not really diverse but still right up my alley.
We dined on Italian on our first night, me sympathetically carbo loading with Dom, be rude to leave him doing it by himself! After a short stroll we headed back to our hotel to our teensy single beds for a good night’s sleep before the big day.
Our second and third nights were spent at City Backpackers, literally 100 meters down the road where the rest of our runner friends and supporters were staying. At check in we met our friends then headed back to the start line to scope it out and so others could pick up their packs. As a group we strolled over to the island Gamla Stan weaving through the cobbled streets and headed over to check out the town hall for a look.
The half marathon started after 4pm in the afternoon so we soon got back to the hostel for everyone to gear up and make their way to the start line.
|Dom Graeme Nat Kitaj|
Over 16,000 people ran that day – the sea of people took nearly an hour to all begin the race as they crossed the start line in stages. We waited at the 12 & 19 km mark so we could see all the people we knew halfway and again nearing the end.
Everyone put in such an awesome effort, I’m most proud of Dom for doing it in a super fast hour and 45 minutes bang on his target!
The restaurant soon turned into a night club as the host had promised (I thought he would wait till I finished my dinner first). We all had a good boozy night out and a fun filled walk home filled with cell phone music and side of the road sausage stands.
Sunday morning we set off in search of a cafe said to have really good coffee by a man in the group that knew his beans. The walk turned out to be longer than expected but we got another good look through Gamla Stan and also Sodermalm where we arrived at our destination. As it turned out the girl behind the counter was a Kiwi! The flat whites were destined to be good.
In the afternoon the rest of our friends had to head back to London, thankfully we still had another day in Stockholm before setting off to our next destination. We hired bikes from City backpackers for a cheap 50 Krona. Biking always gives a better perspective of any city, it is quick, you see a lot, go at your own pace and stop whenever and wherever you like.
|Checkin' out the view|
Stockholm is very pretty and green, lots of old buildings and lovely islands to explore. While on our travels we came upon a boat shed by a river with a small coffee & danish shop in it. We had a romantic stop which was swiftly ruined by cheeky ducks forcing me to dine alone, standing up, over away on the side of the road.
|View from date spot|
|Add a danish and coffee|
|Until this cheeky guy came along and ruined it!|
We biked back over to Sodermalm, the trendy part of Stockholm and stopped for a well deserved beer after putting up with Dom trying to run me off my bike most of the afternoon.
|Well deserved beer|
|Plenty of these on our travels|
|Dom being a menace, a complete menace|
|Chillin' on the bike|
|Good spot to look out over Stockholm|
|Tempted to swap the pushbike for this one|
Dinner was made in the hostel before turning in for the night excited for to following day, part 2 of our trip… Copenhagen.