This weekend saw the first leg of the Swedish marathon series, I have never done this race since I usually do not come to Sweden this early. After a sunny and relatively warm week the weather changed last week to freezing cold and my motivation got tested on a few training rides. The forecast said warmer weather for the weekend. I was looking forward to the course in Skövde since I have heard a lot of good things about it. We drove the 4 hours on Friday morning and I had time to ride a bit on the course in the afternoon. It was lots of fun on all the single tracks and I came to realize what a beautiful country I live in, the nature in this area is really nice! It was good to see some of the technical sections as well.
It was a chilly morning on Saturday and I was in between riding with arm warmers or not. We started at 11am together with the men and it was a fast start, straight up the 2km climb to the hill prize. I got there as the first girl and I managed to keep that position all the way to the finish. My plan was to try and not push everything I had since I had a race on the Sunday as well, but that plan failed. The guys around me were really strong and since it is better to sit in a bunch I worked really hard to stay with them. I was off the bunch a few times but came back but it was a mental game on the second loop – should I let them go or hang on… I was really happy about my arm warmers since the temperature dropped and it started raining towards the end of the race. It was a great route with a few testing climbs (long for being in Sweden), lots of single tracks and some fast descents. This route has become one of my favourite marathon courses in Sweden!
We packed up after prize giving and headed for Uppsala, another 4-hour drive. We got there late and checked in to the Scandic hotel and got a few hours sleep.
Last climb to the finish. Photo: Johan Åberg Levin
Podium with Nellie and Felicia
I normally prepare well for a race and always check where start and finish is, I check the first and last kilometres and preferably a bit of the course. I felt very unprepared for this race since there were no time to check anything of the loop which we were going to do twice. It was 4 degrees and rain the hour before start and with yesterdays race freshly in mind I decided to race with leg warmers, arm warmers and a wind jammer. Jenny Rissveds was entered for todays race but could not make and did not start, I missed the competition from her. I was cold and felt a bit sluggish at the start but soon warmed up and legs felt better. I managed to be the first girl during the short and fast race to take another win this weekend. It was a surprisingly fun route in central Uppsala, lots of single tracks and short sharp climbs, some where we even had to get off and run.
My dad also did the fun ride today, they started after the elite riders had done the first lap. I hope I am as fit as he is when I am 69 years!
To sum it up it was a cold but very good weekend of racing!
En route. Photo: Kjell Friberg
Podium with Monika and Camilla. Photo: Peter Stenerhag