Sweden is off to a flying start

Just five days ago, running in Denmark, I had mild heatstroke following a surprise return to the late summer heat of 26 degrees for a couple of days. But it is Autumn here now and muscles are more efficient in the cool.  It’s not that cold yet, but much easier running even so.

I ran over my first ski field two days ago, the biggest hill on my route so far. I was throwing out 10 minute miles up that hill, a bit too fast really but fun none the less. It’s good to feel strong.

Denmark was over in a few short days. Although it’s a small country, I’ve decided it’s the country with the biggest heart! My welcome to Denmark and the friendliness of the people is a post all of its own…to follow.

Sweden is starting very well though. Finally finding my way out of Helsingborg, I ended up reaching Angelsholm on Tuesday evening. Here Peter and Cecelia, who run a B&B, let me pitch my tent. They wouldn’t let me pay, instead giving me use of a kitchen and bathroom on the proviso that I joined them for breakfast so I could tell them about the run.

Following breakfast, and sent away with sandwiches, I ran my fastest day so far – 34.7 miles in just over 6.5 hrs running.

Yesterday I felt a bit tired, having run too fast up the first hill I’ve seen in over a thousand miles. But 30.66 miles isn’t too bad, that’s with a stop for lunch and an interview with a Swedish newspaper.

Kenny, a Liverpudlian residing in Sweden since the 70’s, is a very fit 67 year old trail marathon runner.

Kenny appeared in the rain yesterday morning, jumped out of his car and shouted my name. I was a bit surprised to say the least!

Kenny explained he’d been following me on the tracker for the last 42 days and that he lived about 6 miles further along my route and I that must stop for lunch and a coffee.

An hour later he returned with the press who photographed Kenny and I running the last couple of miles to his home. The guys from the paper were genuinely interested in running themselves and very interested in my run passing though their village.

There were still 20 miles to run so I had to get going but two hours later Kenny and his wife appeared again, this time with a salmon and pasta dinner, and a side salad on picnic plates! I was very grateful.

My first meals on wheels yesterday, and another first…I disturbed a snake sunbathing in the last of the afternoon sun. I’d expected Elk here and snakes in India or Aus?

The best part of yesterday was Kenny telling me he’d never run a multi-day ultra marathon before but my run has inspired him to run coast to coast across all of Sweden next summer – 250km in five days.

The guy is almost 70 and tackling ultra marathons in the mountains – I think he’s the inspiration!

Last night I was lucky enough to be given a cabin just three meters from the lake on a campsite, just for the price of camping. Dipping my feet in the lake was great cold therapy!

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