Each year I like to attend a women’s race somewhere around the world to get inspiration for writing, training and organizing my own race. After New York, Paris, Dublin and Stockholm it was Copenhagen’s turn.
I traveled with three other women but most of my time was spent with my Italian friend Francesca who’d never been out of Italy. I felt just a little pressure to show her the very best time!
We stayed at a hotel near the train station and if you ever decide to visit Copenhagen I advise you to do the same. The train station is smack in the middle of town and only three stops away from the airport. When we arrived the weather was picture perfect and we decided to walk the 4k to the expo and pick up our bibs for the race.
Everywhere we looked was picture perfect with clean streets and healthy looking people. And loads of bicycles, which is probably why everybody here is in shape and the pollution and traffic are so low.
The expo was very small and we found out that there were approximately 2000 women signed up. Not to be outdone, they had a men’s only 10k race on Friday evening called The Burn. We wanted to stick around and watch the race but we were so sleepy already we decided to call it an early evening and just have a look at the online photos afterwards.
Saturday was dedicated to touring the city… by bike! We rented our bikes from the hotel since it was just so convenient. Plus they’d be available for 24 hours and we could go in and out during the day if needed. There was a sign at the front desk saying that we could join a free tour group that meets in front of city hall at 11AM. We got there early and looked everywhere for signs of a forming group but didn’t see anyone. At one point I saw a group of Segways forming and then they started to go off in a direction. I yelled to Francesca “follow them!”
The tour lasted two hours and about 25 kilometres. We were smiling and laughing the whole time, partly because the city was so gorgeous, partly because we were crashing another tour group and this thought seemed to entertain us to no end. The only place we had to go on our own afterwards was Christiania. It was interesting to see, though there seemed to be more tourists than locals. No photo taking was allowed so we took our bikes to the far side of the area and saw that they had a beautiful park. Beyond the trees there was a row of houses to look at, each having its own architecture and style.
Race day had a forecast of sunshine with rain, luckily the sunshine came first. Also racing with us was Sara; she’d won the trip at the JJ Running Festival in May. We walked around the start and noticed that there were quite a few cute Danes walking around. Let me go off on a tangent here and just mention…loads of very handsome men everywhere I looked!
So… the race! It was a small race, very low key and the course was in or near a park. We criss-crossed the course several times so you could actually see the front of the field as they went by you several miles back. It poured rain at one point, but by then we were moving so it wasn’t a problem.
I was very happy with my own race as I haven’t been feeling so great lately (more on that later!), but I was able to pump out 58 minutes and this made me see rainbows at the finish line! I would absolutely recommend this race… for the city, and kick the 10k in so you keep your fitness up while so you can eat a guilt free Danish pastry!