Good thing the race started at 12:00 noon. Bad thing that the sun was out and it was actually getting warm. I skipped the warm-up aerobics set to Swedish rock music, although I almost reconsidered when they played a cover to "The Winner Takes It All".
We were in quite an idyllic track setting in the middle of a forest. From the infield, all you could see were tall trees along the entire edge of the track. Here's a google map with the reddish track in the center.
Close to noon, about a couple hundred of us gathered near the 200m starting line. Various announcements were made, and then we were off. The pace was fast in the beginning. I was just there for the ride, so I settled into a more relaxed pace at the back of the pack. We wound our way through a residential neighborhood shown in the bottom right portion of the map. There turned out to be a couple of nasty small hills and one long gradual uphill, made worse by the fact that it ended up being a double loop out and back!
By the second loop, I was ready for this to be over. Somehow I slogged through the hills one more time. For the grand finale, they picked an alternate approach to the finish, and had us go up this really steep incline to get to the track. At the top of the incline, I entered the track, ran 100m, and finished in 55:01. I’m glad I ran and I was glad it was over. I took the same bus and train back into town, grabbed some lunch, and then parked myself at a sidewalk café in Sodermalm. I had a cappuccino, and watched the afternoon and beautiful people go by.