By Will Greensmyth
While on a recent “cultural” weekend in Malmö, I togged out in the Sportsworld colours with a couple of pals to participate in the annual Malmö Hostmil. This is a 10k race through the centre of Malmo. For the uninitiated, Malmo is the third largest city in Sweden with a population of about 300,000 and is located in the southwestern corner of this expansive (and expensive) country.
The Hostmil (which I learned translates roughly as Autumn Race) was the baby brother in terms of participants with a half marathon which also took place. There were around 2000 runners in total, with my guess being about 90% of them in the half. Both races started together beside the home ground of Malmo FF (currently streaking ahead in the Swedish Premier League and also in the group stages of the Champions League) before turning towards the old town for the first 6k, while the last 4k took us through two quite pleasant parks. The course was pretty and pancake flat, with the only real hindrance being the cobbled stone sections through the old town, where you lose a bit of rhythm. There was plenty of support however from the stewards and the locals and the last stretch of the race brought us back into the old Malmo athletics stadium and a 300m dash around the track.
Having been out the night before until 4 in the morning supping the finest Swedish craft beers and learning how to play Swedish shuffleboard (a pub version of curling…), I was not overly confident of a decent run. The fact that the race didn’t kick off until 3 in the afternoon offered us some solace that the late night shenanigans wouldn’t be too much of a detriment to our running and would allow plenty of time for more appropriate hydration.
In the end I got around in one piece, and based on the online results managed to finish one second off 3rd place in about 38 and a half minutes. I’m not sure if that’s right but how and ever, the social running was good fun and anyone who is in Malmo around the start of October and fancies a crack at a pb, should give it a lash, and then go on the lash. Rather than the other way around.
Only negative was hearing later of a fellow runner guy who had collapsed after about 8k with blood pumping from his head and receiving CPR. My best efforts at reading Swedish newspapers via google translate, say that the man was in a critical condition. Hopefully he recovered.
It’s a timely reminder of what can befall even the most experienced of runners, and le cúnamh Dé, everyone will get through the upcoming marathons with nothing to complain about but the ease with which they all smashed their personal bests J