All posts by Tomas

Running a dream

Olympic Valley California, Saturday 24th of June 2023 05:00. 379 runners from all over the world start the climb to Emigrant Pass at 2667m. And I cannot stop the tears from rolling down my cheeks. The western states endurance run has started, and with that, the end of an eight year long quest to get here.

Section 1 – Start to Lyon Ridge

Total timePositionTotal distanceTimeDistanceSpeed
2:15:304816,6 km2:15:3016,6 km8:11 min/km

The gun goes of, and I am trying to come in to a nice rythm. The uphill is not that steep, so I mix hiking and running, paying attention to my pulse and general feelings. Two days ago when I hiked this section to highcamp, I felt the high altitude, and had shaky legs, so I did not want to stress. Soon the trail transformed into snow, but it was hard in the cold morning temperatures. After 45 minutes, I saw and heard the front runners up at the Escarpement, and I was there some 10 minutes after. And then we headed down. On fresh legs and a nice downhill, I passed many runners before we went into the snow again. I passed a lot of runners here as well, the snow was no problem for me, and soon I got to the first aidstation at Lyons ridge. I filled one bottle, and grabbed som gels and pushed on.

Section 2 – Lyon Ridge to Red Star Ridge

Total timePositionTotal distanceTimeDistanceSpeed
3:28:485025,4 km1:13:188,8 km8:17 min/km

Running in stunning environments in the high country, legs are fresh and I have found my place in the pack. Still a lot of snow, and sometimes quite hard terrain. There are now big climbs or downhills, but a lot of ups and downs. The sun starts to feel warm, and I’m just cruising at a controlled pace, enjoying life.

Section 3 – Red Star Ridge to Duncan Canyon

Total timePositionTotal distanceTimeDistanceSpeed
4:50:514839,3 km1:22:0313,8 km5:56 min/km

Still in the high country, but there is less snow now. Just some stretches here and there. I’m starting to get into a good pacing here, the terrain is easier to run, and there are no big climbs, just small ups and downs that are very runnable. I’m checking my pacing compared to the 24 hour scheme, and for the first time I’m ahead of the timetable, now with 10 minutes. It didn’t feel like it, but I must have pushed a bit more on this section.

Section 4 – Duncan Canyon to Robinson Flat

Total timePositionTotal distanceTimeDistanceSpeed
6:16:165048,8 km1:25:259,5 km9:00 min/km

After a long section with mostly downhills, this section is a long climb up to Robinson Flat. I still have good energy, and the legs are working fine. The uphill is not very steep, so I mix hiking and running to keep the same effort as before. The sun starts to get really warm now, but I have got enough fluids throughout the entire sections. A passing of a big river wading up to the waist cools me of quite a bit. The only thing that is worrying me a bit is that my old wristbands are starting to feel a bit tight, so I’m trying to massage the lymphatic system to get less swollen. At Robinson Flat I have my first drop bag, and there is a big crowd cheering me on as I approach the aid station. The steps gets lighter, and take in every moment. At the aid station, I cut my wristbands of, and also dump some of the warmer gear I had since the morning.

Section 5 – Robinson Flat to Miller’s Defeat

Total timePositionTotal distanceTimeDistanceSpeed
07:00:005055,3 km43:446,6 km6:38 min/km

According to the temporary elevation tattoo on my arm, there is a long stretch of downhill running for the next three aid stations. The first one is mainly gravel roads. Runnable all the way, even though the speed is a bit slow on average, but that’s because the stop time at the last aid station is included.

Section 6 – Miller’s Defeat to Dusty Corners

Total timePositionTotal distanceTimeDistanceSpeed
07:35:125061,1 km35:125,8 km6:05 min/km

Keeping a good pace, but it’s starting to get hot! Putting ice in my cap at the aid station, and that takes the headache away. Eating and drinking still works fine, and I can keep the pulse up in z2-23 in the uphills still, which is a good sign.

Section 7 – Dusty Corners to Last Chance

Total timePositionTotal distanceTimeDistanceSpeed
08:27:005169,7 km51:488,5 km6:04 min/km

The last stretch of the downhill section, and I’m getting into a nice routine. Filling up one bottle with GU Roctane energy, grabbing two gels, som ice in the cap, and quick through the aid station. Now I’m almost 40 minutes ahead of the 24 hour schedule, and I’m feeling great!

Section 8 – Last Chance to Devil’s Thumb

Total timePositionTotal distanceTimeDistanceSpeed
09:41:085576,9 km1:14:087,2 km10:14 min/km

A long steep downhill where I can go all out for the first time, finnaly! This is how I thought the downhills would be. What others dread, I welcome at this point. But I also know, that after a long downhill comes a long uphill, and the climb to devils thumb is where I felt the energy getting drained from my body. Halfway up, the forest is burned away since last years big fire, and the sun is burning very hot at this time. I must change down a gear or two, and people are passing me on the way up to the aidstation. Once I’m there, I’m starting to feel nausea, and cannot eat anything more. I’m hoping that the long downhill to El Dorado Creek will fix this.

Section 9 – Devil’s Thumb to El Dorado Creek

Total timePositionTotal distanceTimeDistanceSpeed
10:40:005485,1 km58:528,2 km7:10 min/km

The downhill is not as steep as it looked on the map, and I’m still feeling a bit low. I can still drink energy drinks and gels, And I keep the pacing up on the downhills. But I know that If I don’t turn this around, it will be hard to keep the 24 hour pacing. Even though I’m passing the halfway point now, and on around 10 hours, this is where I need to start grinding to make it. At this point, I’m quite confident that I will make the cutoffs, since I have 20 hours left and only 80 km to go. But I also know that anything can happen still.

Section 10 – El Dorado Creek to Michigan Bluff

Total timePositionTotal distanceTimeDistanceSpeed
11:42:305789,6 km1:02:304,5 km13:52 min/km

At the El Dorado Creek aid station, I heard a voice talking to me in Swedish, and he told me that I was the first male swede to pass there. Ida passed some 1,5 hours earlier. I still felt the nausea, but they had fresh berries and orange juice, and the orange juice was like a dream for my stomach! Reminder to self, and orange juice in drop bags. I took a paper bag with berries with me, and started the long climb up. I had to ge quite slow here, with low energy and nausea, but finally got to the top. I had my next drop bag at Michigan Bluff, and there I would get a short break while arranging my gear preparing for the night.

Section 11 – Michigan Bluff to Foresthill

Total timePositionTotal distanceTimeDistanceSpeed
13:13:125999,8 km1:30:4210,1 km8:57 min/km

I tried to eat some white bread, but could not manage to get it down. Since I’m still able to drink and take gels, that’s no big deal. I can finish the race only on liquids. But I’m craving orange, and the only have the thick gels now, and my stomach is not a fan of those. I take the headlight and night gear at this station, knowing that I’m ahead of schedule and wont need to use it any time soon. I have packed night clothes, but changing to long sleeves as it still is over 30 degrees seems a bit to much, so I leave it in the bag and continue with the same clothes that I have had since the start.
I can’t handle any of the gels I have, so I’m at a low right now, trying to run when I can. The uphills on this section are runable, but I don’t have the energy for that at the moment, so I focus on getting through running the flats and the downhills.

Section 12 – Foresthill to Dardanelles (Cal-1)

Total timePositionTotal distanceTimeDistanceSpeed
13:54:0059105,7 km40:486 km6:51 min/km

The road out of Foresthill was packed with people cheering, a magical feeling! GU had a tent on the way out, so I stopped to see if they had any more of the liquid gels that I could, and they had! Only Cola ones, but I could work with that. This section has changed due to problems with the landowners, so it’s a long stretch with asfalt running. The markings are hard to see, and I need to stop and correct my course a lot of times, since the course on my watch is off from the new one. Still, a bit more energy, and only to grind on.

Section 13 – Dardanelles (Cal-1) to Peachstone (Cal-2)

Total timePositionTotal distanceTimeDistanceSpeed
15:02:0062113,8 km1:088 km8:27 min/km

On the trail again! Mostly uphills on this section, and I get passed by some runners on the uphills where I need to hike. But I feel the energy slowly coming back again, And I’m looking forward to the river crossing.

Section 14 – Peachstone (Cal-2) to Ford’s Bar (Cal-3)

Total timePositionTotal distanceTimeDistanceSpeed
15:37:0059117,5 km35:003,7 km9:27 min/km

At the Peachstone aid station, just as I’m about to exit, a shirtless man runs straight through the aid station. The officials tells him that he is second in M50, which means that I’m third. I look at the elevation tattoo, and see a long downhill, and I think that the next aid station is the river crossing. I know that I don’t have the power at the moment to match his uphill pace, but I want to stress him a bit, and beat him across the river. So I push the downhill hard, pass him quickly, and leave him behind me. He doesn’t catch me in the uphills that come, but there is no river crossing, so we enter Fords Bar together.

Section 15 – Ford’s Bar (Cal-3) to Rucky Chucky

Total timePositionTotal distanceTimeDistanceSpeed
16:42:1663125,5 km1:05:168 km8:07 min/km

The shirtless man passes me, and I cannot keep up with his pace. I have to walk all the uphills now, and there’s a lot of them. The darkness starts to fall, and I put on my headlight. As I reach Rucky Chucky it is dark, and an amazing aid station awaits! I have my third and last drop bag here, and I’m now almost 1,5 hours ahead of the 24h pacing. The silver buckle is within reach.

Section 16 – Rucky Chucky to Green Gate

Total timePositionTotal distanceTimeDistanceSpeed
17:27:0065128,4 km44:442,9 km15:27 min/km

The river is higher than normal, so there are rafts that takes us to the other side. Lights are draped across the passing, and there is music and party feeling. I’m starting to feel the soles of my feet blistering, but I choose to not take the shoes of at this time, afraid that I will tear the skin of if I change socks. There’s only a marathon left, and I decide to ignore the feet at this time. The section ahead is pure uphill, and I cannot match the hiking speed of the runners around me, so I let them pass me.

Section 17 – Green Gate to Auburn Lake Trails

Total timePositionTotal distanceTimeDistanceSpeed
18:46:0066137,1 km1:19:008,7 km09:06 min/km

Another section with rolling trails, but it is still mostly uphills, and I’m still low on energy. Trying to keep the pacing towards 9 min/km on average, so I have a chance on the silver buckle. But it is dark now. And I’m alone where everybody else has pacers. And there are a lot of animal noises in the bushes. I’m just hoping that I don’t run in to a bear. There have been bear droppings on the trails, but they seem to avoid me.

Section 18 – Auburn Lake Trails to Quarry Road

Total timePositionTotal distanceTimeDistanceSpeed
19:53:2660145,9 km1:07:268,8 km07:37 min/km

After Auburn lake something happens. I’m startin to feel strong again. I can run again, even on the small uphills, and I get the speed up to a good relative pacing, because I pass a lot of the runners that have passed me the last sections. And I run a lot faster now, clocking in km times around 5:30 on the flats. And there’s not much left now.

Section 19 – Quarry Road to Pointed Rocks

Total timePositionTotal distanceTimeDistanceSpeed
20:57:5662151,7 km1:04:305,8 km11:08 min/km

Again an uphill section, to steep to run, so I push the hiking as hard as I can. And the energy is back here as well. The uphill is surprisingly steep, compared to other uphills. I imagined more cruising on the last section towards the finish, but this is nothing like that.

Section 20 – Pointed Rocks to Robie Point

Total timePositionTotal distanceTimeDistanceSpeed
22:07:3461159,1 km1:09:385,8 km09:24 min/km

On the downhill from Pointed Rocks I let my legs free, and push hard. I know that this is the last stretch, and from Robie Point and in there is just a short easy sprint towards the finish line. But again, the uphill feels massive at this point, and it is quite steep as well. But I know that this is the final climb, so I push as hard as I can, passing one more runner on the way.

Section 21 – Robie Point to Finish

Total timePositionTotal distanceTimeDistanceSpeed
22:27:0161161,2 km19:272,1 km09:18 min/km

After Robie Point there is still some climbing left until the road starts rolling down. Following the blue footprints towards the finishline, I’m getting emotional again. Turning over the last bridge before Placer High, and on to the final lap. I see the camerawoman following me, I hear the words that I wrote down before the race from the speakers.
“Number 183, Tomas Amneskog from Sweden. He has finished 38 ultramarathons. Married to Linda and father to Tor, Myra, Irma and Frej “
And just like that, I am done.
I ran the dream. And it was beautiful.

 Supervasan 2021

4 weeks ago Johan Landgren asked me if I wanted to run a relay between Sälen and Mora. There were three parts, roller skiing, MTB and running, all at 90 km each. Of course, I said yes!

I did not get much information about the setup itself, but two weeks before the race we changed the training, and worked more on the intended competition speed, ie long sessions in zone 2, combined with high-intensity sessions. For me, it meant staying around 130 in pulse, and adjusting the speed accordingly. last weekend I ran two long passes of 2 and three hours, a total of 5 hours, where I ran 61km with an average speed of 4:50 min/km. So it seemed reasonable that that would be the starting point.

On Tuesday, Oscar Olsson and Frida Zetterström called from the podcast Konditionspodden, for a quick interview just before I stepped out and ran my Tuesday session. Oscar is the man behind the whole set-up, and he travels all the distances himself. I had not received any info about accommodation, but everyone else would stay at Mora Hotel and Spa, so I booked a room there.

On Friday afternoon I went up to Mora, and on the way up Oscar called and said that the .gpx file I had was the wrong one. We would not run the route for the ultra vasa, but instead follow the hiking trail Vasaleden from Berga by to Mora. The distance was the same, but it turned out to be a completely different type of terrain than what I had trained for the first half of the race.

Since it was a relay, it was the team that was support for the others when you did not compete yourself. I did not have to get up at 2 AM to support Mattias Svahn, as Johan and Helena took care of this. The plan was that Mattias would switch to Johan at 08:30, and that Helena and I would then take the car towards Sälen and support Johan on the road. But he was fast Mattias, and came in already 08:06, so it got a little stressful. I just had time to get some breakfast before we had to leave.

It got a a lot more stressful, when a miss in the communication meant that we were not present at the first check where Johan wanted support, so we had to turn around and chase his position via the tracker he was wearing. The third attempt was successful, and he got enough energy to make it to Evertsberg, which is halfway. We also stayed inMångsbodarna and waited for Johan, before we ran down to the start in Berga by.

We got to the start shortly after Oscar had left, and a reporter from malungsbladet asked some questions, which resulted in me being in a bit of an article about Supervasan

At the same time, Konditionspodden started broadcasting from my race, with a report from the start.

Stage #1 Berga by – Mångsbodarna

Total Distance: 24 km, total time 2:12

Distance Time Tempo Pulse
24 km 02:12:40 05:16 138

The first two stages on Vasaleden are fantastic! First 2 km uphill, the same stretch as the Vasaloppet, then into the forest and 7km on fairly technical small forest singletrails in fairly hilly terrain. I was not prepared for it to be so nice, and the joy of running was at its peak. Floated through the forest just over 5-pace, but the pulse was just below the threshold, so it took more power than expected.

When I came out on the gravel roads at Smågan, I lowered my heart rate to the target zone 2 heart rate, and then the speed was more like the expected 4:40 on the flats.

After a few km on gravel roads, it was again a singletrail to Smågan, but I still kept the plan decent, and still felt quite fresh when Johan and Helena waited with energy replenishment.

Stage #2 Mångsbodarna – Risberg

Total Distance: 35 km, total time 3:20

Distance Time Tempo Pulse
11 km 01:08:01 05:57 134

I filled a bottle with sports drinks, brought some more gels and ran away. Again a lot more path than expected, and when I found out that I had only picked up 7 minutes on Oscar, I went down a bit in pulse to try to stay around the 130 that was planned.

On the distances where it was easy to run I could still keep around 5 min / km, but as you can see from the total km time over the distance, it was not so easy to run overall, as the average was almost 6 min / km

At Risbergsbacken, Niklas Axhede showed up with the camera again, so I stopped for a chat. But it was easy, so I asked him if he could run, and there was an interview running. Tomas Amneskog approaches Risberg

Stage #3 Risberg – Evertsberg

Total Distance: 47 km, total time 4:45

Distance Time Tempo Pulse
12 km 01:24:56 06:38 127

After Risberg, things started to get really heavy. The heat and the hard opening made me lose pace. Until now, I had only run on sports drinks and gels, but when it started to rumble a little in my stomach, I took half a bar. And immediately I got a strong pain on the side of the stomache. A little surprising, because I have not had this for several years. I had to go and stretch my stomach for a good while to make it drop.

My newly fixed Altra Olympus burst when I ran into a rock, and  then I thought I was changing shoes in Evertsberg. But of course I forgot. It was very hot now, so by the lakes before Evertsberg I went down and dipped my upper body, and got new energy.


At the finish, Niklas waited again, and here is a nice insight into how it feels when you have run into the wall. Amneskog arrived in Evertsberg

Stage #4 Evertsberg – Oxberg

Total Distance: 62 km, total time 6:34

Distance Time Tempo Pulse
15 km 01:48:22 06:43 125


After Evertsberg it goes downhill. And immediately I realized that I should have changed shoes. Normally, it is now possible to roll on and save time, but the thighs were properly smoked by now, so every step performed was a torment. Still tried to roll on as best I could.

I knew I was going to deviate from the track just before Oxberg, but missed the exit, and ran past. Had to turn around and take an extra hill up to the control. Was quite worn when I came up here, and the interview may sound a bit confused, but the only thing I thought about was that I would not forget to change shoes. Tomas Amneskog in Oxberg

Stage #5 Oxberg – Hökberg

Total Distance: 71 km, total time 7:46

Distance Time Tempo Pulse
9 km 01:12:16 06:55 119

Changed shoes to Craft, and immediately felt that I got a little more energy, even though it was not visible directly on the mileage. All uphills were walking slopes now. Still hot, so I stopped at every creek I could find and cooled off. My stomach still could not accept any food, so after the banana I put in me in Oxberg I had to go and stretch away again.

Etapp #6 Hökberg – Eldris

Total Distance: 81 km, total time 8:54

Distance Time Tempo Pulse
10 km 01:08:14 06:29 116

Now the mosquitoes had also begun to appear when the sun set a little, and every time there was a hill, they came. It was pretty good, as the only way to get rid of them was to run. And that made me pick up the pace a bit. And believe it or not, now it started to feel better again. I could float on as best I could, and felt that I also felt a little better when it got cooler.

In Eldris, Johan would keep up with the last part towards the finish, so I was looking forward to some company.

Stage #7 Eldris – Mora

Total Distance: 90 km, total time 9:51

Distance Time Tempo Pulse
10 km 00:56:56 05:42 120

Johan set a pace that felt a little high, but I told him to keep it. It would go a little faster towards the finish then. So I hung on. Now the slopes were no longer walking slopes, and we ran at the same pace all the time.

Towards Mora, I felt refreshed, and we gradually increased the speed towards the final stretch, and I could drive the last kilometer in sub 4 speed, The legs protested of course, but it was just to relax and push.

At the finish, Frida waited with the interview mic immediately after I had crossed the line, and I tried to summarize it as best I could. Supervasan 2021 – Finish Tomas Amneskog

We would have champagne when the women’s team went to the finish, which would be just over half an hour later. So I got home to the hotel to change and shower. And just as we were about to toast, I became dizzy and nauseous, and had to lie down. The heat during the day, and the fact that I did not have time to get any food in me, caught up.

The next few days I had a really sore thighs. Such a pain I only have after a really challenging mountain race. So even a relatively, on paper, flat track can be a tough challenge.

 Aktivitus Trailrace 169k

When I had to cancel the Aktivitus Trailrace for the second year in a row, I got an opportunity to run the race myself. It is still a competition, with the only difference that all participants can start whenever they want for a month. It is of course better to start in the morning, so that you get a full day of running before the first night comes, but I wanted to do it the way it was intended, and then the start is 20:00 on Friday. So I started at that time from Jonsered’s factories and out on Bohusleden north.

Part 1:  Jonsered – Angered  13km, 1:30

I went out calmly, or what I thought was calm. I knew it was a long journey ahead of me, and since I was completely alone, I did not get the usual adrenaline rush from the start, and could take it easy. I started with 2 bottles of Umara 120g, and the plan was that they would last 16km each. The first leg is very easy to navigate, and I had a good flow.

Part 2: Angered – Dammekärr 27km, 3:14

Darkness fell, and the headlamp was turned on. The energy plan went on as planned, I started on the second bottle at 17km, and my body felt good. No problems or defects. When you enter the Vättlefjällsleden, it starts to flow really well. Here it feels like I’m really up and running. I stopped at Dammekärr and filled my empty bottle with water, and it was quite nice with a little clean water as a contrast to my lemon-spiced sports drink.

Part 3: Dammekärr – Fontin 39km 4:49

When I left Dammekärr it was 5 km to my next depot stop at Jennylund. Here Johan Isaksson had laid out a bottle of sports drink for me, mixed in the same way as the ones I had with me from the start, ie 1 liter with 240g of carbohydrates in. I had not really emptied the bottle I had, and did it at the checkpoint. Took out the bottle that was hidden under the house next to the stable, greeted the horses, and refilled my bottles. But there were a few decilitres left, and I knew that this was the last energy depot before I came back home, so I emptied the bottle before I took it with me and threw it in the next trash can in Bohus. But I should not have done that. During the long descent towards the Jordfalls bridge, my stomach was really bubbling, and I started to feel slightly nauseous. Not so dangerous, but I took it easy with the energy drink for a while.

Part 4: Fontin – Bönered 65km 9:00

My backyard. Perhaps the most tricky stretch for many, but a clear favorite for my own part. I did not need to have the map in front of me, I know the way. The only concern is the stomach. The overdose of carbohydrates in Jennylund is reminded all the time, and I have a lot of gas. “Never trust a fart in an ultra” is a well-known expression, so I have to take it a little cautiously. Meets a badger standing in the middle of the path who stares at me and refuses to leave. I have respect for animals with sharp teeth, so I talk calmly and quietly with her until she trudges off into the woods

When I enter the forest where I have run with pruning shears and marking tape the weekend before, I get really pissed when someone has picked down the most important markings, and made the new part that is difficult to find completely impossible to find. I know I’ve cleared a path, but I do not know exactly where to turn to find it. I swear loudly and am really annoyed when I know how much time and effort I have put into runners to find their way through the forest, and then someone is out there in the middle of a forest on the lift and sabotaging everything. I take out the map on the clock, and follow the trail. The terrain is still quite ok, but it will be a kilometer without trail. After that I know the way, around the yellow loop, down into Djupedal and up at the ancient castles.

Here it is no longer possible to ignore the stomach, so I turn off the path and out into the thicket and sit down to take a dump. It takes a while, but is extremely nice to run after this. So with a light stomach, I trip further into my paths behind the house, and meet the soon rising sun at the top of Kopparåsen.

Part 5 – Bönered – Tuve 83km 12:10

I take a rather long break at home in the house. Lubricates the feet, changes shoes and socks, changes into shorts, take a cup of coffee and a sandwich, changes the headlamp but forget to put out the extra battery from the first one. Packs energy for 50 km of running as well as buns and sandwiches. I skip bringing more bars, as I have only been able to get one bar down so far, I also empty out half of the sports drink powder, as I realize that I will not be able to get so much sports drink, and take a bottle of water and one with sports drink with me. I have only had 1 dl of sports drink since Fontin, so I know it will be hard. The longing to stop here and crawl into my warm bed is quite big, but I try not to think about it, I go out into the cold again. It’s really cold now before the sun has risen, and shorts feel like a bit to little clothes, but I know the sun will rise and start warming up soon. So i’m going to keep up the pace and get the heat up. The relatively long stop had done good for the body, the legs felt very fresh again, so I pretended to start now, forgot the night that had been, and looked forward to the remaining 106 km. I know that I can run 100 km.

Here I also find my way around well, so the map is almost not needed, I have run the route to Hisingsparken many times, and it is easy to find. The first coffee kick and euphoria subsides pretty soon, and I have to start grinding again. I know it’s because I’m low on energy, but I do not want to start feeling bad again and not get anything at all downl, so I take it easy with the energy. Sipping on the sports drink, no immediate hunger feelings yet. Once inside Hisingsparken, I notice that I have pulled the course over another peak compared to what I have run before, and there it is a little difficult to find the right way. But I know it’s uphill, so I run uphill. Or rather, walk.

Part 6: Tuve – Ängården 100km 14:35

In Tuve, David meets up with a packed buffet table! Things I did not know I was craving such as good cakes, clementine and coffee. I pull a sandwich out of the package and munch on. My stomach feels ok again, it’s just a sports drink that I have problems with right now. I also get a bag of vegan candy from David, which I save until it gets heavier. Wonderfull!

David runs with me along the paths from Hisingsparken to the Älvsborg bridge, and life is easy again! It does not go very fast, but it is great with company, even if I am a little less talkative than usual. Time flies by, and at the Älvsborg bridge, David runs off towards Lindholmen. Now I continue alone across the asphalt on the bridge and down into the city. I have drawn the track aiming at Lilla Ängården, deliberately so that it passes a seven eleven just before. And also tried to dot all the paths in all the green areas that are on the stretch, so it will be a bit of detailed navigation to find the right one. But I trust the watch, and nail every turn. At the seven eleven, I buy a bottle of water, refill a bottle with sports drink powder and ginger juice. and head into Ängårdsbergen.

Part 7: Ängårdsbergen – Sisjön 115 km 17:38

It was hot before, but starting to get a bity windy, and it gets cooler on the peaks. Ängårdsbergen, where I have run every Tuesday for the past 7 years, here it should be quite easy to find. And navigation is not a major problem, but the terrain. It’s starting to get really tough uphills without poles, and I’m not very fast on the technical downhill runs either, so it takes time. The pace slows down considerably.

In the middle of the forest, a familiar face appears, it is Jörgen Reppling who has come out to cheer me on. I go and talk to him for a while, before moving on. Not much faster, but it was nice with a little pep talk in the middle of the misery.

Ängi’s slopes, which I usually love, are suddenly very heavy. When I go down Mordor’s stairs, I have to be very careful. It’s steep, and a slip would have been devastating. But I get out, and take a break at the gas station at Fässbergsmot. Fill my bottles, top one with a little sports drink powder. My lips and nose are starting to get very dry and chapped, but I am once again failing to buy a lip balm. All sold out here too. Yes yes, it should ache a little to run far.

Part 8 – Sisjön – Kållered 129km 19:48

After Sisjön, it flows pretty well again. The paths are nice, the slopes are easy, and I have a good flow. I had contacted Simon Gustafson during the morning and adjusted the schedule for when he would meet me. 12 became 14 which became 16 when I realized that I had calculated incorrectly 10 km on where the control would be. I had the old track in my head, and there you pass Kållered after 120km, but the new track is extended. So a new incoherent call gives ETA Kållered 16:00.

But I can run quite well, and seem to be able to get there a quarter of an hour earlier. Extremely determined and focused, I count down the kilometers towards Kållered where we will meet outside Coop. As I pass under the railway bridge, I hear someone come running behind me and shout my name. It’s Simon. I register it, and think he’s probably catching up. It is only a few hundred meters to the stop. But he keeps screaming, and I realize that there are two coop in kållered, 500 meters apart. Simon has parked the car at the first, so I have to turn around and go back. My fault, but still annoying. Simon has set up a nice buffet in the trunk of his car, and has my dropbag with him. I realize I will not have to refill with any of what I packed except gels. But he has a bonus banana that is really good, and a cold beer. So we trudge away. I sip on my beer, and have only one marathon left. And now I have company again!

Part 9 – Kållered – Sisjön 154km 24:45

A few winding kilometers before we come up towards Tulebo and onto the Bohusleden again. Simon runs in front of me in what probably feels like snail’s pace to him, but it’s too fast for me. I need to walk all the uphills, and have a hard time seeing that there are any downhills or flat stretches anywhere. But once I get started with the running steps, my legs still feel good, but the energy is not there. So it becomes like small intervals all the time with recovery in between.

We stop at Herkulesgården and I can take a dump in the toilet. My stomach has started to complain a bit again, but after the toilet I will be a bit reborn again. Lighter as well.

It is calm and nice, but starting to get a little colder again. It’s good to have someone to talk to, and Simon follows all the way to Hobo Hill. He is eager to follow me all the way to the finish, but has no headlamp, and then it will be difficult. So he has to return to Kållered again. And I continue alone. It goes quite well after the toilet visit

Part 10: Skatås – Jonsered 171km 28:07

It’s starting to get really cold now. The watercrane in Skatås has two settings. Max or none. I get really wet when I try to fill a bottle with water. I empty the last powder and a shot of ginger juice, put on all the extra clothes I have with me. Windbreaker, rain jacket, double gloves and three buffs over the hat. I call Linda and says that I probably will not come home before midnight. I have 17 km left which probably takes at least 3 hours. Then begins the really fun part of the race.

When it starts to get dark, I see a buck. He’s just standing right next to me on the road. I talk to him, but even if he does not answer, it’s nice to have some company. I bring out the camera and take a picture. Do not see a buck in the picture. But it must be because it’s too dark, I think.

Time flies. Even if each kilometer runs in 10 minutes, it feels as if the km buzzer goes of all the time. Starting to get a little tired. I also meet a bear and a moose who are staring at me. But they disappear when I get closer, they sort of dissolve and become shadows.

I’m in a very good mood. My legs carry really well, I run as fast as I can and feel that I have a good flow. The clock says otherwise, but 8-9 min / km is probably ok after 27 hours of running, but it is not really worth it when I walk at 10 min / km. So I go back to the interval running from before.

When I come across the highway and approach the last stairs, I think I hear people standing and cheering, and when I come down to the finish line, I see that it is a group that has gathered to receive me at the finish line. But when I get closer, the sound dies out, and all people slip away, like shadows.

It is completely quiet and deserted. Not a soul. I’m alone. I press stop on the clock, and walks away towards the car. I’ve taken the lap around. Beaten my distance record by 2 kilometers and I feel pretty damn good.

I have a medal ceremony there in the dark. Gives myself a big hug and hang the medal around my neck. First to finish the race this year. But not the fastest.

Professional skyrunner at age 48

It is never to late to be great. At age 48, I take my running to the next level and join Team Arduua as one of their professional frontrunners. When it comes to ultra trailrunning and skyrunning, grit, willpower and endurance is more important than capacity and topspeed.

So how did I end up where I am now? Here is the story behind, and the answer to why I joined Team Arduua when I got the question from the founder Katinka Nyberg in december 2020.

In 2019 I completed 12 ultra races, 5 of them in mountains with a lot of elevation gain. In 2020, all the races where canceled, and I had to rely on FKT and virtual races. I won the Trailrunning Sweden climbing competition where I did 7182 m+ in 16 hours on my backyard hill, climbing it 101 times, and I belive that this put my name on the list of swedish skyrunners, since I got an invitation to join Skyrunner Adventures on facebook.

During the summer, they had the skyrunner vertical challenge, where you should get as much positive and negative elevation in 1, 2 or 4 hours. And since we don’t have any big mountains here, I gave it a go in my backyard hill. I took the 4 hour challange, and managed to go up and down my hill with 70m+ 42 times. The Altimeter didn’t register all the elevation, since I turned to quickly at the top and bottom of the hill, but i managed 2807 m+ and 2763 m- in four hours, and won the competition.

The first prize was 1 year of coaching with a professional skyrunning coach. Being a running coach myself, I wondered how much use I would have of the prize, but I still decided to give it a go.

I started the coaching plan with measuring of my mobility and strength and an videocall with my coach Fernando Aramisen, an experienced skyrunning coach from Spain. He put my workouts in trainingpeaks, and we had follow up metings every month over e-mail. Everything I logged was synced from Garmin to TP, and I added a comment to each workout. I have followed a training plan before, but not with this much follow-up and coach interaction. I am not the most flexible person I know, and I could certainly use a lot more mobility…

The basics of the training follows what I am used to, a 80/20 setup with 80% Z1 low intensitey, and 20% Z4-5 high intensity. What was different was that the training was specific for skyrunning, where elevation gain was more important than distance. And specific parts of trail and mountain running, such as where to push on the up and downhills. This was new for me, and it suited me perfectly. The last 2 years I have done most of my high intensity training on the bike, since the fast speed needed for the higher pulse zones more often than not leads to stress injuries. And belive me, I have had them all.

I also find it much easier to get higher pulse on the uphills, so I do all my VO2max training on the slopes. The threshold paces I do on more even terrain, mainly on the trails.

Another thing that was new to me was the amount of strength and mobility excercises that was scheduled. At first, mostly with bodyweight, but now, with increasing weight on the bar. The plan has been based on my personal metrics, and been made to prepare my body for the added stress of lifting weights. I have certainly done my shere of lifting weights at the gym, but more for a general strength purpuse, and not specifically for skyrunning and ultrarunning focus.

And I see the results now. After only 4 months on the programme, I beat my personal best times on Strava more often than not, even putting in KOM:s on shorter sprint intervals.

So why did I join Team Arduua when Katinka asked me a month ago? It is of course a great chance and a big honour to be considered as a professional athlete, but I would not have joined unless I felt that they shared the passion and the knowledge for the sport that I have. To bring the competence of the spanish skyrunners to the rest of the world is a great idea, and something that I would like to be a part of, and something that I can promote.

So I’m really looking forward to 2021 as a part of the Arduua Team!

Read more about Arduua here :

And my story on Arduuas blog:

Pilgrimsleden FKT

I have had my eyes on Pilgrimsleden for some time. I ran the second half backwards a couple of years ago. They have now restored and re-routed parts of the old pilgrim route, and the new stretch looked interesting. And it should be doable during the daytime of the long swedish summer days.

The route is 137,66km long wit 2350m of altitude gain. The mainpart of the route is trail, but also big portions of gravel, and asphalt. I set out to do a unsupported attempt on the route. This means that I can not ave any support of any kind, and I need to carry all my energy and other things from the start. I can fill up wit water from publicly available waters sources, and all churches and cemetaries have water available. And almost every stage passes a church.

So I packed 8×60 g of Umara sportsdrink, 6x50g Umara bars, 8 breadrolls, eletrolytes, charger, first aid, emergency headlamp, water filter, extra socks, underwear, buff, merinotee and windbreaker. I also had 2 500ml softflasks with sportsdrink pre-prepared. I ordered a taxi at 03.00, and arrived at masthuggskyrkan 03:25. The weather was perfect now, +20 and clear skies.

Stage 1. Masthuggskyrkan – Nylöse kyrka 9,8 km

I started running through central Göteborg. A lot of churches needs to be passed on the way , and also skansen kronan. I ran nice and slow, and reached Nylöse Church after 1:03

Stage 2. Nylöse kyrka – Storås 10,7 km

After the first easy part, the route heads into the hilly singeltrack trails along Lärjeån. Here you can find water on the cemetary that you pass at km 11, and I filled one of my softflasks here. I reached Storås after 2:15 and 20,5 km.

Stage 3. Storås – Jennylund 11 km

From Storås, following Lärjeån comes the real nature part. A new stretch of the trail had been cleared, and this was pure joy running here. Still early morninghours, so the heat was bearable. I skipped the filling of water at Jennylund, and continued on. I reached Jennylund after 3:34 and 31,5 km

Stage 4. Jennylund – Starrkärr kyrka 17 km

After 6 km I stopped at Dammekärr to refill my softflasks. I knew that I had a long stretch before I could fill up again, so I filled both bottles with Sportsdrink. The new stretch from Dammekärr to Starrkärr was really nice. A lot of small trails, but also some areas where there were no trails. Only trailmarkers and veggies. At Starrkärr church I filled 1 bottle with only fresh water, refilled the second bottled with sportsdrink and electrolytes. I reached Starrkärr Church after 5:35 and 48,7 km

Stage 5. Starrkärr kyrka – Skepplanda kyrka 11.3 km

At this time of day it was getting quite hot. In the shade of the trees in the forrest, it was managable, but getting out on the asphalt stretch approaching Skepplanda, it was really warm. Just before Skepplanda, at forsvallen, the route made a detour around the waterfall and the old rockcarvings. I lived here as a child, so it was really emotional running in thoose surroundings.  I refilled both bottles, one with sportsdrink and extra electrolytes, and one with just water. On the way out I stopped and had a chat with a fellow Ultrarunner. I reached Skepplanda Church after 6:55, and 60 km. Keeping the average pace at 6:54 min/km, and the pace in motion at 6:30 min/km.

Stage 6. Skepplanda kyrka – Lödöse kyrka 9,8 km

The route from Skepplanda passes over Alvhems golfcourse. At this point I was starting to get really overheated, and was looking for a place to take a swim. Not a lake in sight, and I did not want to swim in the water obstacles on the golf course, so I ran on.  At Lödöse kyrka I refilled both bottles, one of them with carbs and electrolytes, and one with water. I drank a good 1 liter extra as well. I reached Lödöse Kyrka after 8:29 and 69,8 km.

Stage 7. Lödöse kyrka – Lilla Edet 15,7 km

After a technical and hilly section after lödöse museum, the route came out on a long stretch on asphalt alongside the Göta älv river. At this time the temperature reading was 39 degrees, so when I saw a opening by the river side, I took a small detour, took of my backpack, shoes and socks, and went for a swim to cool down. I noticed a loot of blisters on my toes due to the moist, so I changed socks and added shea butter to my feet before I went on.

At km 77 I got to Tunge Church, where I filled up with water. The water was a bit murky here, so I don’t recommend this church for filling up water. So my stomach felt a bit shaky, and I burped a lot. I only drank the sportsdrink, to be able to refill te water at the next stop in Lilla Edet. I reached Lilla Edet  and Fuxerna Church after 10:46 and 85,5 km.

Stage 8. Lilla Edet – Utby 15,8 km

Passing over the river and over to the west side of Göta Älv, the route went up and down two mountains, where the trails were quite difficult from time to time. I did a lot of walking here, all the uphills, and also some parts where it was hard to navigate. At 96 km I stopped at the church in Hjärtum for a good refill of water and sportsdrink, knowing that it could be a long stretch without a chance to refill. I reached Utby  after 13:24 and 101,3 km.

Stage 9. Utby – Trollhättan 18,9 km

When I left Utby, the skies started to darken, and the heat wasn’t as pressing. I even got a few splashes of rain. I heard a distant thunder, but there was no real danger. The route was technical from time to time, and after 111 km I started to get a bit low on water. But I saw a waterhose on a building, and could get a refill here. It is always nice not to ration the water.

I reached te magnificent views of Göta Älv, and ran alongside the river, up and down, until I got to the power-station. There the route crossed over, and went 4km back down to the locks. At this stage I started to feel tired, and running was not fun any more. I refilled my bottles at the public toilet at km 119, and continued to the Church of Trollhättan, which I reached after 16:40 and 120,8 km.

Stage 10. Trollhättan-Vänersborg 17 km

At this point a saw the finishline aproaching. I also knew that I had to keep moving to get there before dark. Fortunately, the route leading to Vänersborg was really easy, and I managed to run long stretches at the time now. I got to Vänersborg before the sun got down, and I could reach the end of the route in daylight. The total time was 18:41:10, and the distance 137,66 km.

I walked back the last km to Vänersborg, and got a large cold beer when I was waiting for the train. Jocce came and joined me for a quick drink, and I got on the 23:09 train back to Bohus, where Linda came and picked me up.

The run is now published and approved as a new Fastest Known Time!

Route on Garmin connect:

Route on Strava: