Stockholm’s lycra brigade is a force to be reckoned with. Young and old clad in space age running technology are found pounding pavements and leaping through the woods on any given day.
In a city where “neon” is a lifestyle choice and Nike Frees fly off the shelves like hotcakes, why not join the craze and be part of the sweaty runnery trend?
We’ve compiled a list of 2014’s best races! From the toughest ones only crazy people would do to fun-runs with entertainment thrown in. Medals, t-shirts and the undying adoration of fans at the finish line – what more incentive do you need? Experience that runners high today!
SHORT AND SWEET 5KM
Parloppet Ease into running by dragging along a partner in crime. Split the 5km track around Haga Parken with a friend, your combined times will go in the running (see what I did there?) for the top places.
When: June 4
Bellmanstafetten Sweden’s largest relay race! 18,000 runners split into teams of five, each person runs 5km. Choose between men, women and mixed classes. You even get a picnic at the end!
Where: Norra Djurgården
When: August 20, 21,23
MID RANGE 10KM
Topploppet One for the family. You can walk, run (or cartwheel) 200m or 10km. Entertainers belting out show tunes will keep you distracted from shortness of breath. I hear there’s even a disco tunnel and an Elvis impersonator.
When: September 20.
Tjurruset Slog up steep slopes, crawl through muddy swamps, drag yourself through chilly water all while keeping up a steady stride rate. Autumn’s toughest off-road takes you through 10kms of demanding and sometimes trackless terrain.
Where: The secret location in Stockholm changes every year
When: October 5.
Hässelbyloppet Competition class and hobby runners log some of the fastest track times in this race. Run through Hässelby, Grimsta , Råcksta and Vällingbyvägen but leave your ski poles and buggies at home – this one’s serious running for the win.
When: October 12.
Vår Ruset Celebrate girl power this spring whether you’re 13 or 85. Do a 5 km at your own pace.
When: 26-27 May
Tjejmilen This is all about the ladies! 34,000 women run, jog or walk 10kms from Gärdet, Djurgårdsbrunns canal, Blockhusudden, Rosendals Slott and the Nordic Museum. There’ll be live music, a samba orchestra and dancers to keep you motivated along the way. Did I mention that these guys give you FREE CHEESECAKE at the finish line?! Talk about incentive!
Where: Djurgården (starting at Gärdet)
When: 6 September
Stockholm Tunnel Run Don’t miss this once in a life time opportunity! Run through the Norra Länken tunnel before they open it for cars only. Choose between elite, exercise, charity, wheelchair or Nordic walking classes. To keep you entertained, there’ll be music, lighting installations and visual nature experiences (not sure what that last one means, but register to find out!).
When: November 22
Midnight Run How to make a run even better? Kick off at midnight, throw in samba and dancers and an adoring crowd! You can even come in costume so dig out those wigs and make-up! Plus, all runners get a neon Nike Dri-Fit t-shirt, now that’s what I call positive reinforcement.
Where: Zinkensdamm Ring Road
When: August 16.
Color Me Rad
Read our YLC coverage for more info.
When: June 7
FOR THE WARRIORS/CRAZIES
Tough Viking Fancy some fire, ice, barbed wire, mud and or electricity to spice up your run? With obstacles designed by the special forces (with a touch of sadism), this is Sweden’s maddest extreme race. 15,000 participants grunt and growl through 10kms of pain, sweat and the occasional electric shock. People with heart conditions should not apply.
When: August 30.
Ö Till Ö What started as a drunken challenge between bar owners and staff trying to shirk the bar tab has evolved into one of the craziest endurance races in the world. Teams of two swim 10kms and run 65kms between islands in the archipelago.
Where: It starts at Seglarhotel, Sandhamn and finishes at Utö Värdshus, passing Runmarö, Nämdö and Ornö islands on the way.
When: September 1.
LONG AND STEADY WINS THE RACE
DN Stockholm Half Marathon Run past the Royal Palace, Swedish Parliament and the Royal Opera House. Grin and bear this 21,098 metre long course through scenic Stockholm because masses of people will be watching!
When: September 13
ASICS Stockholm Marathon This ones a biggie – 21,500 runners from all the world over fly to Stockholm just for it. Run 42.2 kms and to finish with a homecoming lap around the Olympic Stadium to a roaring crowd.
*2014’s race is already full so register early (May 31) for next year’s marathon, June 6, 2015. Turn up and cheer on the runners instead!
Stockholm Ultra Marathon A marathon not hard enough? Do an ultra and run 50kms or 100kms around Djurgården. This is elite endurance running at its best. Doctors, medical personnel, foot care specialists and masseurs will deal with any boo-boos. Showers to cool you down and snack stations to keep you from dropping from exhaustion (this being Europe, they even offer alcohol free beer). Maximum times for 50km race – 7 hours, 30 minutes and 100km 15 hours (that just sounds brutal!).
When: August 9
Stockholm Marathon Group organizes most running events in Stockholm or check My Next Run.
Intersport and Nike+ Run Club organize free training nights every Wednesday 17:30 from their Drottninggatan store. Get a free t-shirt when you register.
Couch to 5K and Zombies, Run! are great apps to get you started if you’re not a runner…
Featured Image: Peppe702/Flickr (file)