Exploring the City: Half-Marathon Edition

I finally did it! The big day arrived and was over faster than I thought – I ran the Copenhagen half-marathon last Sunday. After I got back from Sweden Saturday afternoon, I quickly rushed to packet-pick up to get my bib number and t-shirt for the half, which was scheduled for 11am the next day. I was pretty tired from traveling for the past 3 days with my class, but glad I was busy so I wouldn’t be stressing about the race. A few logistical things about the race, if you are thinking of signing up for it in the future!

I signed up for the race about two months in advance. This gave me ample time to train, and I believe it was cheaper to register further in advance (about 80 USD). I did have a friend here that registered two days in advance, didn’t train, and did just fine, though! I signed up here, and the page was in Danish so I had to translate everything, but it wasn’t too difficult and I ended up figuring it out fairly quickly.

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Before the race!

Getting to the race was a lot harder than I anticipated. The race wasn’t until 11am, which was a blessing, so I had ample time to get a good night sleep, get a good breakfast in (oatmeal with peanut butter and banana and a cup of coffee, of course), drink some water and mentally prepare myself before my two friends and I headed over. The race was a 20 minute bus ride from my place, in Østerbro, which is typically not hard to get to. However, we someone missed that because of the race they were closing down almost every bus line to Osterbro that morning, so we ended up waiting 20 minutes for a non-existent bus. We then were panicking and decided to take the metro to the train which took us a little bit closer, but we still had to walk 25 minutes to get to the start line! At that point we were speed walking and made it right when the first gun went off for the fast runners at the beginning. I’m not kidding when I say we were sprinting to get our bag to bag check, then just hopped into the race and started running right then. It was quite hectic, but our 25 minute speed-walk was a great warm-up! I would just plan better, and maybe bike because there is no good public transport to get you right to the start line.

The race itself was a lot of fun! There were 25,000 people running – I am not kidding when I say I’ve never seen so many people in one place at one time in my life. For the 6 miles I was weaving in and out of people because the street was PACKED with runners. The route was beautiful – we ran through I think 5 different neighborhoods – and I got to see a lot of the city I haven’t explored yet. The weather was fairly nice, in the low 60s, and it drizzled briefly at the beginning of the race but then cleared up and was perfect running weather.

By mile 10 I was struggling a little bit, but running is all a mental game and I pushed myself through to the end. I crossed the finish line just when I thought I couldn’t go any longer and I’ve never been more tired or proud of myself in my life. I beat my time from my last half by almost 15 minutes, so I’d say I was pretty successful! I didn’t even really care about my time, I just wanted to finish and have the experience of running in one of the biggest half marathons in the world. It is definitely an experience I will never forget!

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Additionally, the winner of the men’s race, Geoffrey Kamworor, broke the world record for the half-marathon, running it in a speedy 58:01, taking 17 seconds off the previous world record!

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Right after the race!! We were so happy to be done running!

The next race I will be running is with my host family in about a week! I think I bruised my foot during the half so I’ve just been biking this past week, but I’ve been itching to get back running and am very excited to run with my host mom! It’s just a 5K, so this will seem like a breeze compared to the half-marathon (hopefully!!).

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