Journey to the finish line

12 June 2016


Among all the travels and experiences I've had the chance to go through, this one was the most difficult and yet the most beautiful.


Running a marathon had always been something I knew I would do but I kept on postponing it to "one day".
The thing is I'm not the type of person who keeps on pushing things to later. Still, it took me time to really get into running. I cannot even tell when was the moment I started to crave a good run on a daily basis.
All I remember is that back in November 2015 I was sitting in my friend's living room with her cousin  which I hadn't seen in years. We discussed about so many topics since we have a lot in common. We brought up running to the table and on a dare we both signed in to the Copenhagen marathon. Running my first marathon in Copenhagen was important. That's where I ran my first half. Copenhagen is everything to me and that's where I want to live the most beautiful and significant moments of my life.

After a few clicks on the Internet I was ready to start a new running journey. I was used to pretty long distances but had never gone beyond the 21.1 km limit. I tried to take it as easy as possible in the beginning and to hold back my impatience of pushing the boundaries. Motivation is key in such a long process, so is preventing injuries. And so it went for the first weeks, doing my best to balance easy runs and long working days. Until the end of winter showed up and made me realize that it was time to take things to the next level. I got used to running more than 20, then 25 and eventually ran 30 km. I know it's going to sound crazy but these long runs were the best. It allowed me to understand what one feels when meditating for so many hours. Because this is also what we do as endurance runners. We meditate but instead of sitting we run. Music wasn't always necessary. I managed to run 30 km twice and never met the so-called wall. These journeys both took me 3 hours and they made me stronger, more confident and in a way, happier. I was able to achieve something so many people couldn't. I felt ready for the Copenhagen marathon and couldn't have been more excited than I was back then.

Finally arrived Sunday, May 22nd. I woke up 3 hours before the race start so that I could take time to eat breakfast, get ready and arrive there without stressing out. I rode all the way to Islands Brygge with a bunch of Danish friends who were a lot more experienced than I will ever be. The vibe was good, the sun was shining and it was getting warm. Too warm. We hadn't expected that. I know how beautiful and sunny Copenhagen can be, still, I wasn't ready for this. Luckily I had a hat and sunscreen with me, which definitely protected me from too much sun. But hey, it's a marathon we're talking about. The race started as expected and I kept my pace at its wanted level for the first half. Then warmth kicked in and I started to struggle. The wall had just come out to play. The big party that is a marathon was slowly leaving its seat to more apocalyptical scenes of people throwing up on the side and lying on the floor. Still, lots of Danes were in the streets to cheer us and it really helped. Some even had bottles of water that they generously gave to the runners. Both my mouth and throat would feel dry only 2 km after stopping by the refueling points. My laps were hurting and my knees feeling funny. But my mind wasn't thinking this way. It wanted me to keep going and pushed me to the 36th kilometer where some of my friends were cheering. My boyfriend even ran on Dronning Louises bro with me, giving me all the energy I needed to finish. I remember the moment when I reached the 38th kilometer: I had reached the stage where I couldn't just give up. So I pushed and pushed and pushed until I reached Langebro which I knew was one of the last parts of this race. A few minutes later appeared the finish line and the word "mål (*)" written in big bold letters. This is the moment which will remain engraved in my memory forever. I was tired but mostly filled with joy and happiness. While crossing the finish line I raised my arms to the sky and let all my emotions go in a loud joyful scream. I even shed a tear no matter how cheesy it looked like. I had just done it. I grabbed my medal, loads of water and met with my friends who were all lying on the grass and enjoying the sun. Some of them had to abandon because of the heat. Many of them actually, which made me even prouder. 

It's been a three weeks since the Copenhagen marathon and I'm still surfing on that positive vibe. Running a marathon teaches one a lot about life. Endurance. Masochism. Goals bigger than oneself. And so on.

To the question would you do it again, I proudly reply that I wouldn't hesitate for a second.

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Om at løbe og gennemfør sit første maraton.

(*) Mål = finish line (in this context)

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