Running is not my favourite past time…. But there are always exceptions and Lidingöloppet is one of them! The 15 km and 30 km routes are similar, with a section of woods and an impressive hill being omitted from the shorter run. Variety might be the key to my enjoyment of this run (the 15 km version I might add!).
Running through residential areas on roads isn’t so exciting, but that’s only a minority of the route. The rest is by the water, though fields and in the woods over a mixture of rocks, mud paths and gravel tracks. Ups, downs, some flat sections, but gorgeous views everywhere.
As with the other classics, there are a variety of different events the Lidingöloppet weekend. Start times are based on expected time to complete the run, with the first to go being the quickest. Music and personnel from a local gym are on hand to help everyone get warmed up and enthusiastic.
As most races are pretty big and some parts of the track are narrow, you might get caught behind others who are slower. For me, this was a refreshing breather, but for those who are keen to beat their personal bests, it might be worth considering participation in other races to “qualify” for an earlier/faster start time.
What to wear is a tough choice: being at the end of September, it could be summer, autumn or even winter weather. Rain would defiantly make for a slower race, with wet feet being guaranteed in the low-lying areas. No matter what the weather, coming out of the trees for the last 500m across a small field to the finish feels amazing!
Whether spectating or running, be prepared for the buses and tubes around Ropsten/Lidingö to be very very busy! Additional buses are normally put on especially, running a shuttle service between Ropsten and the registration area on Lidingö. If you’r running, don’t forget to give yourself plenty of time to get from the registration/bad drop off area… its longer than it seems.
Starting the run with a race to the start is not optimal. Yes, that’s the voice of experience!
So if this is something that appeals, you can sign up from 25th August, check out the Lidingöloppet website. Good luck and have fun! People cheering makes such a difference to tired participants. If you are not into this brand of madness, how about a day out to enjoy the scenery and cheer on the runners? Your’e sure to make someone’s day!
Written by Rona Strawbridge
Rona is a reformed couch potato who enjoys training in the gym, cycling, cross-country skiing and occasionally punishes herself with running. Whilst not particularly competitive, she enjoys a challenge to help her maintain her philosophy of exercising enough so she can eat whatever she likes. Her achievements to date include completing Vätternrundan and the halvklassiker.