Monday, September 30, 2013

Running up a steep hill

On Saturday I decided to run up a big hill. 'The steepest in Oslo', they said. Being new in Oslo (I only moved here after I got home from France), and enjoying steep hills, I decided I would join the race.

Me and every other fit female in the region.

At the starting line five minutes before twelve o'clock, over 400 ponytails bobbed as they jogged in place.
Shamelessly filched from Oslosbratteste.no, the official race website

Past the two RedBull arches was not just a hill. Imagine that you are standing at the bottom of a ski hill. Imagine that it is a black diamond run - very steep. Now imagine that there is no snow on the black diamond run, and that you propose to run straight up it.

This is about the time when I realized this might not have been a brilliant idea.

When the start signal went off, and 400 women began charging up the hill, I also realized I should have started further forward, because I was basically being swept away by a tide of women in tights. But I went with it, and did what I heard was smart - start walking on the steepest part before your legs give out (kudos to this blog, in Norwegian).

When walking is still the most painful thing you've done in a long time (Picture taken by the race organizers)
Somehow, you get to the top of the black diamond slope, and then there's a downhill and flat section before the ultimate hill. I shook out my legs and charged down the downhill part as fast as a could.

The last hills were pretty steep, but much shorter rises than the first big hill. 'I shouldn't relax,' I thought, 'this shouldn't be easy.' So I started running up the hills, and then it wasn't so easy anymore.

By the time I felt like I had to vomit, a sign told me I was only 200 meters from the finish, and my boyfriend was cheering me on. So then I had to run a little faster. I also was passing a lot of people who had clearly overestimated there abilities on the first hill. Passing people is possibly one of my favorite activities.

Up to the finish line
When I crossed the finish line, I saw tens of women in tights lying around. I barely had time to think, 'they look stupid', before my legs gave in and I collapse too.

Two point seven kilometers, four hundred and seven vertical meters in 25:11. All I got was this stupid hat (also not my photo):

People in matching hats. I've got one two!

And I was queasy for the rest of the day. Guess it's time to get off my bike a little more often!

- The Wild Bazilchuk

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