On Monday I handed in my master's thesis. In the flurry of things I had postponed until I finished said thesis, I still haven't gotten over the shock.

So here's what coming up.

1. The Ultrabirken 60 km trail race is TOMORROW! I've managed to stay pretty calm about this one, but last night I dreamt that I was getting ready to start and that I had forgotten my running shoes!

I've been tapering for three weeks now. I ran some the first two weeks, but this week I've taken completely off except a little bit of road biking.

Last week I was home for Dad's 60th birthday, and we had a great birthday run. I got us matching t-shirts for the race ('Team Strazilchek' which is a permutation of our last names, Bazilchuk and Strimbeck).

Team Strazilchek selfie on Liaåsen!

 I also gave him the Ultimate Direction SJ race vest. I hope it serves well at Ultrabirken!

Ultrabirken here we come!

Today I have to bake the race batch of chocolate raspberry brownies before I take the train to Lillehammer- and remember to pack my running shoes!

Follow me on Instagram for live updates pre- and post-race.

2. Next week I'm going to Switzerland as Swissman support for my friend Vibeke. Swissman is an Ironman distance triathlon through the Swiss alps, and as there are next to no aid stations, me and David (Vibeke's boyfriend) will be driving a support car. The race course ends on Kleine Scheidegg with a view straight up the North face of the Eiger, so I fully expect this to be spectacular as well as spectacularly difficult. Luckily I'll be driving the car, eating Swiss cheese and chocolate. Yum.

I spent Wednesday evening in a serious planning session. We were immersed in spreadsheets of distances, cut-off times and arguing about probable average speeds.

That's a serious-looking height profile.

Typical conversion:

David: But you should be able to run 8 km/h when it's flat no matter what, right?

Vibeke: I don't know! Maybe not after biking 180 km? Thinks for a moment. But yeah, 8 km/h is slow, I can do that no matter what. Put that down. Think some more. But what if I have to walk?

Me, consulting the master spreadsheet: If you have a bad day on the bike and then walk that section, there's no way you'll make the cutoff!

Ominous glances pass between the three of us.

The master spreadsheet.

3. Last, but definitely not least, is the imminent John Muir Trail trip. Last Saturday we put in another training hike. This time I had about a 17 kg pack. This is still likely a few kilos short of my max weight, and it's definitely going to take a few days to get used to the big pack.

The Parental Units (Mom and Dad) are ready to go.

We camped out on a beautiful little bog called Lomtjønna.

View of the campsite


Unfortunately, the camp chairs won't be coming along on the JMT.

After Ultrabirken and Swissman, I plan to post a bit more on JMT preparations, gear and so on, so stay tuned.

See you at the tail end of the Ultrabirken race!

- The Wild Bazilchuk


  1. First, good luck on your race! I just know you're going to be awesome! :) Second, I love that your family is so active and adventurous. My parents wouldn't run or backpack. Third, I'm pretty sure that crewing for friends is waaaaay more fun than racing ourselves. You get to see the course and enjoy the excitement, but you're able to walk the next day! ;)

    1. Thank you! Now that the race is over with I'm definitely excited to crew :)


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