I’m gonna start from the beginning. We started driving towards Kiruna Tuesday 4/8 around 15.00 hrs. Since the distance between Karlstad and the destination 1500 km and above the artic circle. We figured that the trip at least would take 25-27 hrs.
The roadside meal kit
So we took the E4 along the coast up to Kiruna we drove all night accept for short stops to eat, fill up the car and stretch the old legs. Around 16.00 hrs on Wednesday the 5/8 we arrived in Kiruna and checked in to Camp Ripan. Witch was the official place to stay. We mounted the tent and tried to survive the massive mosquito attack. Finally we got some food, a shower and it was time to hit the sack. The check in for the race was located just a couple of hundred meters from the camp and opened 12.00 hrs on Thursday the 5/8.
The mandatory kit
Out side the check in, headed for Nikkaloukta.
On Tierra Artic Ultra you need to check in everything and mark it up with the bib number. Since it a self supported race 120 km long 2500 m+. It’s a lot of stuff. Everything that one bring out on the should be brought back. If a race marshal find something you “dropped, will get you disqualified. As soon as I was finished at the check in counter we headed to the the starting point in Nikkaloukta. We found an awesome free camping spot not far from the start with a toilet and everything. Suddenly I came to the insight that 8 month of preparations have been coming to it’s end and tomorrow at 06.00 hrs the starting gun will fire. Surprisingly I slept good that night and the alarm was set to 04.00 hrs. The breakfast was the same as I always: melon, ham, butter, coconut oil, coffee and big bucket of mineral soup. I wasn’t nervous at all, I felt calm and relaxed. So we took off to the start and here I have series of events the bugged me for a while. I took out my Gopro to take some pictures and it had an unloaded battery. OK it’s not a big deal so I gave it to Erika. So I tried to start my GPS-watch and that one to was ALSO unloaded. That bugged me even more…. and BAM the start pistol fired and we where off! I’m very addicted to my watch and try to follow my plan as much as possible so what to do now. I came to think of my handheld GPS and tried to connect the puls censor to it. Because it got ANT+, but I didn’t get it to work, so fuck this I said to my self lets go oldschool. The first 20 km to kebnekaise fjällstation is very easy to run, with nice trail and not to much stones. I passed some runners up to the station and got passed my self a couple of times. My brake at this check point was very short. I just corrected my gear and clothes and took some painkillers for my hamstring. Then I took off for check point Singi cabins. It was still easy running with some up’s and downhills and river crossings. I got company with to nice female runners that made my day a little better. It’s always nice with company. In Singi I planned to eat the first real meal, but I wasn’t that hungry so I figured that I go to checkpoint Sälka and eat properly there instead. So in with the Ultragel, off I go. Now it was more uphill than downhill. My right big toe had a hot spot and I had felt it for a while. So when I came to Sälka I took a look at it, but it didn’t look that bad. I put some tape on it and seemed to be working. I took out my small kitchen and made my noodels with soy protein. It tasted havenly. Now I was getting close to the toughest part of the race the Tjätka pass so in with more Winforce Ultragel and a booster.
The Tjätka pass
My foot before I hit the Shower.
I really felt confident when the climb up Tjätka pass started and luckily my handheld could show me the way because the trail markings were very few here. When one stand on the top of this pass you see many km ahead and what you see is a giant stone field and a glacier river to pass. It’s easy to start to look for a better way. I say runners taking a very long d-tours, but I choose to face the stone field. This was a real foot killer, the hot spot became a hot toe and so on. At the next checkpoint I took another look at my toe and now it look awful. I changed the tape tried to contain the injury. When I started to run i could feel how the injury grew and grew. So I decided not to think about it any more, that worked better than tape. The dark was approaching and it was time to turn on the headlight. I pushed on in the dark and saw other runners in the distance and I felt so good. I had lots of energy, not to much pain. Everything was sustainable. Just before checkpoint Kieron it was this gigantic downhill witch I pushed really good, because I sensed that the finish was near. At the checkpoint I looked at the handheld GPS and it says 7 km. So I said to the race marshal that I’m gonna go hard the last 7 km and she answered: It’s not 7, it’s 17 Km to go! AT this point my relentlessness just disappear. My feet and everything started to hurt uncontrollably. So I decided to try to fix my feet so I could push thru to the finish. I took off my shoe and I could pour blood out of the shoe, took away the old tape and clean up the foot the best I could. When I started to move again I was in a really bad place it was like a living Nightmare. I counted the trail marking to stay awake. I bribed my self by saying to my self: Just one more trail marking then you can rest! When I got close to Abisko I phoned Erika to meet me and she walk with me the last 1500 meter to the finish. I think the last 17 km took me 4 hrs to do. The Final time was 27,5 hrs.
The lovely medal and finisher T-shirt!
This is a fantastic race and if you want an experience above everything I recommend this. I’m gonna sign up for next years race again. I Would like to thank My Erika for all your patience and all the love have give thru this year. Magnus Hallblom and his Company CAOUT for the support with the Winforce products. Peo Johansson and Magazinet Sport for all the good deals and all the awesome advises. Finally Thank you Tierra Artic Ultra organisation for a fantastic race. See you next year!