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Jade Belzberg Sunday, 20 April 2014 00:00 TWEET COMMENTS 3

A 1,300-Km Solo Run Across Sweden - Page 3

Photo courtesy of Christine Hägglund


Q & A with Christine

What did you carry with you during your 39-day unsupported run?
I had a very good plan and knew exactly where I could restock food. In the beginning, I had seven days when I would not be able to buy any food, so my pack weighed about 14 kilograms, (roughly 30 pounds). I knew I could buy food in the mountain huts. During the last week, I was able to buy food every 15 kilometers, and I didn’t have to carry more than some safety food. Other gear essentials included a sleeping bag and pad, a compass, map, and a small portable stove. I also had a camera, cell phone, journal and even a crossword magazine, for long and lonely nights. There’s a list on my blog.

How far did you run each day?
I averaged around 35 kilometers a day. I didn’t want to push myself too hard. I wanted to make sure that my body would make it the whole way.

What did you eat?
For the first weeks I ate freeze-dried food, but after a while I had a hard time swallowing it. So I switched to making my own oatmeal mixes, with fruit, powdered milk and some nuts. I’d just boil water and mix. When I passed a village with a small supermarket, I would buy so much food and just eat for all the hours I was there.

Did you come into contact with anyone during your trip?
There were days when I didn’t meet any people and there were days when I came to villages or huts and met many other hikers. I had a friend join me for two days. I was passing my hometown, so she took the train up and ran with me. We slept in my little one-person tent that night, just giggling and talking. It was so great, after having been alone so much, to have someone to share all the good and bad times with.

Did you struggle with being away from your family for so long?
I felt a bit like I went in to my own country of Narnia, like I had my own time, my own world, that wasn’t connected to the world outside. I didn’t feel lonely many times but talking with my family on the phone sometimes made me miss them. I called home from one place and wanted to talk to my youngest daughter. She said she didn’t have time and that we’d see each other in six weeks. But wait, I said, there are only four weeks left. She said, “OK, four weeks then. By the way, Grandma’s oatmeal tastes much better than yours, because she lets me have sugar on it.” And then I knew I didn’t have to worry.

Do you have any upcoming adventures on the horizon?
Together with a good friend, I'm planning on doing a 110-kilometer swim in a river between Åre and Östersund in Northern Sweden. The waters are cold and dark, so we're hoping to finish it in six days, sleeping in tents on the way. It requires a little more logistics than my other trips as we’ll need a safety team around us, but we're having so much fun just planning it. I’m sure we’ll have even more fun doing it.


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