The Urban Trail Series are popular runs in Belgium and the Netherlands. I’ve been running the Urban Trails in Ghent and Antwerp and everytime had a great time. When I found out the Urban Trail was coming to Stockholm, I didn’t hesitate: I wanted to be there! If you are a regular reader of Take me to Sweden, you know I don’t really need an excuse to go to Stockholm.
An Urban Trail takes you to places you’ve never been before. You don’t only pass by buildings, you also enter them! An Urban Trail isn’t about being the fastest runner (although I was from time to time checking the colors of the start numbers of the runners that passed me by as I didn’t want to start with the first group and finish with the last one), it’s about having a lot of fun. Unfortunately my Runkeeper app was completely in an Urban Trail mood and didn’t register my pace.
I was in the first group and had to be at Djurgården around 8 o’clock. Walking from my hotel to the start, I noticed more and more runners in blue shirts. Everybody who participated got a technical running shirt from Craft. It would have made a nice commercial to film everybody from all over Stockholm going to the Urban Trail by drone!
Running in Skansen
After warming-up we could go. It started quite challenging: uphill in Skansen! Skansen is a beautiful open air museum with old houses. Some actors were cheering for us, playing music and even dancing. Along the tour there were a lot of selfie spots. Great idea! Also: great for catching your breath again. Yes, I walked the first uphill. My goal was to run the whole time, apart from the stairs but not even 5 minutes in the run, I failed 🙂 Lucky enough for me: what goes up must come down and that first hill was the toughest. Afterwards, it only got easier (let’s just forget about the stairs for a minute).
Bring in some drama
After Strandvägen (how beautiful is this lane? Probably one of my favourite spots in Stockholm!) we got to run through Dramaten, the Royal Theater. You could choose the fast lane or stop for a selfie. What an amazing theater Dramaten is! Next time I’m in Stockholm, I might try to see a play here, in Swedish. Always keep challenging yourself!
Running in a gym doesn’t sound special at all but running through SATS during an Urban Trail is not something you experience every day! The staff in the gym were great cheerleaders and gave us some new mental energy. In Paradiset, a supermarket, they gave us some energy bars. We needed that. They have automatic escalators but they were off 🙂
In MOOD, one of the shopping malls in Stockholm, a dj pumped up the beat and with the beat our pace as well. Those who got tired could take a rest (or a selfie) in a hotel bed. We ran through the movie theater and some stayed to watch a piece of the movie and just before reaching the finish a classical orchestre performed in another magnificent building.
I have to admit: I hadn’t been running a lot lately. And it surely had been a while since I ran 10 kilometers. Apart from the first hill, I could run at a steady pace. Of course Urban Trails are pure fun: you are distracted by all the things that happen, you make some stops to take pictures and your time and speed are not important. I was surprised that I already reached the finish and still felt so energetic! Afterall, my breakfast consisted of a diet shake (don’t ask) and a blåbärsoppa.
If you are thinking about running an Urban Trail: just do it! You have Urban Trails in Belgium and the Netherlands and I think they have been organised in Copenhagen too. If the Urban Trail returns to Stockholm, I’ll be there too!