Stoltzekleiven Opp
27th September 2014


Categories: Hill Race

Thinking back to Redbull 400, it was one of the most painful experiences of my life. I was therefore unsure as to why I found myself at the bottom of some stone steps about to put myself through a similar experience. Stoltzekleiven Opp is, like many races in my new hometown of Bergen, a race from the bottom of a very big hill or mountain to the top… this one just so happened to have a set of stone stairs up it and is one of the most famous hill races in Norway. The route is about 900m of running with 300m of elevation gain.
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The first time I ran up, I set a time of 9:08. This was a full minute over the record but still pretty good. Since then I have done the route multiple times in training for the Spartan World Championships – including with a 20kg sandbag. I was therefore hopeful that on the race day I could break 9 minutes.

A lesson I learnt at the Redbull 400 was how important it is to breath. Without breathing your not going to be going very fast for very long. I remembered this the first time I ran Stoltzen but duly forgot this time around. Setting off too fast I knew within a minute this was going to hurt! But hey ho, I was committed now and so started the slog. Thankfully, even though it was extremely painful, time did seem to speed up and before I knew it I was on the wooden staircases signifying just a tenth of the way to go.

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And thank God. On crossing the line I did like many, collapsed in a heap. It went beyond this though, usually I can recover from such an effort relatively quickly but something was different after this race. I lacked the strength to stand and even 10 minutes after finishing I had a strange pain beneath my eyes making me want to lie down and fall asleep.
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It took a small effort to tell myself how stupid I was being for acting in such a way and so was (relatively) soon up to jogg with Henriette back down feeling stronger with every step. My final time was 9:16, over the time I wanted but then it takes such an effort to produce such a time I can’t help but be happy.

Another race and another experience richer, I now look forward to getting back to some proper training and just running for enjoyment! I’m in the process of deciding between attending the Spartan UK Beast or make a trip to Limone, Italy and try my hand at sky racing. After that the Obstacle Racing World Championships is on the cards so exciting times!



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