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Published: June 22nd 2019
The parkrun starts and finishes right next to this.
When your contracts run out at work and you are to be unemployed for the next 3.5 months, perhaps choose somewhere cheap to celebrate no longer receiving a salary. Or, go to Scandinavia. And live off falafel. Sharing a single beer in four days.
The flights were cheap. Edinburgh to Copenhagen return costing about £50. We could pop straight over to Sweden for a couple of days then have the second couple of days in Copenhagen. But why there?
I may have previously mentioned parkrun in these blogs (https://www.parkrun.com/
). This free weekly 5 km run/walk/jog is great but can become a bit of an obsession. We are not even close to the levels of obsession some people have though we do choose to wake up at 7am on Saturday mornings – we get up around 8am during the working week – drive up to an hour just to reach a 5 km event that we haven’t done yet. On a good day it then only takes me around 19 minutes to complete the course. But at least afterwards we don’t just drive back again. We spend the day in the area seeing somewhere
we haven’t been before, getting a well-deserved second breakfast in a local café, and usually going hiking or seeing friends.
But would you go all the way to Sweden for a parkrun? Well not just any parkrun but once a year each parkrun country can have an extra event not on a Saturday. For example, the UK and several other countries choose Christmas Day, Malaysia chooses Chinese New Year, USA has Thanksgiving, and Sweden picks National Sweden Day on 6th
“Why don’t we go to Malmo for a Thursday Sweden Day parkrun then we can get in another normal parkrun on the Saturday in Copenhagen? That would be two new parkrun country flags gained.” was my initially ludicrous suggestion a month or so before the event. We laughed at how ridiculous it sounded but by then the seed had been sown. We both secretly checked flight prices, accommodation prices, and what there was to do in the area. It would be nice to celebrate our contracts ending and Copenhagen was a place I had wanted to visit so the trip wasn’t entirely for two parkruns in a week!
Malmö Ribersborg parkrun start line
Me in the red stripe. I don't usually start so near the front but I fancied my chances. Fourth place was decent though I was beaten by the bloke wearing a unicorn on a rainbow.
Malmo. Not much in the way of sights but a very pleasant liveable place. Lots of green space, a beach, a great indoor food hall near the train station and some fun National Sweden Day celebrations. It turns out that National Sweden Day is more of a thing for recent immigrants. It is to celebrate the people who have recently become Swedish. This was apparent at some of the concerts and events where there were more Swedish flags in the hands of people with hijabs and dark beards as opposed to six-foot blondes or Vikings.
The parkrun: it was flat and fast but exhausting on a pretty hot morning. I got 4th
place and 2nd fastest non-local in 19 minutes dead. I was a bit disappointed with that, but I can blame a trapped nerve in my back leading me to scoff ibuprofen like Smarties. We weren’t the only ones to nip over from the UK for the event as there were 144 runners that day whereas the average is 30-40. The post-run breakfast in the lovely café at the end of the pier contained ten times more Brits than locals!
The next day
we had a little side trip to Lund. I have a friend studying there and she warned us that it was pretty but you’ll see it an hour. She was right. It’s an old university town with some quaint streets and a nice cathedral. I think we spent most time in the glasshouses at the botanical garden looking at the poison dart frogs. And then it was onwards to Copenhagen…
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