For the second year in a row, a group of us from Run With Me Stockholm went out to Vaxholm last weekend to run the 5/10 km Strömmingsloppet. The Strömmingsloppet is a series of small community races, many for children, and is a long way away from the large (and expensive) races operating in Stockholm throughout the year, run mostly by Stockholm Marathon Gruppen.
Part of the appeal of this race is the fact that it's in spring (should be warm and sunny?) and in the archipelago, making for a nice day out. Most of us started the day with a boat trip from Stockholm to Vaxholm, which is a great trip out through the inner parts of the Stockholm archipelago.
Once we arrived and registered we had an hour or so to wait before the race started, with the final pre-race warm up a typical Swedish running event dance warm up session.
We all split off for different start positions, with people aiming for different finish times. I lined up next to Markus, with my aim being to run between 39 and 40 minutes for the 10 km. In 2016 I had run 39 minutes, putting me in 8th spot, but was expecting to run a little bit slower this year having been out on 10 km running tour earlier that morning. It's a hilly course so not one you expect to run a PB on.
I managed to keep a 3:45/km pace through the first half of the race but once I got out to the trail sections on the far end of Vaxholm I dropped back down to 4:15/km. In the end I ran a 39:43, so a fair bit slower than the previous year but still a time I was happy with. Markus finished first in our group in 10th with a 39:37.
We met up after the finish line to eat, drink and recover. Just before heading off for a shower and pub meal we heard it announced that Run With Me Stockholm had won the team prize for the 10 km run! We weren't sure exactly what that meant and how we had won it, but half of us waited around to see what we would win while the others went to the pub. It seemed like the team prize was bigger than the individual prizes, which is representative of the spirit of the race.
Turns out that the calculation for the team prize is this: they take your four best times, add them together, then subtract 4 minutes for each additional runner from your club who is participating, but up to a maximum of 6 people. For winning (in around 2 hrs:22) we received a big trophy, which we were told needs to be returned next year, a small trophy to keep, and some tea, cookies and marmelade.
A few beers and some late lunch rounded out another great day out in what is a really tough but enjoyable community race in Stockholm. Until next year, let's see if we can defend our team title.