Hej! Greetings from Herning, Denmark
Just coming off the back of racing Challenge Herning, in Denmark and The Danes sure know how to put on an event, and they know how to party!
Herning, is just 30-40min drive from Billund Airport, but also options of flying into Arhus, or Copenhagen and driving (about 3hour drive).
Billund is also home to LEGO, and LEGOLAND so plenty of fun to be had for the whole family, and adults included, if like, me you are a bit of a LEGO fan! It’s ok to admit it! LEGO is pretty awesome! You’ve also got, wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen not to0 far away as a great city to visit, if you come to Herning to race.
Photo: James Mitchell
As for the race. It’s another race based in the heart of the city of Herning. Whilst the start is 5km out at Lake Fuglsang, (but super easy to get to) the bike course tours the gorgeous Danish countryside, bringing you back into the centre of town for the run.
The weekend kicks off on Thursday night with the Keep Smiling Fun Run. It’s hard not to smile and have fun at this event again going right through the heart of the town.
Race day itself is a leisurely start, at midday, but along with the middle distance race, there’s also a Challenge For All Triathlon encouraging beginners into the sport, and a sprint race for juniors too. The atmosphere at the swim start is awesome. They have live music playing and the announcers are some of the most enthusiastic and energetic I’ve met or heard!
So, to the race…
A one lap course in a lake, with lots of supports from the banks creates a great start to the race.
The bike is one loop, taking you around the stunning Danish country side. It’s pretty flat, but has some rolling terrain, and can get a little bit of wind in all directions with the terrain and openness of the countryside. It’s pretty much fully closed to vehicles which is great, and the marshalling is excellent at any turn or junction. The bike starts 5km out of town, but brings you by T2 right into the town centre for the run.
Photo: James Mitchell
The run is a four loop course that weaves in and out of the central town streets, which are lined with cafes and bars, and with the midday start for the race, it means there’s a great atmosphere. The run is unique too. It spirals up and over the road via a foot bridge, and then zig zags through town, taking you right through the middle of the library.
This was my second race of my European summer, and second time back to Herning. There’s a reason why I came back, because the team at Challenge Herning and Challenge Denmark are just awesome. I think Denmark has to be one of the friendliest countries in the world, and they really know how to party. The atmosphere on the run and at the finish line was just awesome.
Unfortunately, I suffered with a flat tire within the first few kilometres of the bike, and whilst I managed to change it lost a fair bit of time. At that point I was in 4th out of the water but charging to catch up with the speedy swimmers up ahead. When I got going again I’d dropped back to 6th, but was fired up and set about with nothing to lose to see what time I could make back up. By the end of the bike I’d managed to get myself back up to third, but was 5minutes off the lead. It was going to be a tough ask on the run to close the gap but I gave it a shot and moved into second, and started to take time out of the leader, but needed another lap, or of course a bit more speed to have caught the winner. So it was another second place for me, and another second after being second in 2017 here.
If I take out the flat tire, there were some good positives to take away, and even learning from the flat itself, so whilst a little disappointed not to take the win, all was not lost.
Congratulations to Pernille Thalund! It was great to see her win as a Danish athlete. Also to Frankie Sanjana for third, as well to all the other Pro Women and to everyone who raced in any and all of the events.
Photo: Challenge Denmark
Challenge Herning is a great event, and I am very pleased I came back to this year. It should definitely be a race to put on your list for 2019!
Until next time…. Farvel!
Don’t Die Wondering