F**k the bridge: Do you remember the first time? - Maddy Savage

Beyond excited is how I feel about spring finally arriving in Stockholm after the long winter, and SSideline City’s evening training sessions starting up again.


But for me the new season is also tinged with nostalgia and just a tiny bit of envy.


This time last year I ran with the club for the very first time, having turned up to the 2015 kick off. I was nervous about running in a group (for me it always used to be a solo activity) and a bit worried that noone would chat to me and the two mates I’d dragged along after spotting the event on Facebook.


However, it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’d made since moving to Stockholm six months previously. The existing crew immediately made us feel welcome. It turned out I was capable of running and chatting simultaneously. And I barely missed a week of training for the rest of the year.


With SSideline City I have explored some of the most beautiful running routes Sweden’s capital has to offer and developed great friendships with people from all over the world. Plus, despite the fact that we often enjoy a few cheeky drinks together, I’ve got healthier, stronger and grown in confidence as a runner. I even scored a personal best in the Nike Women’s 10k race last June.


Like many of the club’s members I’m a foreigner and while all the training sessions are in English, I’ve improved my Swedish since joining the community too. Twelve months ago I started practising a few simple phrases with some of the most patient (or just polite) locals. Now, although my grammar’s still pretty shocking, we’re more likely to exchange restaurant tips and dating disasters as we pound the city’s streets and woodland trails.


So, as the next batch of newbies prepare to hand over their email addresses and start ordering their first team kit, I am a little bit jealous of what lies ahead for them. The chance to experience what it means to be part of the SSideline City family for the first time. To enjoy that first high five. To taste that first  After Run beer. And to unlock the club’s special secret to tackling Stockholm’s most daunting bridge, together…


Maddy (repping the UK)

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Ssideline City is a social running community based in Stockholm, Sweden who have actively contributed to the Bridge The Gap global movement since 2014.

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