1st of January, half of Sweden wakes up with a pounding hungover. And probably so do the January battlers. However, they get out of bed and tie up their shoes. There is a battle to be fought, a battle that is won running, with willpower, and endless hours foam rolling. Ahead of them 31 days of non-stop running with one goal in mind: run 400km in merciless January. Some people say running is a lonely sport, but even when the battlers were running alone early in the morning or late at night they knew that they had a team supporting them, and a whole crew looking after them. The outcome? A glorious 8th place out of 26 crews from all over the world, and 3756km ran. Cheers!
Meet team Ssideline City for 2018:
Mares: Monday 1st January 2018. The beginning of a new week, month, year and for me it was the first few miles of training for the London Marathon. After watching both my parents complete this race in the 1980’s, this year I will be following in their footsteps.
London will be my third attempt at the marathon distance. My first was in Stockholm, where I met Ssideline City. Even though my training had gone to plan I fell apart early on in the race. There were tears and dark moments when I considered pulling out. The bridge most definitely fucked me. My second attempt was in Copenhagen. Travel plans had disrupted my training so I had to adjust my race day expectations. This time I remained positive during the race and although slower than before I was able to beat my marathon demons.
So why battle? If the last two years of distance running has taught me anything it is that at times running can feel lonely, can bring you to tears and fill you with frustration. What enabled me to move forward was the encouragement from friends and strangers. This helped me achieved more then I previously believed I was capable of.
In undertaking this battle as part of Ssideline City I’m pledging to put in just that little bit more to my training – to give that extra 10%. My intention is to complete my first few weeks of marathon training injury free and smiling, and to continue to pass on encouragement to both my friends and those I have yet to meet.
Anneliese: I hate writing…
For #JanuaryBattle2018 I want make running even more a part of my daily routine. I live just over 5k from work so I am planning to run commute several days a week to the office and hope that over the month all the short runs plus a few longer enable me to surpass the 200K I ran last year but also to finish stronger and stay injury free. Running for me is about both physical and mental health, I am not the fastest runner but I don’t let that stop me. I like having mini challenges for myself when running like running so many kilometres a week or to test a certain distance, or find hills to train on in Stockholm. Running lets me have quite time to think and process thoughts, it lets me connect with friends, and it allows me to see nature and explore Stockholm – a city that I love more and more as I run it. I hope that when #JanuaryBattle2018 ends, that I have developed a good system for continuing to run commute to work in the future! I will also be fighting cardiovascular disease, diabetes and dementia by running, developing such good habits now is probably the best medicine for myself later in life.
My motivation comes from myself for having continued to surprise myself to go beyond what I believed was possible, 5 years ago the longest race I had run was 10K and it was awful, now I will be doing that most days. My friends and family motivate and inspire me, especially those who have been through difficult times, when I am on a long run and need some mental strength they are the ones I think of and smile. I am also motivated by the people who have taken the time to run with me, shared new routes with me, pushed me to go faster, messaged me, fed me, let me throw up at their home after a long run, commented on my Strava runs and basically said they believed I could meet my goal of doing a Marathon. Honestly, I am not inspired by seemingly fit fast men, I am inspired by every woman who runs, especially any woman who looks or feels like her body is not a runners body or athletic, who runs even though she worries about her safety, who feels like an underdog but does it anyway – those women are my heros!
Adam: NYE 2016 was a big watershed moment for me and my, up to that point, short running career so far! I decided to quit cigarettes and focus on running – it turned out to be a great idea! In 2017 I worked hard on my speed and distance and also found out that I just loved to run. The feeling after a run is indescribable! I joined Ssideline in the summer and it has just fuelled my enthusiasm even more. I have a few goals this year – to complete my first marathon and to run a 10k under 40 minutes. The first challenge however is to help my crew in the January Battle! January is always a dark and depressing month so what better way to lift that gloom than to get out there and run run run! Running keeps me focused and healthy and I’ve made some great friends through Ssideline. Thommo x
Uncle Omar: I joined JB because I wanted to start 2018 with a challenge a have never try. To run feels better in body and mind. Ssideline city helped me to improve my running and become a member of a family who cares for each other.
Henrik: For me the January Battle will be a fight against my inner self. To push my limits further and to show what previously seemed impossible now is possible. When I started running in the summer of 2015, I’d never even run 10K before. Now I’m supposed to run more then 10K, every day, for an entire month. I’ve also found out that running gives me such good energy. No matter how I feel before a run, running always makes me feel better. It will surely be a painful month in many ways. But when we finish the January Battle together, I’m certain it will be with such a positive energy. The January Battle with the Ssideline crew is about sharing the experience of a challenge like this as a team.
Amanda: I joined January Battle to challenge myself to keep running through the darkest and coldest month of the year. During this month I aim to let go for the flow in my running, a pace which is just perfect for me, the perfect balance between too fast and too slow, where I can go on forever. I also aim to find ways of adding more running into my weekdays, especially by exchanging my daily bike commute to work with running. I believe that the biggest challenge for myself and my team this month is to avoid injuries, to listen to our bodies and not get carried away by numbers and tracking on Strava. I want to stay away from injuries, and have a long term dream to keep on running when I’m old, 70 years and above, and be able to do marathons without problems if I want. As Haruki Murakami put it – I’ll be happy if running and I can grow old together.
Michal: When Michal goes into beast mode he smiles, he is a hybrid between a mountain goat and a human. He might be sick at the moment, but beware streets and trails of stockholm, he is coming to get you!
Anna: I am in The Battle because I’m a fighter. I’ve started to compete in running in age of 9, my coach motivated me. I run because I can and I miss it when I don’t. At the same time I’m trying to take The January Battle easy and not to get injured – tough when you work for your team!! GOOD LUCK EVERYONE SSIDELINE FOREVER
Alyona: Running is my passion it has always been this way. I run when I am happy, I run when I am sad, I run when it is sunny and I still run when it is rainy. Running helps me refocus, refresh and recharge. Hope to never stop running.
Miguel: I don't run far. I drink beer and run fast (or I try). Last year I took part in January Battle, got injured… So this year I decided to be the lazy coach on the side cheering and organizing stuff for the Battlers.