News 09.10.2006
Team Plätzer

Norwegian and Nordic Championships in Copenhagen

When Stephan and I decided that I would complete the season with a 20km in the Norwegian and Nordic Championship in Copenhagen on the 7th of October it was because we wanted me to walk another good 20km. We hoped for good conditions both at home, to prepare good and in Copenhagen for the race. In the days before the race I checked the weather forecast for Copenhagen many times, I was afraid that it would be just as cold there as it got last week at home in Norway. Therefore I was also not so sure about how fast I could walk. I decided to "take it easy and see"!

The Scandinavian country's of Sweden, Denmark and Norway have had their national long distance championships together for some years now. Since we are not so many race walkers left in Scandinavia, it is better that we all walk together!! This year it was also time for the Nordic Championships again (every second year) and therefore it was perfect to have all the Championships together in one race. I think this is a very good idea, maybe other small nations have an interest to join the cooperation??

In Copenhagen the 50km race started at 10 o'clock, the 20km race at 11 o'clock.

We were lucky with the conditions in Copenhagen. It was warmer than at home and the wind didn't feel cold. We had 15-16°c, only 3 minutes of light rain during the whole championship, but we had a pretty strong wind. We walked on a nice 2 km course in the Valby Park. The Park has a lot of big trees that protected us from most of the wind and only 400m of headwind per lap was not to bad. It was very good conditions to be October in Scandinavia.

My brother Erik was ready to do a good debut on the 50km distance, but still Stephan told him to take it easy and do it as a hard training. He wanted him to have a good experience with the 50km. Erik did just as Stephan told him, he took it easy. It was really strange to see him walk that slow, normally he is walking 4 min. pace ( 4 min/km) or faster when he is competing, but in Copenhagen he started just under 5 min. pace, because of the long distance of 50km... Erik was patient and he did very well. He passed 25km just under 2 hours and then he walked almost 6 minutes faster for the last 25km. He was happy to become Norwegian Champion again, but for the first time on 50km. His time of 3h54:37 is six minutes faster than the best debut time of a Norwegian before. He also won the Nordic Championship :-)

I started my race as planned with Stephan. Not so fast the first kilometer and then increase the speed down to 4:30 pace for the first 10km. That was almost what I did, I managed to keep the pace until 8 km, but I felt good and I wanted to walk faster. I pushed a little on the pace and passed 10km in 45.04. I walked faster and faster every lap and I passed 15km in 1h06:50 (10-15km: 21:46) and I still felt good :-) Finally I didn't have to think about if my stomach would be ok, or if I would get pain again where I got injured this spring, or, or, or..... It was such a good feeling! I just focused on one lap at the time, walked them faster and faster and I finished the race with a very good feeling. Finally since six years I could just walk!!!!! 21:33 for the last 5km gave me a winning time of 1h28:23. It is my second fastest time ever, it's a championships record for both the Nordic- and the Norwegian Championship and it's a club record. But best of all, with this race I managed to climb back up on the podium, now I am ranked top 3 in the World! This was a very good end to a good comeback season which started with some trouble :-)

The Men's 20km was won by Robert Heffernan from Ireland, he did a good 20km and finished in 1h.22:24, Jamie Costin, also from Ireland was second. I am really happy to have Jamie back in the race walk circus after his serious injury just before the Olympic Games in Athens 2004.

Now I am looking forward to have some recovery!


More about the Valby Park

Valby Park - Map

©Kjersti Tysse Plätzer