Day 1 – Skagen to Oster Vra – 56km

I had placed a lot of weight on today. My ankle had not been tested for about 3 or 4 weeks and even then it was only for 25 minutes. So I really had no idea how it was going to respond to 35 miles on the road.

We all packed our luggage on to the truck before slowly wandering down to the port about 5 minutes away where the start of this adventure would begin. After about a thousand photos of the Japanese, we all stood behind the banner and listened to the mayor of Skagen as he gave us some kind words before firing the starters pistol and we were off. This was it! All the money, the concern for my ankle was behind me now. I just had to run and hope my mind and body would pull me through.

We had been told that today was going to be the hottest day for two years, but as we jogged out of the quiet, tidy streets of Skagen conditions seemed ideal, being a little fresh but with a headwind. The sun was no-where to be seen.  Plenty of time for that to change. We spent most of the first 20 odd km on lovely cycle track through pine woods and sand dunes. There were a number of cyclists out on the trail including a cycle club of at least 40 cyclists. Throughout the whole day all the Danish that we encountered whether on foot, bike or in a car were great. Allways slowing and giving us plenty of space with no aggression from the car drivers even when we forced them to stop as there was not enough room to pass.

So after we had finished with the track, it was out on to the roads. They were pretty much no real hills, but there were some gentle slope to break things up. This was all fine, but the uphills forced my foot to dorsal flex more than if I were on the flat causing a little pain. Overall though, I’d say things went really well. I kept swapping places with a  Austrian chap with a flag hanging out his bag, and with around 15 km left we made an unspoken decision to stick together which was nice. The last few hours were pretty hot as the sun peeped through what remained of the cloud cover. With just a few km remaining Russell Secker met us on his bike and rode with us for the final part.

I finished happy that I have survived the day. Tomorrow will be tough as I will be very stiff due to not having any running fitness due to resting my ankle. I know what to expect though and just have to drag myself through. This is the quickest way to get run fit. Not recommended though!

Tomorrow is a little longer, but I am already in the one day at a time zone. I am showered, fed, massaged and resting, so now I just need to recover lots before the morning.

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4 thoughts on “Day 1 – Skagen to Oster Vra – 56km

  1. Really well done Neil. Hopefully that’s put your mind at ease a bit. Really good time. Hope you are not too creaky in the morning though I’m sure you will soon run it out. Just look after that ankle. Love Mum & Dad xx

  2. Well done Neil, We’re right with you every step of the way. Nice and easy, one day at a time. We know you won’t give up unless you really have to and how much this means to you. Good luck.

  3. Hey Neil

    Accidentally came across your site today and realised I recognised you from UTSW. (I spoke to you briefly at LE on my way through). Sorry to hear how abruptly your race ended there, although with that beach ball you were calling an ankle, I was impressed you’d even got that far. I had no idea you had bigger adventures up your sleeve, just a couple of months on.

    This run you’re doing at the mo sounds incredible – I couldn’t think of a better way to see Europe… although, I’m under no illusion how big a challenge it is, especially after everything you have been through in the lead up to it. Which is why I had to drop you a note…

    I know that by just showing up to the start of TE after everything you must have gone through physically and mentally, takes a huge amount of guts and determination… so, I know you have what it takes to get to the finish. Look forward to reading about it. You’re a true inspiration.

    Wishing you all the best! One foot in front of the other,

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