Racing and Exploring Denmark

A couple weeks ago, I traveled back to Denmark for the Copenhagen Athletics Games. I came for the meet and then stayed an extra week to explore what my friend likes to call the “real” Denmark.

I found Denmark to be incredibly relaxing. I’m always interested in finding out how people in other countries live and I love to learn about the differences in cultures and lifestyles. Denmark was full of welcoming people, sustainable energy, safe bike lanes, and calming pastures. Huge thanks to the Copenhagen Athletics Games for the well-organized meet, KZ Sports for getting me said meet, and to the Sandlykke family for hosting me.

So, without further ado, here’s what I got up to in Denmark:

Hjorring Sky in Denmark
 
 
 

Copenhagen

Of course, before I could have too much fun, I had to compete. I arrived a few days before the meet to help my body acclimate a bit better to the new time zone and to wander a bit more through Copenhagen.

I took a canal boat tour practically on arrival. I absolutely loved this and recommend it to anyone visiting Copenhagen. You can choose between a 60-min tour and a 90 min tour. With the 90 min tour, you have the option of hopping off at any of the famous attractions that are highlighted by the guide on board. I took the 60 min. tour and found the trip super relaxing. So relaxing, in fact, that I fell asleep to the relaxing drone of the tour guide and the calming sound of the water halfway through. Who can blame me; I just had an 11-hour travel day! I have absolutely no regrets though, haha!

 
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I competed here two years ago (and wrote a recap about it), so I wasn’t entirely unfamiliar with the city. Previously, I spent two days in the city and could only do a tiny bit of wandering. This time around I made time to appreciate the interesting Danish architecture and atmosphere that makes up Copenhagen.

I felt pretty relaxed and ready to go for this meet. In my most recent race recaps, I talked about how I’m finally learning to have fun with track. I’m focusing less on times and strict rules and more on enjoying myself and just giving it my all. In the past, I’ve found myself stressed about hitting certain times and running the perfect race, and it was all to my detriment. So far, the results of my mindset change are promising both on and off the track. Funny how it’s taken me all these years to get to this point, but better late than never, I guess.

I ran two rounds of the 100m dash - heats (preliminary rounds) and finals. I had an amazing start in my heat but never hit a second gear for the finish. In the final, it was a bit of the opposite. There were two false starts (no one was disqualified, though), so that might have contributed to my lackluster start. The rest of the race seemed like a struggle to keep up. I finished fourth with a time of 11.60 (-0.5 headwind). Not too bad considering I’ve had a month with no races. I wish I had a few more races right after that to really get going, but I’m also fine with heading back into training to get some work in. I felt so uncontrollable in some parts of the race, and aside from racing more, training to fix that is the next best thing.

(Link to Copenhagen Athletics Games 2019 Full Meet Results)

 
Copenhagen Athletics Games 2019, Heat 1. Photo Courtesy of  Michael Hyllested

Copenhagen Athletics Games 2019, Heat 1. Photo Courtesy of Michael Hyllested

Rachel Miller, Gemma Acheampong, Semoy Hackett and Ashleigh Nelson; Copenhagen Athletics Games 2019, Finals. Photo Courtesy of  Michael Hyllested

Rachel Miller, Gemma Acheampong, Semoy Hackett and Ashleigh Nelson; Copenhagen Athletics Games 2019, Finals. Photo Courtesy of Michael Hyllested

Copenhagen Athletics Games 2019, Finals. Photo Courtesy of  Michael Hyllested

Copenhagen Athletics Games 2019, Finals. Photo Courtesy of Michael Hyllested

Copenhagen Athletics Games 2019, Finals. Photo Courtesy of  Michael Hyllested

Copenhagen Athletics Games 2019, Finals. Photo Courtesy of Michael Hyllested

 

Hjorring

After the race and a quick shower, I hopped on a plane to Hjorring, one of Denmark's oldest towns. I came here to catch up with an old friend from Boston and to explore more of Denmark, of course. He and his family were my super awesome hosts and I loved experiencing a slice of their quiet, Danish lifestyle.

I finally got to ride a bike. I don’t even remember the last time I went on a leisurely bike ride, and this one did not disappoint. At some point, I’d definitely like to find time to get in more fun biking. This particular biking trip was aimed at seeing some of the windmills that littered the countryside. The windmills are HUGE! I tried to include a photo that hopefully serves as a good size reference, but I doubt it’ll do it real justice.

Three windmills power most of Hjorring, though there are many more scattered across the country. Seeing them in person, I really hope more of the US will adopt wind energy. They’re both sustainable and fun to look at. What more could anyone ask for?

 
Windmills in Hjorring, Denmark
Windmills in Hjorring, Denmark
Windmills in Hjorring, Denmark

I could go on and on about the little adventures I got up to, but I’ll just leave you with a few snapshots that hopefully convince you to visit Denmark yourself.

 
Rubjerg Knude Fyr, Hjørring, Denmark
The walk up to Rubjerg Knude Fyr, Hjørring, Denmark
 
The coast in Hjorring, Denmark
Streets of Aalborg, Denmark
Streets of Aalborg, Denmark
Shawarma at The Lighthouse - Hygge | Street Food
 
The Lighthouse - Hygge | Street Food; Denmark
The Lighthouse - Hygge
 
 

 

I definitely recommend Denmark if you’re looking to add another European stop in your trip. If you have any recommendations for other European adventures, let me know in the comments below!

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