Danes run. A lot. A highlight of the running calendar is the DHL Stafetten held throughout the country the last week of August. For 5 days, teams from virtually all companies, organizations and institutions compete in a 5 x 5km relay. Runners come in all shapes, sizes and age brackets with an emphasis not so much on speed but getting people active.
By far the largest Stafetten is the one held in Copenhagen with over 125,000 participants and up to 27,000 runners a night. Held in Fælledparken, the course is hopelessly cramped and congested due to the number of people. Although each relay team is provided with a food box, most companies splurge and bring in BBQs (and copious amounts of alcohol) to make it a special occasion. The worst part of the race is the last kilometer, gasping in fumes of grilled steak and hotdogs (pølser). The next challenge is locating your relay partner out of 5,000 other people waiting for the handoff.
Despite the congestion and fumes, the event is hugely popular and a good time is had by all…most, especially if the weather is good! I ran the last two years and anchored our team to two second-place finishes within our company and top 5% over-all. Although I was not able to participate this year, I did have the opportunity to go over and take some photos. Enjoy!