Curious what it’s like to race on the trails of Norway? Runner Amy Woolridge Sunde did just that at the Tromso SkyRace. Read Amy’s race report below.
Tromso Sky Race 28k Report
by Amy Woolridge Sunde
Why this race? A lot of people have asked me that since I signed up for this race in February. After attending so many of Erik’s (Amy’s husband) ultras and seeing every walk of life running (or hiking), I was inspired to find my own trail race that could challenge my physical and mental limits. Distance trail running was new to me, so I decided on a 28k (17.4 miles… turned out to be 20.4, but who’s counting?) race in Norway. Planning a fun trip around the run was the perfect motivation!
I was never an athlete – my only activity was watching my boys play sports. At age 56, looking for ways to cope with some emotional upheavals, I discovered I loved to run. It changed me, brought me out of a depression I didn’t even know I was in, and gave me the courage and confidence to take control of my life and really start living in a way I had never thought possible.
With the help of three wonderful, inspiring women, I went from barely jogging a lap around the track to running the 2017 Boston Marathon. The first is Kim Laakso, a friend and co-worker who convinced me to join the Arvada Running Club, an informal group of fun and supportive women. Thanks to Kim and the ARC, at 58, I decided to run the Marine Corp Marathon in October, 2014, and I finished in 4:39:32. I loved the experience, but wasn’t sure I was up for another one. Then I went to an event featuring Kathrine Switzer – the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. When she suggested I join her 50th anniversary celebration at the 2017 Boston Marathon, it seemed like a pipe dream, but I couldn’t quite get it out of my head. In April, 2015, I met Jenni Nettik of Mercuria Running at the Highland Tap and Burger Run Club, and when I told her about my dream, she convinced me I could do it, and she showed me how! On October 18, 2015, the 13th anniversary of my father’s passing, with him, Jenni and a host of others providing moral support, I ran the Detroit Marathon in 4:17:20, good enough for a 60-year-old to earn a spot in Boston in 2017. While I was at it, Jenni encourage me to sign up for the New York City Marathon this November. I’m so excited to be training with Jenni again. She is a genius at breaking down the massive amounts of information out there about how to become a better runner, and arriving at fundamentals that she helps you master, all the while making it so much fun that you wish you could have a daily session! Kim and Kathrine helped lead me to dream, and now Jenni is helping me to live it.