THE PARTY PRINCESS THAT BECAME ULTRA-RUNNER QUEEN

12/22/15

The party princess that became ultra-runner queen

One would like to believe that a person that has just run 214,2 kilometers in 24 hours, runs 100 kilometers in 7:52 and eats marathons for breakfast, has been running since childhood. But no. Ultra-runner Frida Södermark started her running career at the age of 28 and ran her first mile only nine years ago.

Frida Södermark is ranked as one of the top ultra-runners in the world and she is always on the hunt for new adventures. Through the years, she has been running a great deal of marathons on both Swedish and international grounds. When she in 2012 felt that the regular marathons no longer made her tired, she raised the bar and headed for ultra running. After scoring a gold medal in her very first competition, 100 kilometers during the Swedish national championship, she was hooked. Since then, Frida has finished as number eight in Comrades – the worlds biggest ultra marathon -, won the Wings for Life World Run and also been running all the way from Vienna to Budapest, a modest distance covering “only” 320 kilometers.

-       “When in high school, I loved to play floorball but I would not say that I was the typical sports girl, I was actually more of a party princess. But I have always been energetic and loved to challenge myself.”

 

Frida Södermark photo: Richard Ström

Her motto is to put life first and training second. There are simply to many new things and places to see, food to eat, people to meet. While other runners disappear inside their bubble weeks before a competition, Frida continues to live a normal life.

-       “I would never cut down on anything I like. Instead I try to find a natural way to make exercise fit into my everyday life. If I have a meeting in Finspång or Kolmården, then I will run there. And running competitions are the worlds best training”.

 

Her relaxed attitude towards her athlete career makes many question if she is just rallying.

-       “I don’t walk around worrying, instead I do what I like and eat what I want. If I am visiting a new country I want to be able to explore and discover new street food, not just sit at the hotel.”

 

According to Frida, the most important factors for success as an ultra-runner are the energy input and a strong mind.

-       “When running for such a long time, the key is to add energy to be able to keep up. During my races, I make sure to consume energy gel, sport drinks or a sandwich every half hour. As a beginner, the key is to spend many hours in a row on the road, not caring about the time or the pace. Try to enjoy the beautiful surroundings instead.”

 

Frida Södermark photo: Richard Ström

During the Wing For Life World Run 2015, Frida did'nt manage to run an ultra marathon distance, but a marathon was more than enough– as she won the female class with a distance of 42,2 kilometers.

-       “I love the concept of the race, the fact that everyone can join and that all revenues goes to such a good cause. Of course winning was a fantastic experience and now I have the luxury to choose where to run for next year. Canada, Brazil or Asia are good candidates – whatever I choose, gold is my final goal!”