Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Favorite Hometown Runs: Kolding, Denmark

Editor's Note: This post is the first in NETT's new series of "Favorite Hometown Runs." This one comes in from Frank and provides a detailed tour of his hometown of Kolding, Denmark. If you've got a Favorite Hometown Run you'd like to submit, email to Crazy Dave.

I thought it could be interesting if NETT runners shared a favorite run from their hometown and thus gives us all a glimpse into different parts of the world, USA or New England. I will go first with a run I have done a number of times in my hometown of Kolding, Denmark. You can run along by using this course on MapMyRun:

Mile 0-2
The course starts from my parent’s house. They have lived there since 1975 meaning I lived there for many years myself. Within less than 2 minutes I am already on familiar trails running along one of Kolding’s tourist attractions, a botanical garden. We used to climb the fence after closing hours to play hide-and-seek in some grottos in the Asian section.

The trail becomes a gravel trail in ‘The Devil’s Canyon’ – yes they call it a canyon, despite at best having 30 feet hills on each side of the Dalby Mill Creek that runs through it. I spent endless hours climbing the hills, catching tadpoles and one time a trout along in this canyon.

After ¾ of a mile the trail becomes muddy as it continues inside a cow pasture before popping out on the road in the small suburb of Vonsild; it is pronounced “One Sild” which in Danglish means “One Herring”. I am not making this stuff up – it is a standing joke in Kolding. Between high school and college I actually worked as a bank teller in this little town.

Mile 2-3.75
I run up a hill, cross a major road and then down into “Hylke Valley” (not sure what Hylke means – possibly a wild flower). This trail runs along Seest Mill Creek. It is a great but sadly little used trail. At one section there is a huge amount of poisonous plants called “Bearclaw” next to the trail. The plants can grow to almost 7 feet.

Mile 3.75-5.25
The nice trail ends soon and becomes a single trail that first goes up then drops steeply down to a section that is so close to the creek it is saturated with water almost all the time. No point in trying to avoid wet shoes here so I just run through it. A bit further and it is steep up to the spot of Kolding’s only ski lift (yes, I kid you not). Needless to say there can go years between it being in use.

There is one more steep trail followed by a set of wooden stairs up the other side and into the neighborhood of my High School.

Mile 5.25-6.25
The next mile is on a road above “The Alpine Valley” - are you starting to get the point that we are very creative with the names of our geographic landmarks, despite the lack of real elevation ;-) There are some real nice views East over the city and the fjord. From here you can clearly see the Koldinghus castle.

Mile 6.25-8
I turn left down a winding road and right onto a trail along Kolding River. This trail is a wide gravel trail that is used by many for daily commute to school and work. There are typically lots of cows in the meadow/marsh.

Just before downtown I can see on the left side of the river the soccer fields where I played soccer. I was 100% convinced I would be the next Pele or Michel Platini (I didn’t care much for Beckenbauer). At one point Kolding Football Club was in the best league in Denmark and I got to play a couple of exhibition matches with several thousand people watching. Clearly none of the scouts ever wrote down my name and thus I ended up in Boston instead of Barcelona.

Mile 8-9
I follow the river through the edge of downtown to reach the place where the river flows into the fjord.

Mile 9-10.5
Right around mile 10 I can see the place where my grandparents lived. I have many fond memories of walking down to the fjord for picnic with them. My granddad lived there until 2004 so it is still very present in my life.

A bit further up is a small boat dock where my best high school friends and I used to sail out on the fjord to water ski in the summer. From here on there is a really nice run along the fjord but a description of that will have to wait for another time.

Mile 10.5-12
I turn away from the fjord and head back into Devil’s Canyon from where I have another stretch of trail before heading back up the last hill and back to my parent’s house.

3 valleys, 2 creeks, 1 river and 1 fjord, 1 castle and lots of trails and scenery in just 12 miles. Hope you can join me one day.

1 comment:

doris said...

Looks like a beautiful run. If Dave and I ever get out there maybe we can do it and also stay with your parents! I think I connected w/them that time I met them at Walden.