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.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

How not to taper for a 10K

Frank KJ provides his thoughts on his preparation for his second place finish at the Malden 10K Race

Last Saturday: Great long run. Sunday: Great bike ride.

Monday: Total headache - allergy or cold. Definitely a cold.

Tuesday: Went through what seemed like 5 Kleenex boxes

Wednesday: Went through what seemed like 4 Kleenex boxes. Swam 25 minutes and biked one hour in the gorgeous weather; riding way too hard for a person with a cold!

Thursday: Went through what seemed like 3 Kleenex boxes. Headache gone so attempted to run - after 60 seconds my body begged me to stop. So I walked back home

Friday: Went through what seemed like only 1 Kleenex box. Yeah

Saturday. Game day decision to race. First mile was good. Next 3 miles were like "I think this was a bad idea". Last two miles I pulled myself together if not physically then at least mentally. Ended up taking 3rd overall and 1st master (or so I believe). Not quite the time I was looking for but I will take it and hope the warm weather returns soon.

And I am still keeping the Kleenex box nearby.

Nice work Frank! Third place in any 10K is...wait for it.....NOTHING TO SNEEZE AT!!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Mini Ponies Recovering in Dedham

Here's a story about one of the heros who rescued these mini ponies:
Mini Horses, Extraordinary Hero


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

MiniPonies on The Facebook

Yup, we have finally submitted to the pressure. Mark Zuckerburg calling us, sobbing, saying "It's just not complete without the MiniPonies."

Betty White, whose career was revived on the Facebook, visiting NETT headquarters to offer her own brand of female persuasion.

Angry Birds crashing into our window panes.

Yes, finally we have caved and NETT now has the Facebook. Its here:

So enjoy all you cyberpunks and cyberpunkettes. Like us. Love us. Friend us. Poke us. Call the pizza guy. Turn it up to 11. Spread the gospel of the MiniPony to the outer limits of cyberspace. Bring those like-minded souls into the fold and convert the heretics. Okay, maybe I'm getting a bit too dramatic here.

But know this: you can never unfriend me!

Monday, March 05, 2012

NETT Ponyettes Stop Traffic. Literally.

Green light.
Yellow light.
Red light.
The NETT Ponyettes decided to dress like a traffic light this week so they can control traffic on their runs. Safety first!