A 1,300-Km Solo Run Across Sweden
Q&A with Christine Hägglund, named Swedish Adventurer of the Year, on her unsupported run across Sweden
Photo courtesy of Christine Hägglund
Editor's Note: This is the second installment of a mini-series on trailrunnermag.com about women running multi-day adventures on the trails. See part I, a Q&A with Jo Meek, here.
On August 8, 2013, Christine Hägglund reached the 1,300 kilometer mark. She had just finished running the 807 miles from Treriksröset to Grövelsjön in Sweden, completely unsupported, in 39 days. The 42-year-old mother of three—ages 6, 8 and 10—decided to finally put her dreams into action, traversing sandy trails, barren chaparral and expansive meadows, all against the backdrop of Swedish fells.
On the way back from a triathlon training camp last year with her husband, Pär, “We started talking about what we wanted to do with our lives,” says Hägglund, an entrepreneur and motivational speaker, “and I brought up the idea [of running across Sweden]. He said, ‘You know, we have no idea, in 10 years from now we’ll have three teenagers at home and you may not have the physics to make it. Why don’t you just go this summer?’” Hägglund started planning immediately, and on July 1, 2013, she began her trip.
Hägglund is no stranger to dreaming big—and completing her goals. For their honeymoon, she and Pär biked Iceland. “It took us 22 days to go from Reykjavik to Akureyri in the north, back down through Vestmanneyar in the south, and returning to the capital again,” says Hägglund. The couple had known each other in university, but it wasn’t until they returned to their hometown that they realized they had a connection and wanted to leave the city—and moved away together. Even their eldest daughter’s first word was “tyr,” the Swedish word for “äventyr,” meaning adventure.
Hägglund thanks her active family life, both growing up and now, for her running capabilities and outdoor interests.
“We spent time in the mountains and in the woods a lot when I was little,” she says. “My parents loved picking berries, especially cloudberries, where you have to walk through swamps for a full day to fill up your buckets.”