Barely 20 years old and already a Lidingöloppet veteran. For Albin Gezelius from IFK Mora, the story with Lidingöloppet began as a six-year-old in Knatteloppet in 2009. Since then, together with his family, he has been faithful to the race every year.
- It is absolutely one of the highlights of the year, says Albin, who finally got to win last autumn after having lined up fine positions over the years.
- I have been fighting for a win for a long time, the closest I was in the Boys 15 class when I was second only a few meters behind. And finally, it worked!
Albin won the Men 19 class with a time on Lidingöloppets last 10 k of under 34 minutes!
So it's, to say the least, a well-trained guy we meet during one of all his seasonal changes. He is active – and successful – in many sports. After a winter of cross-country skiing and ski orienteering, now orienteering, athletics, trail running and cross-country running await. He himself has a hard time deciding what he invests the most in.
- Everything is fun, so I try to catch up with everything, he says.
And since all the sports he is involved in are cardio sports, he has built a strong base to work from.
Lidingöloppet this autumn is obviously a big goal. This year it will be the M22 class and 15 kilometers. But before that there are several important competitions.
- During the spring, I invest in orienteering until the Swedish sprint championship at the end of May. Then it will be mostly track and field running in the effort towards the U23-EC, where 3000 m hurdles is the best distance. Then the junior class in UTMB where I was eight last year. (UTMB is the Ultra Trail de Mont Blanc, the world's largest trail race.) And in September, of course - Lidingöloppet!
With all this training and competitions on different surfaces and in different disciplines, can you say what is the biggest challenge in training for Lidingöloppet?
- Absolutely that it is such a nice surface and so hilly! High speed and big vertical gain are unusual. You can find it in Stockholm and Gothenburg for example, but in Mora is very difficult. Everything that is hilly is bumpy and difficult to run, and where you can run fast is flat. The roller ski track in Hemus is the closest I can get. That's where you'll find me...
By the way, what was it like to be wreath carrier at the Vasaloppet?
- Very exciting! There were dinners and mingling and many pictures of me in national costume, and fun of course to crown the winner in Tjejvasan.
We wish Albin Gezelius the best of luck in September at Lidingöloppet - and at all important competitions before then!
Main merits for Albin Gezelius:
Athletics: JSM gold in the 2000 m hurdles, victory in Lidingöloppet P19. Orienteering: JSM gold in sprint H18. Ski Orienteering: 3 individual JVM silvers.