On a cool Friday evening, I met with three other master students to prepare for our first race. Among some of the students in our program we formed our own running club – running almost every other day throughout the city, around the lake, and through the forest. It has been such a fun way of exploring the city. Runs were followed by short yoga and stretching sessions.
We signed up for our first race (Kolding Night Trail) about 2 weeks ago and all of a sudden it was time to run.
Because it was a night race, starting at 21:30, we were expecting a dimly lit run and mostly flat trail (we weren’t told the route in advance, it was a surprise). What we got (in reality) was complete darkness, a wild trail of ups/downs, almost getting lost, almost losing a shoe, yelling “CAREFUL” throughout the race. The only light we had was a headlamp that we were advised to bring. At points, I was on my hands trying to crawl up the steep hills.
Just before the half way mark was probably when I felt the weakest – thinking to myself how are we only half way? But as a team, we encouraged each other and stayed close together on the trail. Overall it was challenging but a real adventure running under the star!
When we were about 100m away, we held hands and sprinted to the finish line. We were so grateful for our friends who waited for us. There is no greater feeling than finish a race and seeing loved ones cheer you on! In the end, our goal was to finish as a team and we did, holding hands through the finish line!
Post-race banana and apples never tasted so good!
The following sunny (early) Saturday morning a group of us masters students left the small town of Kolding to the smaller town of Billund for… Legoland!
Besides being known for ridiculously high costs of living, Carlsberg beer, happiness, Smørrebrod (open faced sandwiches), Noma (“the world’s best restaurant”), among other things – Denmark is famous introducing Lego to the world!
The Lego Group began in the workshop of Ole Kirk Christiansen who was a carpenter from Billund. He started to make wooden toys in 1932 and so the story goes…
In 1934, his company came to be called “Lego”, derived from the Danish phrase leg godt, which means “play well”
Billund is simultaneously associated with the Lego Group’s head office and theme park (opened in 1968). It is also known for Billund Airport, the second largest airport in Denmark, which was actually built by the Lego Group to expand the economic potential of the town.
If all the Lego mini figures in the world got together there’d be over 4 billion of them and they’d make up the world’s largest population.
We all had small (momentary) doubts, thinking among ourselves, “What if Legoland is only for kids…?” But just hearing the word ‘Lego’ brings a strong feeling of nostalgia and yearning to be kids again, so we decided to shake off our worries and enjoy the day to the fullest.
With 4 roller coasters, several water rides, and other attractions – we spent an entire day at the park from open to close. I was surprised by how much there was to do. Even though it was a Saturday, I never felt overwhelmed by crowds or lines (like I have at Disney). The wait times were on average between 5-20 minutes.
I almost became so used to everything being made of lego that when I saw a real plant I was surprised that it wasn’t lego. The park has done a good job of incorporating lego pieces into their rides and throughout the walkways so there is always something to admire.
Some of the lego pieces had fact sheets beside them that stated how many hours went into creating them and how many plastic pieces it took to create. The model of Copenhagen was over 3 million pieces!
At the end of the day, we strolled around Miniland – an area of the park dedicated bringing together lego pieces of miniature buildings, trains, airplanes, and sites from around the world.
Tip! Book tickets online and in advance to take advantage of discounts!