With perfect weather conditions one day in June, I started one of my attempts to run the second stage on the Highland Trail. The start is from the junction at Eksjöån in the center of the city (outside Krusagården) and the target is at the sign for the Klinten / Skurugata junction, just next to a couple of windshields at Försjön.
The goal was to get to the finish line in under 60 minutes. The trail was slippery and soft after several days of rain, but it was possible to keep a good pace pretty much all the way. Where the trail becomes more technical or hilly, it goes slower. The markings are also defective in some intersections, which means that you have to run with focus. I ran with two water bottles and energy gels and thought about keeping the equipment light.
The last slopes come at the end of the trail, about 11 and 12 km in. This is where it can be decided if the time limit is reached. After about 13 km, you exit the forest and can see the target from the flat gravel road that winds around the lake (Försjön). From there it is only 300 meters to the finish. It was only here that I seriously understood that I would meet the time limit - and rub the sign at the finish at 59:15. - J.M.