It's time to head off to Sweden for a run around Malmö with local guide, Sara!
Tell us a little about yourself and your relationship with running?
I'm Sara Nkwe Assarsson. Journalist, runner and procaffeinator with one foot in Scandinavia and the other in Africa. My job takes me to wonderful places around the world and I always pack my Adidas wherever I go. Running has become more than way to stay in shape – it’s a way of life. Through running I’ve met some of my dearest and closest friends and I’m forever grateful for joining the community.
My gateway to long-distance running was Lidingöloppet, a classic 30k cross-country race on the outskirts of Stockholm. After that first race in 2011, I was hooked! Since then, I’ve run marathons in Big Five country, through the vineyards in Medoc, in the Scottish Highlands and on the cobbled streets of Copenhagen and Berlin.
Sara out for a run amongst the rhino in Swaziland / Eswatini (photo credit: Mujahid Safodien)
Where are the best places to run in Malmö?
My hometown of Malmö is very flat! If you enjoy easy asphalt running, parks and seaside running, then Malmö has some great runs to offer.
My bread & butter run takes me from the Central station, past Malmö University and Dockan (a fancy residential development and marina), through the city’s old industrial parts, Västra Hamnen (another popular seaside development where you can stop for a dip), and then through the parks. Pildammarna is a local favourite with plenty of Strava segments to conquer!
If you want a fast and flat 10k route, head to Ribersborg, or Ribban as it’s locally known. The route starts at the kiosk at the northern end of the three kilometre long promenade that runs along the beach. There’s a popular Strava segment called Ribban sub40 where you can measure yourself against Malmö’s best runners. Ribban is also home of Malmö parkrun that starts at 9.30 every Saturday morning.
One of my favourite locals runs is technically not in Malmö, but a short drive away. Take a bus or cycle to Torup (about 15k inland) and head out on one of the many trails (from 2km to 10km), enjoy a picnic or stop off at Torup castle for an ice cream or Swedish fika. It’s beautiful all year round, but particularly in late spring when the forest floor is covered in wood anemone and when the beech trees turn orange.
Sara Nkwe Assarsson and Johan Vallon-Christersson celebrate new PBs on the 10km Strava segment
Photo Credit: Lena Eriksson
Are you a member of a running club in Malmö?
I’ve been running with Malmö Gerillalöpare (Malmo Guerilla Runners) for nearly seven years. It’s a very inclusive and welcoming group for runners of all levels. Anyone is welcome to organize an event or group run. The idea behind the group was to organize free group training sessions and fun runs for people who love running. It’s not a registered athletics club, more of a social get-together. Thursday’s interval training at 6pm is a fixed date in the calendar, as is the Tuesday Social Run, a leisurely run at 6-minute km pace, often starting and finishing at Brew Dog bar on Baltzarsgatan. The social runs are popular with Malmo’s expat community.
Sara with the Malmö Gerillalöpare (Malmo Guerilla Runners) group
Where is the best place to buy running gear in Malmö?
Tell us about the best races in Malmö?
Unfortunately, Malmö doesn’t have many races. There’s Malmö Höstmil 10K and Half Marathon in October and Vårruset (a 5k fun run for women). However, nearby Copenhagen, only half an hour on the train, hosts a world class half marathon event in September and a great city marathon in May. Both events are great fun and very well organized.
There are also plenty of cross-country, ultras and trail races within an hour’s drive from Malmö, from challenging Kullmannen and Tjörnarparen to local events like Skrylleloppet, GIFT and Stävie Trail.
Can you give us a recommendation for a local dish/venue to eat after a long run in Malmö?
BrewDog on Baltzarsgatan is a popular hangout. This is where Social Tuesday runs usually end up. For a more Scandinavian experience, join the parkrunners at Malmö Kallbadhus for a fika (coffee and cake), a light lunch or a sauna and dip in the sea.
A big thankyou to Sara for taking us for a guided run around Malmö!
One last thing...
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