After months of intense training, we’re thrilled to announce that Gym Source’s own Jan Schole (manager of our showroom in Westport, CT) completed the 19th annual Laugavegur Ultra Marathon—a grueling 34-mile (55 km) race through the steep climbs and rocky descents of some of Iceland’s toughest terrain.
Held on 7/18/15, Laugavegur hosted 400 participants, of which 361 finished the race. Among them was Jan, proudly sponsored by Gym Source; with a time of 8:29.39 (placing him 351st overall), Jan was pleased with his performance.
“The race went roughly the way I expected it to go,” says Jan, who was especially happy that race-day weather cooperated. “We were very lucky. It warmed up to around 55 degrees and partially sunny, which was perfect.”
Situated 600m above sea level in the southern highlands of Iceland, the Laugavegur Ultra Marathon is one of the world’s most challenging trail races. Its first six miles are a 500m ascent, and the course continues through a varied terrain of glacier and river crossings. Hill training is essential; the race’s total climb is 1900m, and its total decline is 2200m.
And even though the calendar said July, snow plays a huge part in the race. “The winter had been tough in Iceland, so there was a lot more snow,” says Jan. “In the first 12 miles there were endless long sections of going uphill on the snow. This was very demanding, but my many hours of climbing intervals on the Cybex Arc Trainer really helped me.”
In addition to the race’s tricky terrain, Jan had a challenge of his own: planter fasciitis, with which he was diagnosed a few months ago, forcing him to adjust his training routine. Thankfully, his access to superior indoor training technology at Gym Source kept his progress on track, particularly via the Cybex Arc Trainer and the Octane Zero Runner.
“My planter fasciitis was no problem going uphill, but on the long downhill it started to become a problem,” Jan explains. “The constant lateral movement of my foot and all my heel strikes irritated it.” Jan was able to jog through the flat sections and chose to speed-walk the hillier parts. “Because of my time on the Octane Zero Runner doing 1-hour sessions in a steady pace, I built a great base for that.”
At the 13-mile mark, Jan achieved a cutoff time of approximately 3:05.00. His second cutoff time, at the 23-mile mark, was approximately 5:15.00. Despite the relentless foot pain, he gritted through the remainder of the race and finished in 8:29.39.
What’s next for Jan? More running, of course. He’s already begun training for a 15k on Block Island this September, and he’s considering 50k trail race in Connecticut later this year.
The entire Gym Source team couldn’t be more proud of Jan’s achievement. To meet Jan yourself—and to learn more about his incredible experience and training routine—visit him at the Westport Gym Source any time.