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Say hi to Mads - former competitive kitesurfer turned passionate trail runner. Mads is a Copenhagen native who now lives in Cape Town, South Africa with the family. He's still surfing, but the trails are what takes up most of his free time.
Mads just returned to Denmark on vacation and we took the opportunity to invite him on a trail run up north, where he put the new green flower collection to the test.
While hitting the trails in the new collection, Mads also had the time to share some insights about his background in surfing, passion for trail running and a couple of advices for concrete runners wanting to switch it up with forest paths and mountain trails.
You can shop the new green flower collection here.
I was born and raised in Copenhagen, but I've now lived in Cape Town since 2016 with my two kids and their mother. I am 32 years old and a passionate sportsman.
My dad was a windsurfer and he introduced me to windsurfing when I was nine. I had some fun years learning windsurfing, while enjoying the time on the water. I was lucky enough to see kitesurfing as a very young sport in 2002 and couldn’t resist trying the sport and I got hooked. Basically, I didn’t do much other than kitesurfing from the age of 15 to 19.
During the years of my competitive kitesurfing, my friends and I often went to cable parks in Germany to mix it up with our kitesurfing. Later on, I had a family trip to Berlin, where I also showed them what a cable park was. My dad got very inspired and at the same weekend trip, asked if my brother and I, would like to try and start a cable park in Copenhagen. I was 19 and could only say YES!
Through the work with the cable park, the years in kitesurfing and windsurfing, I have always been inspired by the Red Bull athletes and the events they make. And ever since they came to Denmark, I was hoping to get involved with them. Luckily, I got an internship in the sports department at Red Bull and later got a job. It was four fantastic years of working with all kinds of sports and dedicated sports people. I guess sport has always been a key driver for my work and free time.
I have been enjoying wakeboard and wave surfing, since I a stopped competitive kitesurfing. I also got into a little running here and there during my jobs at Red Bull, although without thinking too much of it. It just became a very welcoming alternative to being on the water. I liked the feel of running in the woods and getting into the flow of the trail, but also the challenge of the constant change in terrain. But what has surprised me the most, is that after moving to Cape town, mainly for surf, I tend to take on my running shoes way more than I go surfing.
I have done a few shorter trail races in both Denmark and Cape Town (7-12k), but I would say that my main distances the last few years have been 24km to 35km.
I run four to five times a week and combine it with a few surf sessions and a little gym stuff to get the legs firing on the hills. I've just returned to Cape Town after a few weeks of vacation in Denmark and not a lot of running, so looking forward to get into training mode again.
My dream is to increase my normal distances and hopefully attend the Ultra Trail Cape Town 65k in November in good shape. I had a training run earlier this year, the Two Oceans Trail Run 24k, where I finished 9th overall. Finally, I have another training run, which is the Table Mountain Challenge 44k on September 1.
Go explore, would be my advice. It is rare the I plan my routes fully. Although, often I do have a target when I run, whether that be time or elevation. But the route itself is something I like to figure out while running. It sometimes gets you into some funky situations, but I like the adventure of that.
On a more educational note, I would only say that you should go for high cadence. It gives you great control, a better stride and is less taxing on the knees.
If anyone is coming to Cape Town and would like to go for a run in the mountains, please let me know. I would love to show the trails of Table Mountain.
Keep up with Mads on his Instagram page.
In a world where everything is increasingly mechanic and digital, we forget to stop and appreciate the human element in keeping the world running. Human Driven is a reminder of what we can accomplish by our own willpower and that nothing can or should stop us from running.
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