Running has brought Camilla and her dad Leif closer together. Come may, they will be chasing a magical marathon barrier side by side.

23-Year-Old Camilla and her dad Leif don’t see each other very often. She lives in Copenhagen, and he lives 225 miles away. One thing, however, keeps them connected across the distance: Running.

Not only has their common passion of running become the start of a new and active lifestyle for Leif. It has also created a unique and close bond between father and daughter.

“Things are different when you run together. You get to know each other in a whole new way and experience different things together. It really ties you together,” says Camilla.

When you don’t see each other that often, as in the case of Leif and Camilla, every moment of quality time is valued.

“I enjoy it very much, especially since we don’t see each other so often. We value the time we spend together not just sitting in front of the television. When we run together, we really get to talk,” Camilla and Leif agree.

It started with a ski holiday

What triggered Leif’s interest in running, was a ski holiday before Leif turned 50.

He had heard, that one had to be in good shape to go skiing. So he started running and hasn’t stopped since. Ever since his first marathon, which he completed in four hours, he has added 8 more marathon to his CV and has become faster and faster.

It isn’t the results, however, that motivate Leif the most.

“I always enjoy myself, when I’m out running,” says Leif. 

Camilla, on the other hand, is more into training plans than her dad. 

“My dad thinks that running should be fun. It shouldn’t be too serious. He has never felt like following a training plan,” explains Camilla.

Video: Camilla and Leif meet for a run and explain how running creates a special bond between them and about their common ambition for the Telenor Copenhagen Marathon 40th anniversary edition.

60 years and sub 3

Leif turns 60 this May, which means that by then he will have been running for 10 years exactly. And even if he is still quite fast, he and Camilla looks on 2019 as their last chance of chasing that magical marathon barrier, which they are both dreaming of: 3 hours.

“We both want to finish under 3 hours, and if we can run side by side all the way, it would be perfect. It would be the first time for both of us, if we succeed.”

Leif and Camilla have their own special way of doing things and helping each other out, when they participate in various races together.

“My dad has always been faster than me. But we always help each other out, and it makes him happy whenever I succeed. We have a special agreement at the Telenor Copenhagen Marathon: I am allowed to outrace him, but he cannot outrace me. But I really hope that we can finish together in sub 3 hours,” says Camilla. 

Camilla pacing her dad at the Telenor Copenhagen Marathon Daddy making sure that Camilla stays hydrated.

Sharing moments through running

Camilla and her dad head out for a run every time they visit each other at home, but their passion for running also takes them abroad.

“My dad often comes to Copenhagen to run all kinds of races with me, but we have also been in Berlin to run and are doing again this spring. With my mum running along to, it’s going to be a real family trip where we also get to go sightseeing together,” tells Camilla.

Not only do Leif and Camilla enjoy running together, they also follow each other’s progress from a distance.

“If I’ve had a good training session, I’ll text him a picture. We follow and comment each other on Endomondo to,” laughs Camilla.

Camilla’s mum also enjoys a jog and even runs a few races once in a while. Still, Leif and Camilla’s passion isn’t particularly shared by the rest of the family.

“My dad and I can talk about running forever. Sometimes the others think we’re a little crazy and ask us why we don’t sleep in instead of going running?”

It has to be fun

The passion, the competitiveness, the running vacations, the sub 3 hours ambition – Leif and Camilla can definitely be characterized as running geeks.

But to both of them, the most important motivational factor to keep running remains the bond and sense of connectedness that comes with it.

Most importantly, it needs to be fun. My dad never stops saying this. I have never run a marathon without my dad, and I don’t think I ever will,” states Camilla.

Learn more about the Telenor Copenhagen Marathons 40th anniversary race on May 19th, 2019