Director of Marketing at Telenor, Michael Gamst, will be running his 28th marathon on Sunday. We’ve talked to him about his training, preparations and expectations – and about the anniversary shoe.
Michael Gamst, Director of marketing at Telenor Denmark, is excited about Sunday. Not only because his company is the main sponsor of the race and putting on a huge family power zone along the course.
A passionate runner and triathlete, he is also looking forward to running his 28th marathon through his home town.
We’ve spoken to him about what he is looking forward to the most, about his expectations and preparations for the race, and last but not least about the marathon anniversary shoe, which Michael has had a part in designing.
What is your background within running?
So far I’ve run 27 marathons and completed 9 Ironmans in Copenhagen, England, Austria, Germany and Schwitzerland, just to mention a few places.
In 2015 I did an Iroman in Zürich, and that was extremely tough. It was extremely hot – 39 degrees celcius in the shadow. People were struggling, even my dad who was only watching the race! But once it’s all done and you cross that finish line, you get that awesome feeling.
Why do you love to run?
It’s just fun! It’s an achievement every time. It’s not about finishing times, it’s simply about doing it. That inner struggle is the really interesting thing about it. And when I’m done, I get overwhelmed by emotions and thoughts and start planning what I’m gonna do next. I just love that feeling. And sharing it, of course. That is a big part of it and makes the achievement even bigger.
How do you use running for yourself?
I use running and training to clear my head. It helps me perform at work, and I come home a different person. That’s why I also like trail running. It’s fun and its something different. It doesn’t have to be anything exotic to do the trick, just a run in the nearby nature.
How was your first marathon?
It was back in 1998 in Copenhagen. And I simply didn’t know what I was getting into. But after that I went on to do Berlin, Hamburg and Copenhagen many times. And an island marathon on that small island where my dad-in-law is from. It’s really windy there, though ….
What are your expectations for Sunday?
After a period with injuries I don’t have any expectations really, when it comes to a specific finish time. I just want to get through the race, really – and preferably without walking – so it’s gonna be very slow. Perhaps just over 4 hours.
How do you feel about that?
I might be running 1 minute slower per kilometer than what I’m used to, you know.
That’s not disappointing though., it’s just difficult to adjust, I think. Mentally its hard not being able to set a target finish time for yourself. But after all, to me its more important to be a part of it and to have a great experience.
What should you look forward to when running Copenhagen this year?
The first time I ran this race, parts of the course where outside of the city. At many other major marathons, you actually run outside of the city center, but I think its more fun when there are spectators along the course. And there is in Copenhagen! And we’ve broken the participant record from 2010. That’s just amazing, and I think the race deserves that. We also saw a new race record last year, and I’m excited to see if we get a new record once again this year. So there are lots of things to look forward to.
What are you looking forward to the most?
Actually, I’m most excited about running the Telenor Mini Marathon together with my son, while my daughter is running it for the first time by herself. I also look forward to running through the different city districts. It’s been amazing to have Frederiksberg back on the course. Copenhagen being my home town, it’s fantastic to experience the city from this angle. The national stadium, the City Hall Square, Islands Brygge, Nørrebro, the city is full of great places. I just love Copenhagen. I live in Østerbro, and we will be running practically just past where I live. That is something special. And of course, I look forward to having my family cheer me on at the Telenor power zone at Øster Alle.
What will be going through your mind, when you pass through Østerbro and Telenor power zone on Sunday?
That I have to step it up! Straighten my back and put a smile on my face. If you can do that, it will boost your energy. You can actually cheat your body into thinking that you are feeling better than you are. Instead of feeling pity for yourself, I sometimes kind of daydream to stay in the flow. Kids who are reaching out for a high-five will be getting one, no question about that. And if I see others struggling, I can get a kick out of helping them move on and get through. That often works better than gels!
You’ve been a part of the process designing the anniversary shoe. What were your thoughts?
We talked a lot about the golden color, the golden swoosh. We wanted that on the shoe as a way of celebrating the 40th edition. The blue color, well… everybody wanted the blue color. Blue is the color of both Sparta (the organizing athletics and running club) and Telenor and kind of makes it all come together. And then on top of it, we chose a big swoosh as a resemblance to the Nike Breaking 2 attempt. The big swoosh is for pro’s. As for the ”Every damn mile” which is on the shoe, that is about the perseverance you need to prepare for a marathon. I can run a half marathon almost anytime, but when you’re running a marathon, you have to be strong and be wise. You need to train hard and know what you’re doing.
What were your thoughts when you saw the shoe then?
“Awesome!” It fully lives up to my expectations. And it has lots of improved features and is very responsive.