There’s a moment and place where the sun doesn’t set for days. In Lapland, particularly in the part of Sweden located over the Arctic circle, time seems to freeze for 4 days of continuous sunshine, reflecting upon the crystal clear lakes and icy mountains. Sounds like a great scenery for some holidays, huh?
But on a slightly less chill vibe, it’s also the premise of the Sunset Relay, a 96-hour long race against the sun organized by Garnier to spread awareness about sun exposure and cancer risks. Last week, athletes from all around the world flew to Lulea to try to achieve a 1300km relay race, running, cycling, rollerblading, canoeing and trailing as a team, all to reach the final line before the sunset. We caught up with our friend Camille Pic, leader of Adidas’ #boostbastille running team and one of the 35 handpicked athletes who took part in the festivities, right before and after she ran her little heart out. Spoiler: she’s badass.
"I’m about to board my flight, so I’m super excited! And also very curious to discover Lapland during the Midnight Sunset, that’s what motivated me first and foremost. Days last for 23 hours right now. Witnessing it must be incredible! I love working out outside, even in Paris with all the pollution, so being able to run and cycle in Lapland will be amazing.
I’m taking in part in three relays on two different days, and the races are very reasonable: running for 9km and 8km run, and cycling for 15km. I’m dreading the weather conditions a bit, but it should be fine! I don’t know the composition of my team yet; I’m a bit anxious to be running with such great athletes. In any case, I’ll do my best!"
"I’ve been training very seriously for 3 months, working out 3 to 4 times a week. And there’s a lot of running (and a lot of cardio in general) in CrossFit. The advantage of CrossFit is that it turns you into a very well-rounded athlete, so I haven’t felt that much difficulty mixing the two sports. And actually, in my opinion, CrossFit is really a preparation to anything that life could bring!
Whenever I take on a new sport or a new challenge, I always think to myself that I’ll slow down afterwards, but I always seem to change my mind as soon as I’m done! So right now I have nothing planned, but we’ll see after the Sunset Relay if I feel like running a marathon or trying out ultra-trail!"
The Sunset Relay's YouTube channel offers a series of webisodes summing up the whole race. Check them out:
"I’m super happy, and relieved that I brought it!
It was absolutely incredible. I had the luck to run with Richard Ussher and to ride with Juliette Benedicto, who instantly became inspirations for me. Their energy and their generosity are unparalleled, and they make you want to become a better version of yourself!
I was a bit scared of the weather conditions and of getting tired, but everything went great in the end. There was a rainstorm right before the start of the bike course, but luckily it calmed down when I hit the road.
It’s tough for me to pinpoint one single favorite moment because the whole adventure was amazing, so here’s my top 3: Arriving on the Monday night and discovering a night-long sunset - the landscape will forever be etched in my memory. My bike segment with the team: we laughed and cycled like kids. And running and crossing the finish line with everyone in Lulea, a beautifully emotional moment.
So what’s next? I plan to keep on being a slasher: a blogger, a naturopath, and probably become a trainer too!"
For more on Camille Pic, check out Mange tes légumes, her french-language blog focusing on exercise and nutrition.
Photo credit: Camille Pic