Storebælt broløbet Half Marathon

70 - 100 €












  • Particular experience
  • Good organization
  • High level of sustainability


  • High budget
  • Can be difficult to reach
  • Logistic limitations to crowd support
  • Repetitive landscape

I start from the assumption that I would not have registered for the Storebælt broløbet Half Marathon.

In fact, I had Århus half marathon, city race in the second biggest city of Denmark on my radar, which was the day after in the same weekend. But I gave up because with several weekends of traveling, I thought that having the seventh race in seven weeks might not be wise.

It’s also true that I’m not pushing to the limit in these races, and often the half marathon serves as a long run for the next one, but sometimes also the mind needs a break. And I’m not sure if this continuous tapering is beneficial in the long run.

In short, I would like to regain the desire to do some quality work and treat the race as a magical moment. But deep down, every race is like that because it’s a struggle against ourselves, and each one is different from the others.

The Unexpected Race

And when a friend gave me two tickets for the “broløbet” (literally, the bridge race), I said, “Why not?”.

The race takes place every three years on the Storebælt, which connects the islands of Fyn and Sjælland (where the capital, Copenhagen, is located). From home, it’s a comfortable 1.5-hour drive to the finish line in Korsør.

A very, very efficient shuttle bus service continuously connects Korsør to Nyborg, the starting point and last outpost on Fyn island. Its main city, Odense, is the birthplace of the writer H.C. Andersen. Not only a very picturesque place: also the location of a beautiful race (both a half marathon and a full marathon distance) in the third week of September, dedicated to the writer of, among others, “the little mermaid” and “the ugly duckling”.

Race Day Preparation

Back to us, we arrive at the starting point by crossing the bridge, or I should say, the bridge system. In fact, the connection is made up of two bridges: one relatively flat that reaches the intermediate island of Sprogø, and then the actual “scary” bridge from the small island to Korsør, the first city in Sjælland.

Arrived we collect the freshly printed race bibs and T-shirts on the spot. It’s hot, and all the trees in the area are in high demand for shade by the soon-to-be bridge runners. When registering, you reserve a time slot for the bus, and to be on the safe side, I booked an early one at 12:30, with departure at 16:30.

After completing the necessary procedures (including eating a sandwich) at 13:30, there were three hours to wait. The stage with music was nice, and they distribute fruits, water, and, most importantly, in 2023 also slices of the freshly baked world’s largest “brunsvigekage” (a typical cake from Fyn).

The Race Begins

The wait is a bit long, but okay, time passes. We line up tightly in the starting blocks, ready to start aggressively on the dirt road that leads to the entrance ramp of the bridge. A 2 km initial climb to enjoy. We start, and the first kilometer consists of a first part at 7 km/min and a second part of acceleration that brings me to finish it at 5:50 min/km. Not bad, considering that going under 2 hours in this race won’t be easy, or maybe even possible, for me.

We hit the road, and the long straight stretch on the two occupied lanes begins. The other carriageway goes unused, but the lack of support from the crowd is somewhat compensated by the honking of truck drivers and various motorists.

It’s very hot, 25 degrees Celsius but feels more, and the sun is scorching. There’s a lot of wind. But I like to think that they cancel each other out, and maybe that’s how it is in the first stretch. The wind (against me) hits, pressing the race bib against me and refreshing. The sun prevents me from feeling cold. Very good, think positively.

I start clocking kilometers below 5:30 and feel good, but I decide not to push hard. By the way the two sections are angled, the main bridge curves like Kate Winslet in that scene from Titanic. It’s actually very beautiful! I start to understand how to approach it: the sections before and after the two pillars have very steep slopes, so I have to conserve energy until that point. Grit my teeth, maintain the pace between the pillars while descending. Then it’s all downhill, being careful not to strain the tendons too much, but it will be an opportunity to breathe and maybe recover some lost seconds. ys, that must be the strategy.

Challenges on the Bridge

Of course, plans are made to be changed. A small note: it’s not possible to use the cup system for refreshments on the bridge. The cups on the ground would end up in the sea without a chance of recovery. So a system of tubes with small faucets is created for drinking. There are many of them, and not much water comes out, so sometimes you have to wait in line. In short, not an ideal system, but at least sustainable!

At the eighth kilometer, the bridge starts “changing” its angle and aligns itself with me. The pillars coincide, and now it looks like a target. I start aiming at it. I’ve still maintained a pace below 5:35 without forcing it, and everything seems fine.

The climb begins, in a direction totally against the wind, that starts to make its presence felt. But it’s tolerable at the beginning. The thing is, with the steeper slope, the wind breaks away from the bridge’s “guidance.” Probably the worst is yet to come. I complete the uphill kilometers at a pace of around 5:35-5:45; I’m “in the pace zone”. I see the first pillar approaching, along with the lower incline. And the wall of wind comes with all its power.


Runners on the bridge

Battling the Wind

Wow, what a blast! It feels like running and standing still at the same time. Many people start walking or can’t cope with a good running economy. When I reach the first pillar, I decide to take a photo because it’s an impressive display of engineering. By the way, the top of the pillar is the highest point in Denmark. And we’re at sea level!

I try to approach the second pillar and the descent. Damn perspective! The thing is so big that I keep running, running, and it never seems to get closer! I complete the kilometer in 6:27. It’s true that I took a couple of photos while standing still, but even if I subtract 15 seconds, the difficulty is evident. But the faces and gaits of others are no different, even more so. I don’t think I’ve passed so many people in such a short time before, or at least it seems that way.

The wind is continuous and relentless. Gusts of up to 60 km/h without mercy. The sun is scorching, and the landscape, after passing the second pillar, is a long straight stretch. I don’t give up, and for the first time, it’s not the distance that worries me but the relentlessness of the wind. Truly, it doesn’t stop, and I’m afraid my strength will give out. Four kilometers to go, but I’m not worried about the distance right now. The distance isn’t my concern.

The Final Stretch

The descent at least helps, and I start clocking kilometers below 5:30 again, albeit with great effort.

We approach the exit ramp, leaving the bridge behind, for the ramp that will take us down in a 360-degree turn. This means no more being battered by the wind after almost two hours. I go around, stop to take another photo, and even have the energy to sprint a bit and pass as many people as possible. Now I know I can reach the finish line.

I finish in 1:57:51, without pushing too hard and stopping to take some photos. I take away from this experience the mental strength (it was a great response from my mind and body) having also a very good final place in the final ranking. And without pushing to the limit!

The Finish Line

A beautiful ending with a stage, music, and a refreshment area worthy of a small village feast (with warm jam-filled pancakes and much more). Would I do it again? Perhaps not.

Am I glad I did it? Absolutely.
Why you should run this race? If you are on for a out of ordinary race, combining love for engineering masterpieces and personal challenges. And as I said, the race is only organised every third year, so it feels a bit special because of that too!

Did you like this review of Storebælt Broløbet? Please contact me for any question or if you find info to be rectified!

Find my traveling tips: what to do in Copenhagen

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