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Systems Biology expects big win in relay

As University of Copenhagen teams get ready to run the world’s largest fun-run, the DHL Relay race, on Monday 29 August, there is one lab already projecting a massive win

For some the DHL Relay race is just for fun: It’s about spending time with colleagues, barbequing, and making-merry. However, for those at the Section of Systems Biology Research at the Centre of Healthy Aging it’s a race to win.

Micheal Taulo Lund, PhD student in Systems Biology, hopes to make the cut for his lab’s team, but it isn’t easy. With a lab full of marathon runners, triathletes and other sports elites, not everyone can be chosen for the five person relay team.

According to their most recent projection they will be the fastest team in the University the year. Last year Life Science’s Food and Resource Economics took the gold with a time of 1:39:00.

Fast, but tempted

How fast do they expect to be?

According to the Systems Biology lab there are six people who say they can run five kilometres in less than 20 minutes. However, there are many factors that must be taken into account on the day of the race:

»It depends on how many people are on the road. There are many thousand runners and it is often hard to run between people,« calculates Lund, an obvious novice in the DHL relay.

The smell of sausages grilling next to the track has also been mentioned as a weakness for the runners:

»We run so fast we almost throw up. It’s a bad combination,« reflects Lund, thinking back to previous DHL Relays.

Stacked team

There has been a lot of pressure leading up to the selection of the team. Each prospective competitor must individually record their five kilometre time and report it to the group. Everyone has been fighting for one of the five spots.

»Of course they could lie about their time, but then we would just see how they run on the ‘day-of-days.’ They would be teased for the rest of the year!« jokes Lund.

The nameless team is made up of four males and one female. Iron Man triathlon competitor, Thomas Beck, and marathon runner, Anja Birk-Olsen, as well as other fast and fit researchers will help their team to reach the sub-twenty minute goal.

Naturally competitive

The lab, of which Lund and his colleagues are a part of, focuses on human science research in relation to exercise in relation to age, insulin resistance, and obesity. It is no wonder there are so many fit people to be selected for the team.

Like most athletes, the Systems Biology lab is no different in their love for competition. Although no money has been betted, Lund has his own bet going on with a lab-mate:

»I have a 14 romkugler (little balls made from leftover pastries at the bakery and mixed with rum essence) bet with a guy on the team for who can run the fastest in the relay,« boasts Lund.

Check out the Systems Biology team and all University of Copenhagen teams on Monday 29 August starting at 17:00 in Fælledparken, Østerbro.

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