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War of words before DHL fun run

The quickest legs at this week’s big event are also quick to run down their opponents

The two swiftest University of Copenhagen teams at last years DHL fun run are acutely aware that there is only room for one of them at the very top this year. They have already started an intensive game of psychological warfare.

The annual DHL fun run, the biggest fun run in Northern Europe and a huge University of Copenhagen tradition, gets underway Friday 31 August. The University has thousands of staff and students taking part in what has become a massive social event.

Last year, a team of five males from the former Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, ChemBiol1, was only half a minute ahead of the biomedical institute team Systembiologer1 which included an elite female marathon runner.

Flying professor

The half minute lead was enough to ensure a trophy to ChemBiol1 from the University of Copenhagen and a year of bragging rights, including the right to
boast on the University Post with a technical analysis of how to corner, and tunnel through packs of slower runners by their fastest man.

This year, statements by this team, ChemBiol, to the University Post reveal confidence and a sense of superiority.

The ‘flying professor’, Kristian Strømgaard, a former 400 metre track star, (who happens to have been interviewed about his core profession, chemical biology on another occasion here), has been added to the team.

In first start group

»To be frank, we can field an even better team this year, than last year,« Kristian says to the University Post.

Niels Grøn Nørager, another athlete, who has a personal best for five kilometres of 15:06, will run twice, with Kristian himself, Theis Wilbek, Jonas Eildal making up the quintet.

Nørager will this year have a slot in the first start group on the first leg, giving him, and the team an advantage, as he will not have to pass backmarkers.

SystemBiology to use elbows

Runners on SystemBiology team one, last year’s second spot expressed to the University Post the worry that their opponents from ChemBiol with their first group start position had received an advantage over last year.

As it happens, the University Post has since ascertained from the University of Copenhagen’s DHL event organiser Niels Wollesen that SystemBiology also has a lead group slot in Friday’s race.

Michael Lund, a 19:30 man on the SystemBiology team reckons that their team this year is »fairly good and includes two triathletes,« he says. He then adds in jest: »But this year we are also going to start using our elbows«.

Saw ‘a runner’ cutting a corner

His teammate on SystemBiology, Mads Rosenkilde, also good for 19:30 on the 5k, is a scientist who happens to have just released research showing that half an hour of training every day is better than one hour of training.

Mads swings an ill-disguised jab at last year’s winners from ChemBiol.

»Last year I saw a runner in a UCPH T-shirt cutting a corner, and thereby running a shorter distance. I am not saying it was them,« he says.

Positive spirit

There were of course more than 400 teams with UCPH T-shirts last year, making it impossible to identify a runner from a specific team, especially from behind. So what are you saying? the University Post queried.

»I am just saying that our opponents in ChemBiol will stop at nothing when it comes to the DHL relay… but this of course is said in a positive spirit!«

Other teams’ runners, are in the meantime shying away from media statements.

University Post will report first

In previous years, crack teams from the physicists Niels Bohr Institute, as well as a group of agricultural economists have each vied for top spots.

The University Post will be covering the DHL event with live updates and pictures, and promise to be the first to report on the battle between University of Copenhagen teams.

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