Grimstrup in high spirits

CYCLONE Josie has not dampened Simon Grimstrup’s spirit ahead of the Vodafone Lost Island Ultramarathon.

Grimstrup of Denmark is excited about the prospect of a muddier course.

“It was the sun and the heat I was really afraid of but for me it’s good if it’s slippery and muddy,” he said. Grimstrup has just returned from Kilimanjaro where he helped Krisna Masden achieve a world record for the fastest female ascent of the mountain.

A serial ultra marathon runner, he started running when he was 10 years old in the forest and hills in Denmark. He didn’t join a club until he was 25 years old and only really got serious about ultra-running in his mid-30s.

“I ran the 230km jungle ultra in Peru and won it —and discovered I was pretty good at ultra-running,” the 41-year-old said.

He is a member of the Danish national team and regularly competes at the trail running and mountain running championships and he’ll head to Spain soon after Fiji for the global trail running championship.

He arrived early to help with the course marking but the adverse weather meant a weekend in Suva instead. Determined to make the most of his time here, he was a late entrant to the Fiji national athletics championship on Saturday as part of the Suva Marathon Club and helped push Raj Prasad, one of the regular club runners, to a personal best of over 5000m. Incredibly, it was his first track race. “I’m a mountain runner I find running on the track a little boring, but it was great to come and be a part of the event and meet Kennol Narayan and Raj from the Suva Marathon Club,” he said.

And he’s seen a lot of the rest of the Suva runners too on some rainy runs such as Eroni Takape, one of the Fiji entrants who invited him for a run after a photo shoot on Saturday at Mana Sports Supplements.

“He invited me over for tea and to meet his family and I’m looking forward to running with him this week.”

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