Photo: Thomas Andersen


SAS Talents: Marathon men

They may be accustomed to being in the sky, but for a pair of SAS employees, running at an altitude of some 6,700m is another matter entirely.

The Eiger Ultra Trail, 101km of high-altitude endurance, marks it out as one of the toughest races in the world. Conquering it in under 16.5 hours is a challenge Henrik Lohmann and Rune Rasmussen are relishing.

Neither is a beginner. Lohmann, 53, is a former elite marathon runner with 76 completed races, and Rasmussen, 55, is an active ultra-mountain biker who has done over 50 ultra-bike ­races. Both work as SAS Flight Dispatchers at SAS Flight Operations in Copenhagen.

Although the time limit for the Eiger Ultra Trail is 26.5 hours, they both aim to complete it in about 16 hours. To do that, they’re now meticulously preparing and training to be as ready as possible for the race in the middle of July. For Lohmann, a nearby hospital has proven to be a good place to train.

“It’s 26 stories high, so I can run up and down there for a couple of hours,” he says.

Thomas Andersen

One of the most important things in the actual race is to have your head in the right place when you run.

“For me, it’s best not to start too fast. I prefer to take it a bit slower at first. That allows me to get the feeling that I’m picking up the pace as the race goes on. It gets me into that ‘hunter feeling’ that I need to be in,” says Rasmussen.

During the summers, he trains 12–20 hours a week. Lohmann logs about 12–15 hours per week. Understandably, they’re both well experienced when it comes to combining travel and training.

“The most important thing is to keep track of your intake so you eat everything you need,” says Rasmussen.

“And if you travel for a race, arrive at least 24 hours in advance. It’s no fun running when you are suffering from jetlag,” adds Lohmann.

“And fly in SAS Business, so you can get a good rest,” laughs Rasmussen. 

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