Even though elite runner Sofia Öberg crossed the finish line ribbon in Rosa Bandet-loppet with a great smile, what she remembers most from the day is not a ribbon but many social ties. In an interview, Sofia describes how the community formed during Rosa Bandet-loppet is her source of inspiration to perform as a high-level athlete during the rest of the year.
- I gather so much strength from the community during Rosa Bandet-loppet. Running in a crowd of pink jerseys, surrounded by care and kindness, gives energy to perform as a runner for a long time after the race.
The community during Rosa Bandet-loppet has been central to Sofia during her 15 years as an elite runner - a career which includes 30 Swedish Championship medals and several international championships. She describes how she finds new meaning as a runner during Rosa Bandet-loppet:
- Rosa Bandet-loppet makes you feel like you are a part of a bigger cause. As a participant in the race you are both a friend, a role model, a representative of a sports association, and a contributor to the Swedish Cancer Society (Cancerfonden). This is a special feeling in a sport where you otherwise compete for yourself and for vague purposes such as "time" and "place". In addition, the race also gives an opportunity to connect to other endurance sports in a unique way. In the Lidingö terrain, you as a runner have a lot in common with orienteers, cross-country skiers and cyclists. The race thus makes you realize that you are a part of a larger community.
Sofia is not sure whether it was this sense of community that gave her the strength to win the race. In fact, she says that she never expected to finish first.
- I was a little surprised when I suddenly started to pull distance between myself and the pack somewhere in Sticklinge, but I focused on keeping my legs and lungs relaxed. Winning Rosa Bandet-loppet was a bonus to a fantastic event. It gave an opportunity to celebrate a little extra with the volunteers, participants, friends and family and, through interviews after the race, hopefully inspire more people to take part in the race next year.
Now that Rosa Bandet-loppet and the Breast Cancer Awareness Month are over, Sofia tries her best to uphold the social ties formed during the race, and encourages others to do the same:
- I think that togetherness is central to the pink ribbon campaign. We need each other to encourage physical activity, which is needed to prevent cancer. My tip now that the pink running party is over is therefore to form training groups with the goal to take part in Rosa Bandet-loppet together in 2022.
Rosa Bandet-loppet congratulates Sofia on her victory and wishes her all the best for the upcoming season!
For all who wish to take part in a digital pink community until the race in 2022, we recommend liking Rosa Bandet-loppet on Instagram and Facebook. We continuously share tips on everyday physical activities and inspiration for the joy of running!