Although a number of adaptations will be made for this year's TCS Lidingöloppet - the organisation is carried out over an entire week, includes a MTB race, and introduces new races of 4km and 5km - a half-century-old tradition will remain unchanged at the finish line at Grönsta. Just like in 1968, the race's laurel wreaths will be handed over by representatives from Lidingöloppet owner associations.
This year's wreath carriers have now been nominated and it is with great pride that TCS Lidingöloppet presents the representatives Rasmus Palmqvist Aslaksen from IFK Lidingö SOK and Rebecka Öberg from IFK Lidingö Friidrott. The formal nomination ceremony will take place traditionally during the inauguration of the TCS Lidingöloppet Week on the 24th of September. In the same way as in the last 52 years, the wreath carriers will wear the traditional folk costumes and greet the winners in at least 19 races.
In an interview, Rasmus and Rebecka describe the joy and pride associated with accepting these roles in a time when many are longing to return to familiar traditions.
What was your first encounter with TCS Lidingöloppet?
Rebecka: TCS Lidingöloppet has been an annual tradition in the family for as long as I can remember. And not just for us - the race has for long been a gathering point for the entire society - for classmates and their parents, teachers, sports associations, civil society and sports enthusiasts from all over the island. It has been a good environment to grow up in and I am glad that we can soon resume the tradition in almost the same way as before.
Rasmus: I was not a skilled runner as a child, why I did not compete in TCS Lidingöloppet. It was first when I started competing for IFK Lidingö SOK that I became involved in this running party! The first thing I remember was the great number of anticipative and excited people who were suddenly on our usually quiet island, it was an awesome experience.
What is your favorite tradition during the TCS Lidingö race?
Rasmus: It must be to see the elite runners, especially at the end of the race. It's so impressive to see how fast they run, even after fighting for over an hour and a half on the hilly course.
Rebecka: The celebrations in connection with Lidingöruset and Lidingörullet - it shows the joy of movement in its purest form.
TCS Lidingöloppet was organised as virtual races in 2020. What are you looking forward to most as the race events can be carried out in a normal format on Lidingö this year?
Rasmus: Virtual races are great, but I think many people are looking forward to run with others and to be cheered on aroud the course. This social component is necessary as TCS Lidingöloppet is tough and challenging. I'm looking forward to experiencing it again.
Rebecka: Seeing the event whole event being built up in September - there is always excitement in the air when Grönsta and Koltorp begin to smell like fresh-cut grass, and when bridges, fences and signs gradually turn up all over the island. I am also looking forward to following the event and sharing my joy with all the participants.
About Rasmus Palmqvist Aslaksen
Family: Partner Synnøve Bråten, mother Berit, father Lars and sister Alexandra.
Sports: Orienteering. Also trains running and roller skiing.
Merits: Bronze at the Night-SM in orienteering as a junior. Focuses mostly on relays where he has had his greatest achievements.
Goal with his sport: "To constantly try to become a better version of myself and at the same time enjoy what I do".
About Rebecka Öberg
Family: Mother Anna, father Björn and siblings Sofia and Nils.
Sports: Mid- and long distance running
Merits: 2 bronze medals in the Relay-SM 2019 (3x1500 and 4x800), silver medal in Rosa Bandet-loppet in 2019.
Goals with sport: "To run as fast as I can and at the same time contribute to an inclusive athletic community".