Be inspired by our stylish Global E-marketing Director and publisher Linda Hellqvist as she crossed the finish line of the half-marathon in New York City on March 16.

bylineLike most things with me, it started as a challenge… Two years after my daughter was born I was commuting two hours a day, working full time and picking Bella up at day-care every day. I made it work, but complained that I never had time to work out. While I was obsessing about the yoga classes I never had time for, an annoying health freak colleague (I love her to pieces) kept saying that surely there was time for a 15 minute run! That stuck with me even though I couldn’t remember the last time I had gone running.

She knows me well and said the magic words “I bet you…” So I started taking 15 minute runs. Before too long, the runs got longer and became a form of meditation. I was hooked! Oddly enough, all of a sudden I managed to squeeze in some running between commuting, work, and the day-care run. Full circle!

Then my sister added another “I bet you…” and I ended up not only meditating through my running, but chasing better times and racing as a hobby. I loved it. Before I knew it I had decided to do what I’d said I would never do: run a half marathon. It was awful. As painful as childbirth. Seriously! Or at least that’s how it felt then. But I made it. I was so proud of myself – and I promised myself to never run a half marathon again… 

So here I was seven months later, getting ready for another one. And this time, there was not even an “I bet you…” involved. There’s something even stronger than bets and challenges: New York City - Manhattan, Baby! I love this place. I simply step foot on Manhattan and feel totally alive. I sit in a café in Chelsea, people-watch and absorb the NYC atmosphere. I run in Central Park or down by the Hudson. I eat delicious food and walk everywhere. This place offers endless variety. After having visited many times I thought it was time to see a new side of New York. I’ve done the tour buses, so I figured the only thing left was a two-hour running tour around the island with my best friend. It felt like a brilliant idea a couple of months ago when I was determined not to let the Swedish winter stop me from running. It did for a while, but I persisted. At the finish line on 16 March I jumped for joy – though not very high – very proud of another accomplishment. More than anything, I was amazed that I did something without being challenged. Must mean I’m growing up… 



1   SURELY there is time for a 15 minute run… Get started even if it’s just for a short run. That short run is likely to become longer!
   Bring your phone or iPod and listen to podcasts. It feels like running with interesting, entertaining friends but you don’t have to say a word. Win/Win!
 3  Healthy is strong. Give your body all the rest, nutrients and vitamins it needs and stay hydrated. I boost up with Vitamin D in winter and always stack up on Astaxanthin tablets.
 4 SPF is a must… Don’t forget to protect yourself from the sun!
 5  Feel great, look great. Spring’s around the corner and what better place to find the season’s new key pieces than NYC. Once the run’s out of the way, I’m really looking forward to some serious shopping. That’s what I call a reward! I’ll go for a white-on-white look to match sun kissed skin and bright lips for spring. Mascara is also a must of course, all year round!

Words by: Photographs by: Linda Hellqvist