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Jakob, Jakob And Jozef Are Running For Charity

The last couple of years Jakob & Jakob have run their bigger races for charity. In so doing, we have raised money for, among others, the Children’s Ward at Saint Francis’ Hospital in Zambia during Marathon des Sables 2013 and for UNICEF during the cancelled New York City Marathon of 2012. We have you – all of our friends, families and readers – to thank for being able to raise a total of around 50 000 SEK for these different charities.

This summer, we have chosen to run for the benefit of Reece’s Rainbow, an adoption grant foundation for children with Down’s syndrome and other special needs. The organisation was recommended to us by my cousin Maria and her husband Nicolas, the parents of two adorable girls, one of which has Trisomy 21 or Down’s syndrome.

In exactly two month’s time, we will be running this year’s big race: the North Face® Lavaredo Ultra Trail, a 120 km long and 5850+ metres steep ultra trail race in the Dolomite mountain range of Italy. Joining us in Italy for our charity run will be Jozef Klcovansky, my dad, who will be running his first ultra marathon; the Cortina Trail, the 47 km long and 2650+ metres steep little sister of the Lavaredo Ultra Trail.

Reece’s Rainbow Adoption Grant Foundation sponsors families who wish to adopt children with Down’s syndrome or other special needs, often from orphanages overseas. These children are viewed as outcasts with no ability to learn or be functional members of society.  They languish in mental institutions, hidden away from the world in shame. To date, Reece’s Rainbow has helped more than 1 000 children to find their adoptive families and raised more than $4,5 million in grant funds to sponsor these families.

Jakob, Jakob and Jozef in Alesia.

Jakob, Jakob and Jozef in Alesia.

Please help us – Jakob, Jakob and Jozef – to raise money for the adoption of children with Down’s syndrome and other special needs by donating to Reece’s Rainbow. They need all the help they can get and we are enormously grateful for every single cent you are able to give!

Click on the picture below to donate.

Loads of love,

J + J + J

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Oranges, Altar Boys and Toboggans

Sometimes I believe that Easter was invented to give Norwegians a last chance to enjoy cross-country skiing before they pack away their winter clothes and prepare for summer (thanks for the inspiration, Margo). The missus has always regaled me with wonderful stories of how her parents used to take her and her sisters to visit their grandparent’s cabin during the Easter holidays, and where they every day went “ut på tur” (roughly translated as “out-into-the-woods-for-some-walking/cross-country skiing/hiking-and-have-lots-of-stops-in-order-to-enjoy-an-orange-and-a-Kvikk-Lunsj”. Footnote: Kvikk Lunsj is the Norwegian version of a Kit Kat).

I, on the other hand, was raised catholic and spent several happy Easters as an altar boy, running hither and thither during all of the Easter masses, making sure that the priests had everything they needed and didn’t miss their steps during the liturgies. During a few years I even got to sing the part of The Crowd/Pontius Pilate in the Passion, which was absolutely awesome, especially when singing together with my old friend Rickard, who always sang the Narrator, and father Zvone (singing the part of Jesus), a Slovenian priest, a close friend and the owner of a tenor voice so stupendous it used to knock the dust off the church bells all by itself.

Working on the tan while avoiding to wake the Princess.

Working on the tan while avoiding to wake the Princess.

But the last four or five years have more or less always been spent at home, since either the missus or myself have been on call at the hospital. Lucky break this year, though, with her free and me on paternity leave. So we decided to pay my father-in-law (he of marathon fame) and his Ellen a visit at his hytte where they always spend Easter and New Years. Being a Norwegian hytte, it lacks running water, electricity and an indoor toilet, but what it lacks in hallmarks of civilisation, it more than makes up for in cosiness and warmth.

Moreover, this was the first time little miss Sunshine was to join us in the ski tracks. Heavily bundled up in a toboggan lined with fur, but still. As luck had it, it turned out to be the best weekend for skiing all winter, and the warmest since last summer. I almost burned myself to a crisp on the terrace in the afternoon sun, and still have a lovely red face in remembrance. Grilled lamb, seasoned sausages and the ubiquitous pizza kept us fed, and our little Sunshine loved every second of the trip. Apart from when she was supposed to sleep. Then she didn’t love every second at all.

Mmm, œufs norvégien. Breakfast eggs fried on the stove, Norwegian style.

Mmm, œufs norvégien. Breakfast eggs fried on the stove, Norwegian style.

Now, what does this post have to do with running? Well… Not much, I admit. But it was good training for the climbs we’ll be doing in the Dolomites this summer. As you can see, I pulled the toboggan for a few kilometres, putting in some weight training as well. Including our two daytrips on skis, I totalled out at 92 km this week with a long run of 34 km (3 h 1 min) carrying a backpack with some water. Pretty decent, since I haven’t carried anything on my back since Alesia last fall.

Anyway, Happy Easter, everybody! And huge congratulations to Meb Keflezighi for winning the Boston Marathon today! The 39-year-old (!) was the first American to win in almost 30 years. Impressive.

Meb Keflezighi of the US, crosses the finish line to win the Men's Elite division of the 118th Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts April 21, 2014 .  AFP PHOTO / Timothy A. CLARY

Meb Keflezighi of the US, crosses the finish line to win the Men’s Elite division of the 118th Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts April 21, 2014 . AFP PHOTO / Timothy A. CLARY

One Year Ago; Marathon des Sables

Today, the 29th edition of the Marathon des Sables begins in earnest, with the self-sufficiency starting with this morning’s breakfast. One year ago, Jakob & Jakob embarked upon their greatest adventure yet, and today, we feel a sense of companionship with the runners standing on the starting line down in Morocco. Quite unexpectedly, we feel a tad jealous, even. We know that we solemnly swore we wouldn’t run the race ever again, but today we are not so sure. One of our dear friends, Markus Johansson (known as Supermasen on Facebook), with whom we had the sincere pleasure of sharing our tent with in the Sahara last year, is going to attempt to better his ranking from last year during this year’s race, making him the first Swede who has run the race during two consecutive years. In honor of his own personal adventure, and in memory of ours, here follows our chronicle of last year’s race, unabridged. Reading it transported me back to the heat, sweat, dirt, sand, wind, tent, blisters, blood, camaraderie, views, fatigue and all of the lovely people we met during last year’s race.

Good luck, Supermasen!!!

Click here for the Chronicle of Marathon des Sables 2013!


Jakob and Markus waiting outside Doc Trotter's to get their feet fixed.

Jakob and Markus waiting outside Doc Trotter’s to get their feet fixed.

Me and Markus during the charity leg for UNICEF last year.

Jakob and Markus during the charity leg for UNICEF last year.