One of the world’s foremost trail runners, Emelie Forsberg, is running along Kungsleden at the moment. She is trying to do set a new speed record. Usually, people make a ”through hike” in three to four weeks – Emelie will be running it in five days.

Emelie Forsberg is a world class recognized trail runner who has won some of the most iconic races around the world and she has been World Champion and winner of the Skyrunning World Series. Besides, Emelie’s love for the mountains has also brought her to try to set up Fastest Known Time (FKT) in peaks around the world. Recently, she set up two records in one week: in Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Europe (4.810m) and in Monte Rosa, in the Italian Alps (4.554m).

Starting at midnight, she also wants to try to set up a FKT at Kungsleden, the King’s Trail, trying to reach the end in less than 5 days.

Emelie Forsberg. Photo: Kilian Jornet.

Emelie, you’re about to run all of Kungsleden, and its 440 kilometres in five days. How is that possible? How much do you exercise?

– First of all, let’s see if it’s possible. It’s a big challenge! But I think it will work out just fine if nothing unexpected happens. Still, it’s the first time I run this far, and for so many long days in a row. I train week in and week out, approximately 15–25 hour per week depending on if it’s race season or not.

Emelie Forsberg will try to set up a new Fastest Known Time (FKT) at the King's Trail. Photo: Jordi Saragossa.

I understand this is a dream you’ve had for many years, why? And also, why now? And why running?

– Yes, I worked at Saltoluokta Mountain Station back in 2007, and I got the idea back then. It’s been fun to check out my old notes from that time. Then I was aiming at running 40–50 kilometres per day. Back then I ran Saltoluokta to Aktse, and I remember thinking that maybe Kungsleden was as good for running as it is for hiking.

Wasn’t it in Saltoluokta you also started your career? How do you expect it to be to come back after the first day of running, some ten years later?

– Oh, I’m sure it will be great to be back after some 100 kilometres of running! I will have a good night’s sleep. And yes, you are right, the first time I tried going fast, and kind of chasing a record, was from the mountain station in Saltoluokta up on the nearby mountain Lulep Kierkau. But I didn’t know it would take me this far.

You will be southbound, running from Abisko towards Hemavan. Of all the parts on Kungsleden, which one do you think will be the toughest? Is it any part you are looking forward to more than another?

– Mentally I think it will be brutal on the fourth day, the part between Jäckvik and Ammarnäs. Because I’m kind of in the middle of the race and it’s still a long way to go. Physically the last day will be the toughest – just because I have four days in my legs already. But then I can gain mentally on the fact that it is the last day. Going long distance is always a challenge, but you know: I have seen parts of the trail in Sarek and around Kebnekaise, so I know it’s beautiful, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the other parts as well.

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