Stine Rex Denmark

Welcome to an in-depth interview with Stine Rex from Denmark, recent winner of the 48H GOMU World Championship. Stine participated as well four times at IAU Championships, 2 times 24H World and 2 time 24H European Championships. During 2018 IAU 24H European Championship she managed to win silver medal individually.

Join us as we delve into the journey of Stine Rex, guided by her remarkable performance in the world of ultrarunning during 48H GOMU World Championship. In this interview, conducted by Daniel Westergren, we will explore Stine's triumph at this competion, her pursuit of the world record, and the challenges she faced during the race. We will also gain insights into Stine's sleep, rest, and nutrition strategy, her career as an ultrarunner, and her dedication to running for charity.

Video interview in English

The thrilling battle

Daniel Westergren:
[0:00] I think that must have been one of the most amazing and thrilling battles I have seen in an ultramarathon. And it ended with Stine Rex going further than any woman has ever done in 48 hours before. Congratulations.

Stine Rex:
[0:18] Thank you very much. Thank you.

Daniel Westergren:
[0:20] You yeah you ended up at 228 meters longer than camille heron's world record after 48 hours and yeah we will return to the fact that there's still a discussion going on if the record would be ratified or not but let us now first go back to the last six to seven hours of this race when When you and Irina had a real, real fight where you could see each other when you passed every lap, but she did not get closer. Can you tell us about those thrilling hours?

Stine Rex:
[1:02] It was very hard because we had already run in 40 hours. And then I could see that she was the only one around behind me. And I thought I had to do what I could to keep the distance between us. So every, with every, uh, kilometers we met and I could see every time that she was a little bit further than me or a little bit slower than me. And I always hoped that she was going to the toilet or something because we, we gave it all we could. I couldn't run faster and I could see that she couldn't run faster. So seven hours and I had to pee, but I couldn't because yeah, then I would lose our minutes of the time.

Daniel Westergren:
[1:50] Yeah, because for us who followed that, you increased the pace almost for every lap until you were down to like 5.30 per kilometer. How could you be able to run that fast at the end of race? Were you ever afraid that you would break? Because Irina did not stop and you had to go faster than maybe you could.

Stine Rex:
[2:16] I could feel that my legs was no problem. I could continue that pace I was running, but I couldn't run faster. So every time I met my husband, who is my biggest helper, and he just gave me something to drink and some Mentos and then run, run, and he was all around the course and I could see him and he was cheering for me and we were 11 Danish runners to this event. So I had a lot of help from the other Danish people. both the one who's running who's helped me keep the pace and the ones who stood on the side and cheering for me that helped me a lot.

Daniel Westergren:
[3:00] Yeah and in the end you ended up only less than one kilometer ahead of Irina. When did you feel that oh I am going to win this race?

Stine Rex:
[3:12] The last the last race, the last turn, I thought that now she can't do it because I also saw that she was getting slower the last four rounds.

Daniel Westergren:
[3:25] How stressful was it for you? Or was it more that it was motivating?

Stine Rex:
[3:31] It totally motivated. The last seven hours, it just happened because you looked at the time all the time and just thought, okay, come on, come on, come on. So it was very exciting to be a part of.

Chasing the World Record

Daniel Westergren:
[3:51] And at the end, you were also getting closer and closer to the world record. But still, with a few laps left, you ran around with a Danish flag around your shoulder and you looked relaxed. Did you know how close you were to the world record?

Stine Rex:
[4:09] No, it was first two rounds in the final. I said to the two Danish runners, I think if I'm running a little bit faster, I can do the world record. And they said, do it, Stine, do it. And I said, okay. And then they took my flag and I had to run everything I could. So I didn't believe it. And it was so big for me just to win the world, yeah, be the world champion that the world record was something I didn't even thought ever I could do because I think that Camille Heron is amazing and totally crazy and a big inspiration for all, also women. So I never thought that I could run 435 kilometers, no.

Daniel Westergren:
[5:09] And how much did your support pace you towards the world record? And how much was the pacing only to be ahead of Irina?

Stine Rex:
[5:23] It was 100% to be ahead of Irina. And if Irina hadn't been there I would never have done the world record because I had slowed down and enjoyed and feeling good instead of running like I was chased by a car or something.

Daniel Westergren:
[5:45] And when you finally could sit down after 48 hours, you were the world champion, you were 228 meters longer than Camille Herron's distance. Describe the feelings.

Stine Rex:
[6:02] It's not enough for me and my husband yet we will talk about it but we are not feeling it yet because it's so big for us and it's something I never thought that I could do.

Daniel Westergren:
[6:16] And I hear that you are also the first Danish person to be a world champion in athletics?

Stine Rex:
[6:24] Yeah, yeah it's crazy.

Daniel Westergren:
[6:27] What is it with Denmark and ultra running? I mean you were number five in the world championships in 24 hours, but only the second Danish woman, because Katja Lykke Tonstad took your Danish record and now you come to the 48 hour world championship and you win a gold medal. Denmark is just a small country.

Stine Rex:
[6:49] Yeah, we are always joking about the Vikings, you know, and the weather was terrible. It was raining, and it was cloudy, and it was windy, and it was hot, and it was everything. But in Denmark, we're used to bad weather.

Daniel Westergren:
[7:10] Yeah maybe that's the main reason and of course after your finish the social media exploded everyone wanted to congratulate you. How overwhelming has this experience been for you?

Stine Rex:
[7:24] It has been crazy. Normally it's Denmark but this is the whole world has congratulated me me. So it's really, really big for me and my whole family.

Record that may not be ratified

Daniel Westergren:
[7:40] And then of course there is the sad side of the story that we talked about, that maybe this record will not be ratified because the event was not sanctioned by the Hungarian Athletics Federation, it had no IAU label. How important would it be for you to have the world record and how disappointing would it be if the record will not be recognized?

Stine Rex:
[8:07] I think it's really difficult to say because I can't understand why it's it cannot be what's called a weekend recognized because I thought that everything was like it used to the normal EIU races there was totally a control of everything thing, so yeah, but, um, let's see, they used to be good friends and also runners are good to help each other.

Daniel Westergren:
[8:42] And still you can feel that at least you have the distance.

Daniel Westergren:
[8:46] And I mean, this was just an event that was part of your way towards the six days world record that you recently announced that you will do an attempt at the six days world record at the end of the summer. And now you already took this distance at the 48 hours. How motivating is that for the second attempt now at the end of the summer to another world record?

Stine Rex:
[9:16] I think right now I'm really sad that I have to run six days because I thought two days was crazy. But in a few days, I think that I'm ready again. But right now I think I'm going to die.

Sleep, Rest, and Nutrition Strategy

Daniel Westergren:
[9:33] Yeah because of course 48 hours is one of the most maybe the toughest ultra event, that that there is because you have to balance is do i have time to sleep do i have time to rest and how much to eat and everything and still being able to run as fast as possible tell me a bit about your strategy when it comes to sleeping and resting and about the nutrition.

Stine Rex:
[10:01] I'm so lucky that my husband is also my trainer and he's really good at, you know, he's a military guy, so he has everything written down and I know everything he said I do. So I slept two times, 12 minutes after 32 hours, I think. You know, it's a little bit blurry. And then I slept 20 minutes the last night. I felt really good by sleeping. It was like my legs were ready again. They went maybe five minutes where I really ran with stiff legs, but after that it was good again and my brain got enough energy. So I really felt fresh and I felt that it helped me be better because every Every time I had slept, I started to take distance from Victoria, who was number one at the race almost the whole time. I could see that when I had slept and she hadn't slept, I got better and she got slower. And the same with Irina. It was hard to wake up and see that they have taken some laps from me, but we have so many hours left so yeah i'm gonna take them later yeah.

Daniel Westergren:
[11:29] And yeah of course it's good to mention Victoria Brown, because the three women above 400 kilometers isnothing close to what we have seen before. Nutrition-wise, what what kind of energy did you take did eat any real food? Because 48 hours is a long time.

Stine Rex:
[11:52] Yeah i always eat something called mentos, do you know what that is? Yeah it's like candy but it's good because you feel fresh in your mouth and it's easy to eat um then i eat the real food like pasta and rice um i eat um, I pick a lot of ice creams when it's hot. It's the best thing in the world, and you can eat and run together. It's like a party. Then I got a lot of Coca-Cola, a lot of water. I'm not very good at the energy bar, and I don't use that. I use almost only real food. I got some pizza, but it didn't work. And so in Finland we have something called oatmeal and milk. I got a lot of that, maybe too much.

Job & ultrarunning career

Daniel Westergren:
[12:56] Yeah, but apparently it worked out so that you could stay on the course in those last hours. But of course, you are not new to ultra running. You have been doing this for many years now and you have very good merits. You had the world record for 72 hours before. You have been number five in the 24 hour world championship recently, and you have been even better than that before. So tell me a little bit about Stine Rex as an ultra runner.

Stine Rex:
[13:28] Yeah, I'm from Aalborg in Denmark. I'm 44 years old. I work in something called, which is a fitness place and a water park. And it's a hotel. It's a lot of things combined. And I have...

Daniel Westergren:
[13:51] Do you work full-time?

Stine Rex:
[13:52] Yeah, full-time. And I'm the head chief for the sports events. So I have a lot of instructors under me who do yoga and glutes and jumping and bungee fitness and different things. So normally it's my job to make it happen and get a lot of members for our fitness. So it's a really good job and I can use my inspiration to other normal people who are not as crazy as me but like to do exercise. So I teach them to train.

Daniel Westergren:
[14:36] And do you get any time to train yourself when you work full-time?

Stine Rex:
[14:41] Yeah, every morning I run for five to six and then I run to work and I run home from work. So it's about 20 to 25 kilometers a day. Yeah. And so I use, you know, my fitness, I have dropped classes a week, like pilates and core training and so on. So I think that's a good thing. I also have the other thing that makes me better. I never have any problem with my back or my shoulders or my knees or anything because I'm strong all over my body.

Daniel Westergren:
[15:26] Yeah, that's excellent. And you have been in ultra running the last 10 years, we could say, and you started to win immediately. What attracted you to ultra running and what did you do before you found this sport?

Stine Rex:
[15:45] I started ultra running running for some years ago. I have run marathons before, under three hours. It's okay in Denmark, but in the world, three hours is nothing. Women are so fast now. I tried my first ultra running and I thought it was fantastic because it's one thing to run, but you have to be so strong in your mind to keep on doing it and i love the different races all over the world and something like spot teflon or bad water it's so amazing to try to be in difficult places and overcoming it and yeah winning over yourself um and then i think that example this race in In the 48 hours race, I felt that I got so many new friends. All the runners are amazing. They are so good and have a good mind and so nice to each other and really good cheering. And yeah, after the race, I feel that I have got two new friends for Victoria and Irina because they are put, what's it called when people are working together, and help each other but we are still competing against each other but unacquainting each other's work.

Strength in Endurance

Daniel Westergren:
[17:31] Yeah, that's the nice thing and the beauty of ultra running that while being competitors you're still friends and trying to push each other and of course you are very bad at giving up. Is that your main strength as an ultra runner?

Stine Rex:
[17:49] Maybe. I think my legs are tired after six hours and after 20 hours they're better than they are after six hours so I always say to myself just Just wait and see when people are, you know, running it from me. So the longer, the better.

Running for charity

Daniel Westergren:
[18:13] Yeah, and maybe that strength will be very good when you are going to do this six-day attempt at the end of the summer. What is your goal there?

Stine Rex:
[18:26] When I do the things, last year I ran for three days. I did it because I thought it could be funny to see if I could break the world record. But my main agenda is to collect money for charity. So last year I ran three days and ran 505 kilometers. But I collected half a million in Danish crowns.

Daniel Westergren:
[18:58] Is that extra motivating for you also when you tried to perform?

Stine Rex:
[19:03] Exactly. It helps me be better and go longer and push harder. So this year I collected something called SME. We help children with illness. It's a lot of fun at the hospital. So we help parents and, you know, the children who are not at the hospital also to have it better together with the whole family.

Daniel Westergren:
[19:32] Yeah, that's a fantastic. So ultra running does not have to be a sport only for yourself, but as we can see, you can use it also to help others.

Stine Rex:
[19:45] Yeah, it's amazing that I can use myself by running to collect money for somebody who really have use for the money. Yeah, so that is really important for me.

Daniel Westergren:
[20:00] Perfect. So I wish you most of luck in this six days race later, but for now, a lot of congratulations to the new 48 hour world champion, Stine Rex.

Stine Rex:
[20:14] Thank you.

Contact us in Social Networks