Hans Kristian Smedsrød
My name is Hans Kristian Smedsrød. I’m 30 year old mountain/ultra/trail runner from Norway. In June 2019 I quit my well paid job as a computer programming teacher in Oslo, rented out my apartment for the next twelve months and bought a one way ticket to Spain. With me I had a 75L backpack with a pair of running shoes, a tent, a laptop and a couple of microphones. I was heading for the Buff Epic Trail in the Pyrenees. This would be my first race as a traveling running vagabond/bum. Since then I’ve been to Andorra where I did the Skyrace Comapedrosa and after that I went to Switzerland, where I’m at right now.
My plan with this whole journey was to run in epic mountains, meet new people and document the journey through my podcast, which is kind of the impetus to the whole project in the first place. 1.5 years ago I started a podcast called “Nå er det alvor”, which means something like “Now we’re talking”. It started out really low key where me and a running friend of mine just hit “record” on my computer after a run. We talked about all things running and it pretty soon hit a spark in the Scandinavian running community. I tried to keep the topics really varied since I find talking about running really boring after a while. I soon understood that people were using the podcast as company on their long runs, so I started creating really long episodes. 5.5 hours is my longest, and people loved it.
After a while I created a Patreon page for the podcast where people could sponsor me with micro donations. In return they get exclusive content and early access to shows . After a year of doing this I saw the light in the tunnel an figured out I could – if I lived like a “bum” – do this and only this. And that’s when I quit my job and decided to do this full time. I’m writing this from a camping site in Zinal, Switzerland. I’m here not to do the classic Sierre-Zinal race which is on Sunday, but to spectate, run in the mountains and meet new people, and possibly record a podcast with some of them.
Since I left the country I’ve done five podcast recordings. They are all in English. I soon figured out these episodes were suited for an international audience, which is why I’ve created a new podcast called The Blazin’ Podcast. As you’ll hear in the intro/first episode of the podcast this podcast is dedicated to this project and not even I know what the next episode will be about. I don’t even know where I’ll be next week! I have an interrail ticket which means I can go anywhere by bus and train in Europe.
My next race is the Ultra Tour Monte Rosa in the beginning of September, which is a four day stage race around the mountain Monte Rosa. Not only will I run the race and hopefully make a podium spot, but I’ll document the whole thing to my audience. After this race I’m not sure where to go. I’ll keep living this lifestyle as long as it’s sustainable and I enjoy it. If I hate it after three months I might go back to Norway. Who knows? All I know is that I have no real home for the next twelve homes and I will continue making podcast episodes for my fans and explore the best trails and coolest mountains I can reach by train and bus.