Mikael Harmander Salleke is 42 years old and lives in Skogsby with his wife and an 8-year-old daughter. On weekdays, he works as a marketer at Modig Machine Tool. When Mikael is not working, the family and his daughter's activities receive a lot of attention. As a new pony dad, he also spends a lot of hours at Hälsogården's riding center in Risinge, which can somewhat jokingly be called the family's second home. Training is also one of Mikael's great interests and at least three times a week you can meet him in running shoes here and there on Öland. Here are his tips on places in Öland that are perfect for a running adventure.
Experience Öland in running shoes - Tips from market drivers and pony dads with running in their legs
Imagine lacing up your running shoes in the backlight and following a tractor path out into the open. Allow fresh air to fill the lungs. With each step, the 136's murmur echoes away. What remains is the calm, the stillness and magnificent expanses. Let the running adventure begin.
The seriousness really invites you to run and it's easy to be "carried away" by the mighty landscape, regardless of whether you follow old hiking trails, look for concrete covers or run between the various sources of fresh water to fill your water bottle. The possibilities for good running are endless. I usually start from Karlevi and run along the great Alvarsleden, when I approach Frösslunda I turn off towards Ekelunda to run around Dröstorp and unplanned back. Gösslunda is also a favorite to start from when it comes to cross-country skiing. From here you can run down to Tingstad's flisor, two roughly three meter high hewn limestone chips that are erected high up on a beach embankment. Back in Gösslunda again, you can join the Gösslundaleden and follow it up to the mighty long Mittmuren, which splits Öland for just over four miles. I get over the wall at the appropriate place and make my way on to Bårbykälla and on towards Möckelmossen - and back. Alvaret just so powerful, desolate, changing and dizzyingly beautiful regardless of the season.
Konungsbacke, the old railway between Skogsby and Lenstad and Rösslösa nature reserve
East of Skogsby on the road towards Kalkstad there is a small parking lot on the left. From there, the tractor road enters the Mittlandsskogens with its hidden treasures. The first thing you pass is the secret gardens. A slightly magical place with plants well hidden from the outside world. On paths through the Konungsbacke nature reserve, I find my way to the old railway bank, which offers a terrific run. Here, in a bygone era, trains whizzed by to Lenstad, something that can be difficult to understand today. In the spring it's like running under an arch of greenery so in the fall it's so magical to think how it was here in the past not only when the trains ran but when mile after mile of stone walls grew up. Arriving at Lenstad's old station house, I follow the road to Smedsgärde to find my way on paths through the dense midland forest until I arrive at Ödeskog ödeby and the Rösselkärret nature reserve. Places reminiscent of ancient days. The Midland forest is slowly but surely eating up the exciting ruins from the village that was destroyed in the early 1900th century. Hope everyone takes up the challenge of discovering this hidden and forgotten but oh so beautiful part of Öland.
I park the car at Skedemosse Museum and Gårdsbryggeri to go for a run in one of my favorite places on Öland. I follow the tractor road until the Natura 2000 area. Running on sheep-grazed grass further out towards the bog, which was Scandinavia's most important place of sacrifice during the Iron Age and Viking Age. Among other things, Sweden's largest gold treasure has been found in the dried-up bog. I stop for a while and take in the horror of a bygone era. There is a bit of mystery in the air, to say the least. I look further up to Sörby borg, which has been forgotten for almost 300 years. I run back on the clearly marked trail and pass a small charming farm before starting the sprint back to beautiful Skedemosse Gård.
Culture run along Margit Fribergstigen, Smedby and Gåsesten
Along the sea. Like a king in running shoes.... Lonely majesty on an Öland beach.
After a turn out on the Alvaret, I have looked down the edge of the castle at Smedby and run along the beach to the south. I run in the footsteps of the Öland writer Margit Friberg and combine running with culture. During the run that starts in Smedby in southern Öland, I pass the environments Margit Friberg grew up in and take part in texts from her books. The texts can be picked up at Smedby's local community association and on a map it is excellent when and where the various texts should be read. The run gets a whole new dimension and pace becomes completely insignificant. I take my time to enjoy the views, the environments and the well-written texts. I run to Gåsesten along the sea and just enjoy, let the run never end.
Beijershamn, Sandbergen and Kleva
Crushed dreams from a failed port project. But fantastic nice run. Beijershamn, what a magnificent place. Today, a two-km-long pier and magnificent views remain. I return here often, as I sometimes imagine running from home in Skogsby down to the stables in Risinge while my daughter rides. I usually always run a lap on the long hiking loop out at Beijershamn during the seasons when I don't disturb the birdlife. Otherwise, I pass by in Vickleby Forest and follow the sea up to Sandbergen and on towards Kleva. I run along pebble beaches and dramatically sloping sand hills. Passing Sandbergen's party place where the swaying of the pine trees in the wind is said to take place in time to Syster Sol's song Kärleksrevolt. I follow the slope with a magical view of Kalmarsund. In some places, it is important to keep your tongue in your mouth as the path runs terribly close to the steep side. As I approach Kleva, I make my way down from the dunes to the pebble beach and pass the small tree that has struggled to stay on dry land for several years.
Ekerum, Rällaskogen and the stairs
An Island Kingdom for fun trail running. With a multitude of paths, slopes and a staircase with 118 steps. In the summers, when we are in our cabin in Ekerum, I usually run at least once to Mormor's Stenugnsbageri in Stora Rör and buy their fantastic buns.
I am lucky to live so close to Station Linné and their fantastically well-maintained hiking trails. When I'm short on time, I usually run the 6,5 km Tengöleden. The trail follows paths through old Skogsby and the excavations they do there. The path runs along a more than 15 km long hand-dug trench that was built in the interwar years. Past a sheepfold, over a shack and out onto the Alvaret and back to Station Linné again. If you want, you can extend the round and run the back way to Kalkstad on a dirt road and out on the Alvaret and on a well-trodden path run towards Eriksöre and there join the trail again. A nice round through different types of nature in Öland.
Eleklinta and Bruddesta
If you have an eight-year-old who wants to come along on a bike, running between Äleklinta and Bruddesta is difficult. The dizzying view and the dramatic landscape along Öland's coastal road are enticing and the daughter on a bike has a wonderful adventure. During this round, coffee and throwing stones into the sea at Bruddesta is a must. Then it is the first back to Äleklinta that wins.
Do you want to follow Mikael's life as a pony dad and running enthusiast? Follow him on Instagram.