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Deceased Jørgensen's great rival: He was inspiring

It is now some years ago, Allan Zachariasen has seen Henrik Jørgensen, but the message on Jørgensen's untimely death hit the previous eliteløber hard.

- It is really a shock. Although it is many years ago, so, Henrik has filled much of my life and still do.

I hold many lectures and is often asked to our rivalry. So this has hit me, and I could feel it in the stomach with the same, when I got the sad message. It is shocking, says Allan Zachariasen.

Henrik Jorgensen was in good shape to the last. For him and the family was running a lifestyle, and the winner of the London Marathon in the year 1988 and ran daily.

It was during one of his beloved jogs close to home on the island of Bornholm, that he Saturday noon was struck by cardiac arrest and died at the age of only 57 years.

Denmark has lost one of its greatest atletikstjerner, Allan Zachariasen have lost a comrade, a competitor and a source of inspiration.

- Henry was a really sweet guy and a good mate. There was never anything with him. He was quiet and calm and a very pleasant man.

- When he won in London, it was not something to jump and dance. It was arms in the air, and that was it. Typically Henrik, says Allan Zachariasen for an Extra Magazine.

Allan Zachariasen in his element on the road. He was the competitor with Henrik Jørgensen, who at the age of only 57 have died. Photo: Lars Skaaning
In the’80s was Henrik Jørgensen and Allan Zachariasen competitors on the road in it, there was a Danish langdistanceløbs golden age.

Zachariasen was the established name, the six year younger Jørgensen the young, ambitious challenges.

- He had a big ambition, and it helped us all along. We were already on the way, but he came with ambitions, which was not seen before. He was so targeted.

- It was inspired, and it moved the bar for Danish long-distance runners. We thought, ’we had better jump in here’, says Allan Zachariasen, who remember how a young Henrik Jørgensen told, that he would put the nordic record of maratondistancen.

What's he thinking, however, was the reaction of the competitors, but the marathon runner with the distinctive headband in 1985 set a nordic record (2:09:43), which held right up until 2017.

And so it can probably be that we others got laced shoes, laughs Allan Zachariasen, who also remember, how Henrik Jørgensen's huge volume of training, was an inspiration for the Danish long-distance runners:

- Once I heard that he in the course of a training camp had over 350 miles in a week. So I went to Mallorca and run 370 miles.

Running was a way of life for Henrik Jørgensen and the family. Here is he with his daughter Anna, who today is eliteløber, and his wife Mette. Photo: Jens Dresling
How are many stories between Denmark's two best marathon runners through the ages.

Henrik Jørgensen's record with his 2:09:43 from 1985, while Allan Zachariasen some years earlier had the race in 2:11:05, when he won in Barcelona.

Thus he is still second best dane on the mythological distance.

- We had a healthy rivalry and both trained and travelled much together.

Henry got us all to believe that although we came from Denmark, so we could then well follow. He was a great sportsman and also great purely human, says Allan Zachariasen, who in his active career, from 1972 to 1991 won 26 individual Danish championships in the race.

Henrik Jørgensen's personal records

1500 meters: 3.46 minutes

3000 metres: 7.55 minutes

5000 metres: 13.27 minutes

the 10000 metres: 27.57 minutes

the half marathon: 1.02.07 hours

the Marathon: 2.09.43 hours

He has continued to the nordic junior record in the 10 km at 29.00 minutes, as he as an 18-year-old put in 1980

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because of bronchitis and a broken achilles tendon runs 63-year-old Zachariasen not more.

Denmark's second best marathon runner through the ages works as a løbekonsulent DGI Nordsjælland.

Denmark's best marathon runner is here, unfortunately, no longer.

the Face of the Additional Blade's sports section the day after Henrik Jørgensen's victory in London in 1988

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