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Saturday 25th June – Midnight Sun Marathon Tromsø, Arctic Circle (Nor)


Report from OAC’s Dale Foster:

26.2 miles, on the ROAD !!!

Each year the arctic city of Tromsø in the north of Norway hosts its Midnight Sun Marathon.

Setting off in the evening during the 24 hours of summer sunlight is a surreal experience that ensures a good turnout of runners and supporters who line the route. The first Midnight Sun Marathon was held in 1989 and, at 70º latitude, it is the most northerly AIMS-certified (Association of International Marathons and Road Races) Marathon in the world.

“Oh, you’re a runner are you then?” is always followed up by the non-running fraternity with, ”Have you run a Marathon then?”. So it had to be done. But it had to be done, differently.

Arrived Thursday and didn’t see darkness until the next week upon my return to Heathrow. Most bizarre.

Little training owing to injury sustained in February so not bad to finish in 3:37 on 20 miles jogging per week on the canal. The extra 7 minutes over the 3:30 meant I rolled in at 7 minutes past midnight in the daylight! Took me two days then?! Hindsight being a wonderful thing, I do not think that climbing up to one of their 3,000′ snow-capped summits the night before the Marathon was a good move. However, I couldn’t afford to go to the pub in Norway.

One HUGE oversight next. Pubs shut around 1am to 2am and if you do manage to procure a beer in this strict country, it will cost you £12 a pint!!!! Not one then I suspect for my team-mate Tom H…wouldn’t recommend a Club trip out there. It is entertaining though to watch the townsfolk all semi-battered at 2:30am awaiting kebabs, with the police wagon rolling down the road in BROAD daylight…

The route then. Running 10km around a bollard, to run back again into the fishing outpost that is Tromsø. Smell of rotting fish by the docks. Half-marathon down, another 10km out into the suburbs on a dual carriageway, then 10km back to Tromsø AGAIN. All the time passing short Japanese runners running on the opposite carriageway waving their national flags.

Not my cup of tea, but at £12 a pint, it had to be that – a cup of tea.

Never again. Pie & Peas, pint, beautiful scenery, fells – under a fiver please !!

Winner: Jens Berg – Norway – 2:34:17
(Well Down!): Dale Foster – English Fell Runner – 3:37:41

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