I can’t believe it: I PB-ed! Only by 40 seconds to be fair (official time is 3:27:50), but hey I PB-ed!! And the person responsible for that is Ole, a guy who wanted to overtake me at kilometre 7 or so and it took him 20 kilometre to finish his job. Hahaha. As a result I ran a lot faster than I naturally would have run, and Ole was also good company and it gives you definitely a boost, when you make friends and have a running buddy beside you. That’s him by the way, we met again at the finish.
Other contributing factor might been the midnight sun. They say it gives you an extra energy boost. A negative contribution was the fact that Norway does not seem to allow energy gels with caffeine or other boosting additives. Arghhh! I do need my caffeine gels over the last 10 ks. And I think it did feel that I didn’t have them, but luckily because of Ole’s insane running pace I had still enough buffer for the PB. An other negative was that the course was not exactly flat. It was not crazily hilly either, but crossing this monster of a bridge twice was in itself a little challenge. Overall was the Tromso Midnight Sun Marathon a one of its kind experience. Running along the Fjords is stunning, and doing it which such a bunch of cheery people, while crossing and passing the impressive bridge, the Arctic Cathedral and the many breathtaking sceneries and having this all dipped into the warm light of the midnight sun creates an experience that you won’t forget and makes you want to come back.
It’s 8:20pm, I made it to the start line, which is always promising.
The temperature is not as cold as I feared, maybe my running tights are to much. The guys here in Tromso are partying as a warm up, which really gets you into the mood! The sun is coming out, no sign of surprise rain. It’s going to be fun, I can feel it.
This is what night currently looks like in Tromso. Picture was taken around 11pm.
I arrived here yesterday and thought I’d make use of the time leading up to the marathon going for a test run. At night. To tune in to the whole midnight sun marathon thing. And what a tune in it was. Here the main points that I found out:
1. The midnight sun is really a sun. It is not the duskish or dawnish feeling I expected. It took me quite a while to find the right comparison. But then I thought it really feels like a sunny winter day, when the sun is out and shiny, but not very high at the horizon. You can feel the warmth in the cold. And yes, it was cold, which leads me to point 2.
2. It was cold, despite temperature around 13 degree during the day. It dropped quite a bit to 5 or 6 degree during night (it still feels weird to call it night, because it isn’t). The marathon starts on Saturday 8:30pm, so I better get the running tights and an extra layer on and I must not forget my cap and sunglasses, which is the next point.
3. Because the sun is relatively low, but still quite strong, you need something to protect you from being blinded. There is no escape, if the sun is in front of you. So running during the midnight sun is not the same as running into a an orange lightish sunset or sunrise.
Apart from this I am surprised what constant day light does to you. When I finished my run at half 11pm, it still felt like a late afternoon and I did not feel like going to bed at all. I really had to shut the curtains to simulate night in order to get sleepy. Today I am feeling nearly a bit jet lacked, despite having had enough sleep. But that is measured in hours, not in quality. However, it is a cool experience here in Tromso in the Arctic Circle and experiencing the 24 hours sun. I was told today it lasts for 2 month, before the sun sets again. Can’t imaging living through the corresponding 2 winter months, where is no sun. But I am tempted to come back in winter anyhow, because I also learned Tromso is the ideal place for Northern Lights watching.