Nordmarka Skogsmaraton

553This morning I lined up with 400+ other runners at Sognsvann for the Nordmarka Skogsmaraton (forest marathon). The rain had stopped and it was a pleasant temperature for running. The cheerleaders had gone on ahead to get a good spot. With next to no training under my belt I really had no idea how I was going to fare.

My quads felt tired from the start despite having only been out running once in the past week. Most of the course was on good solid gravel forest tracks and I still managed to set off at a reasonable pace. At the half way point I was all set for a three hours finish time although my legs were tiring.

Unfortunately, the second half of the course was hillier (the course had about 850m of climb in total according to my watch). To make matters worse it started to hail at one point and then tipped it down for the next 5-10 minutes. Then we reached the section that left the tracks and headed along a rocky footpath. My legs really didn’t enjoy the loss of rhythm and when we eventually rejoined the track I had cramps rippling up and down my calves. Not pleasant!

Having climbed out of Ullevalsetter it was then downhill all the way to the finish. This seemed to bring other runners to a walk but, although uncomfortable, I was able to keep up a reasonable pace. My final time was 3:13:38 – just over half an hour slower than the winner but 13th in my class and 30th overall. I would have been happy with anything under 3:30 so I’m not going to think too hard about how much slower I must have gone in the second half! If you see what looks like an old man hobbling around Oslo in the next couple of days then it’s probably me!

PS: Couldn’t find a GPS track for the course so here’s a GPX file if it’s of use to anyone in the future. You can also view the KML file on Google.

4 Responses to “Nordmarka Skogsmaraton”

  1. Neil says:

    looking at the map it is clear what the problem is, you took a long detour to Hakkola and then had to turn back. If you had just continued on round the lake to the finish you would have won easily…


  2. Dave says:

    Trusting bunch that they obviously were, the organisers had thought of that one and they were busy jotting down running numbers at the turning point. It was a bit dispiriting to see how far ahead the front runners were at that point but also nice to see some of the people behind you as well!

  3. Hi Dave,
    I live only 300 meters from Sognsvann, by Kringsjå t-banestation, and of all the blogs I found when googled for marathon training+blogpost was yours (I am building a small marathon website as you can see). Really small world… I am a two time Norwegian Olympic runner and have spent around 50.000 miles around the Sognsvann lake area 🙂 I hope marathon recovery goes well and good luck to you.

  4. Dave says:

    Hi Marius,

    That’s an impressive track record you have (if you’ll excuse the pun). Good luck in the new enterprise – the website looks good – perhaps I’ll even take some of your advice in the future!