Posted by: Sarah | September 27, 2010

Running Around Oslo…Literally

Yesterday I took part in my first half marathon.  I’m not much of a runner – about 6 months ago I could barely jog to the end of the road without stopping but one day I decided that the London marathon looked fun…partly because it would be a great sightseeing trip around London and partly because my business idol Sir Richard Branson (who I met in May) is now running the show. 

And so the training began…

My first target was the Bupa 10km race in London which I completed earlier this year.  In order to keep up the training doubling the distance seemed to be the next logical step so I signed up to the Oslo half marathon.  After months of training and last-minute encouragement from family and friends I decided (at the 11th hour) to give it ago. 

In my last post I wrote about our frustrations with Norway- #5 being “Fit People”.  I was expecting a few more “fun runners” to take part in the Oslo race, just so that my slow pace would blend into the background but oh no…almost 90% of those running were in it to beat the clock.  Needless to say, out of the 1800 runners that started in my group, about 1780 passed me by in the first 3 kilometers and I ended up running with six dogs and goat near the back (yes, a pet goat – apparently he did the 10km in Oslo just recently). 

I can split the journey into 4 memorable segments. 

  1. Sweden:  The first leg took us past the new Oslo opera house which was lovely…for a while…but we just kept going and going.  I honestly thought that we were about to hit the Swedish border and I would be getting my duty-free allowance for the return journey.  It felt like eternity and that was just the start!
  2. Oh No…Cobbles:  After eventually turning around we went back into Oslo where Eliot was waiting with the camera.  It was so nice to see him and he started running alongside me for a short while.  The crowd seemed very  impressed that this chap dressed for the cold carrying a rucksack had just managed to run the first 9km without breaking a sweat.  Then I hit the cobbles.  Oslo is an old city and cobbles just didn’t appear in my training plan as a surface that I needed to practice on.  It hurt. 
  3. Sticky Skøyen:   After running through Oslo and out the other side up endless hills, I made my way to Skøyen…slowly.  I arrived at the drinking station where we were given some weird, blue, sugary drink of which many folks had just taken one sip and threw the rest on the floor.  At this point my trainers became stuck to the floor…like I needed anything else holding me back!  Luckily Eliot took the train out to Skøyen to offer support and had the camera ready for a quick photo.
  4. Is This A Joke?   At kilometer #20 I had already lost my sense of humour.   Just when I thought I was on the home run, we ended up running around some dockyard car park with yet another sticky drink station but now I knew that I was just 1 kilometer away from finishing a half marathon.  I then turned the corner to face the steepest, cobbled hill ever.  I can’t believe the race organisers thought this might be a great way to finish the race.  Very annoying.

If you’re interested in my results you can find them here (race number 27911).  I don’t think I’ll ever be the sort of person to get addicted to running.  I find the training hard work and the motivation to continue even harder but I just want to prove to myself that it’s possible to achieve anything if you set your mind to it.   

EDIT:  Just want to add a couple of Thank You messages to this post.  Thanks to Eliot, Mum and Dad for their endless support throughout my training – we have a little further to go!  To Cathrine for the SMS that persuaded me to go for it at the 11th hour and finally to Line for turning up at the 10km mark to give me a cheer…just when I needed it!

So, to quote my Dad minutes after finishing the half marathon, “Next stop…London”


  1. We are so proud of you. No matter where you came in the race, you are a true winner.

  2. Wow! Congratulations on an brilliant personal best :)
    I love you saying:”but one day I decided that the London marathon looked fun…”

    • Ha ha ha! Yes, I may have been slighty tipsy that day :-)

  3. […] make my way through the BUPA 10km race in London in May 2010 and then doubled it up when I ran the Oslo Half Marathon in September 2010.  Admittedly I was running with a goat and six dogs towards the back, but I did manage to […]

  4. […] the London Marathon.  I’ve been training over a year for this event (including the Oslo half marathon last September) and quite honestly, I am getting slightly fed up with running […]

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