Polar Night Half Marathon – Tromso, Norway

This is my video of the Polar Night Half Marathon which took place on the 4th Jan 2020 Tromso Norway. Video includes race start point, warm up, spectator view of race start, and some video I took while running. I…

Polar Night Half Marathon - Tromso, Norway

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This is my video of the Polar Night Half Marathon which took place on the 4th Jan 2020 Tromso Norway. Video includes race start point, warm up, spectator view of race start, and some video I took while running. I had to remove the sound for the first 5.30 mins and replace with a copyright free sound track. YouTube blocked the first attempt at the upload I think because there was music playing in the background at the start location.

Video Details: (apologies for the heavy breathing throughout).
00:00 – 03:00: Map, event meeting point, warm up.
03:00 – 05:30: Spectator view of runners starting…
05:30 – 09:35: Race start and city centre.
09:35 – 11:03: Running past houses.
11:03 – 11:56: Area a bit more open.
11:56 – 12:25: Snow starts.
11:25 – 13:30: Heavier snow in the open.
13:30 – 17:33: Snow stopped nice flat section.
17:33 – 19:22: Fast runners passing on the return leg.
19:22 – 21.28: Nice section heading back to city on second leg.
21:28 – 21:45: Entering the city again.
21:45 – 24:37: Final stretch to finish line.
24:37 – 27:07: Medal and meeting point.

I had to remove the sound for the first 5.30 mins and replace with a copyright free sound track. Youtube blocked the first attempt at the upload I think because there was music playing in the back ground at the start location.

Race Report
Race: Polar Night Half Marathon.
Location: Tromso.
Date: 4th Jan 2020, 3pm.
Distance: Half Marathon.
Organised By: msm (www.msm.no).
Cost: About kr 575,00, £46, £55, $61.
Goal: To finish, not slip and break my leg.

Pre Race:
A very sore Achilles meant that I did not do any running at all from mid November to mid December. From mid December until 4 days before the race I ran 4 times(1 X 3 miles, 2 x 6 miles, 1 x 8 miles). Arrived in Tromso on the 1st of Jan and there was plenty of snow about, it was fantastic and spent the next few days doing tourist stuff (reindeer sledge ride, cable car to the top of a hill/mountain over looking Tromso, 2 trips until the early hours searching for the northern lights. There was a far amount of rain on the Thursday and the paths and roads were very icy (i was worried at this point). I popped out to the shops for 5 mins without my ice grips on and fell with entire body contact on the ground, lucky for me i was not injured. However the snow came back on Thursday night, and Friday (which I was happy about). It was a winter wonderland. The event organised the a pasta party the night before however I was out searching for the Northern Lights.

Kit:
Thermal base layer top, running jacket, running socks, thick socks, running leggings, shorts, woolly hat, gloves, Salomon SpeedCross 4, ice grips.

Race Day:
Picked bib up from the city hall (this was also the bag drop location). Warm up exercises started at about 10 – 15 mins before the race started. Race started at 3pm right in the city centre and 944 of us headed off. The route took us out of the city centre to the airport, then looped back to the city. About the first 2 miles were through the city centre, then past houses, then along open stretches towards the airport. No mile markers meant I had to guess how far I had gone, however I knew that there were water stations every 5k. We had a couple of snow showers each lasting for about 10 – 15 mins. The water stations were good, water was warm to stop it freezing, there were also energy drinks and fruit drink. At about mile 7 or 8 (I guess) the fast runners passed me heading on the leg back to the city. Got to the airport feeling good and headed on the return leg back to the city. The course was undulating and I really started to feel tired at about mile 10. I had only ran in my running shoes once before the race (for 3 miles) and they were heavy. Last 3 miles were hard going but I finished. The winner was Eskil Schoning in 1hr 14 min 24 sec. My time was 2 hr 23 sec and 6 sec (more than 30 mins slower than my fastest half marathon).

My Thoughts:
It was FANTASTIC I had never ran in snow before and loved it. The whole route was snow covered about from a few meters in the city centre. Torches along the route were a nice touch and made it atmospheric. The atmosphere was was great and it is an experience I will never forget. Big big thank you to the organisers and marshals.

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