Just a week after the annual Oslo Marathon, more than 4,000 eager runners were ready to take part in a more unusual race on Saturday: Oslos Bratteste (Oslo’s Steepest), up the downhill ski slope called Wyllerløypa.
It’s become popular for Norwegians to run uphill and Wyllerløypa is where downhill skiing events were held during Oslo’s Winter Olympics in 1952. It’s been expanded into a popular ski center now used in the off-season for what organizers hope will become Norway’s biggest uphill race.
It’s breaking participation records for the fifth year in a row, reported newspaper Aftenposten on Friday, with 4,050 racers signed up compared to 2,667 last year. The event is likely to cause some traffic conjestion through Oslo’s western valley of Sørkedalen, from which Wyllerløypa rises, but otherwise organizers claim to have things under control.
They felt compelled to halt registration on Tuesday but will increase capacity next year. “Oslos Bratteste” still trails Bergen’s traditional Stoltzen uphill race but after starting with just over 300 runners five years ago, “we are very satisfied,” spokesman Morten Pettersen told Aftenposten. Accounting firm Ernst & Young alone will be represented by 300 runners this year, and has conducted its own pre-race training sessions.