Organizers had predicted a record turnout for this year’s Oslo Marathon and they were right: Around 16,000 runners took part in marathon events over the weekend as a new wave of running popularity washes over the capital.
“It’s become trendy to run, and there’s a lot of focus on health and energy in the media,” Oslo Marathon spokesman Nils Jostein Helland told newspaper Aftenposten.
“In addition, employers have become more concerned with exercise and preventing illness (among their employees),” Helland continued. “We have a lot of companies participating in the Oslo Marathon.”
The streets of Oslo extending both east and west from the starting point at the Akershus Fortress and Castle were full of runners and spectators from more than 70 countries and most every county in Norway. The sun came out, temperatures were crisp and organizers were delighted with the brilliant autumn weather.
This year’s turnout compared to just around 11,000 last year and amounted to double the amount of runners two years ago. There’s little questions that running is popular once again, after taking a hiatus during much of the 1990s and again a few years ago.
More women than ever before were also taking part in the marathon and its shorter events both Saturday and Sunday, with runs as short at three kilometers and 10 kilometers. Many ran a half- marathon as well, as did Norway’s crown princess last year.
“Women are more conscious of staying in shape, and good at setting goals for themselves,” claimed Helland. This year’s winner in the women’s category was Fride Vullum Buer from sports club Vidar, who ran the 42,195-meter distance (nearly 26 miles) in two hours, 45 minutes and 34 seconds.
The men’s category was won by Andreas Høye from Slevik sports league in Fredrikstad. Høye, age 25, was running his first marathon and took gold with a time of two hours, 29 minutes and 21 seconds.
Asbjørn Ellefsen Persen from Tjalve sports club won the men’s half-marathon after one hour seven minutes and 12 seconds, while Kjersti Karoline Danielsen from Vidar won the women’s half-marathon, with a time of one hour 14 minutes 26 seconds.