Around 25,000 runners were expected to take part in the annual Oslo Marathon on Saturday, and officials were warning of major traffic disruption in the Norwegian capital. Many streets and busstops were set to close and most all public transport routes altered.
Motorists were being told to avoid driving into the downtown area on Saturday, with even Oslo’s central station being cut off to vehicular traffic this year. That’s because the marathon route will include a stint down the new boulevard that recently opened in front of the so-called “Barcode” row of highrises at Bjørvika.
The marathon, with 22,300 registered as of Wednesday and more expected to turn up, will start and end on the plaza in front of Oslo’s City Hall, heading first west towards Skøyen from around 9:30am along a route through Vika and Skillebekk. Then it turns and follows the newly improved harbour promenade along the marina at Frognerkilen before heading through Aker Brygge and around the inner harbour back in front of City Hall. From there the route heads into downtown and Kvadraturen and on to Bjørvika, south beyond Sørenga, then north to Tøyen and back to City Hall.
There will be drink stations and musical entertainment along the route, with first aid stations set up at Skøyen and Tøyen. Around 26,000 took part in Oslo Marathon events last year, which include both the full 42-kilometer race that runs the route twice and a half-marathon, that also incorporates a Norwegian championship race. A mini-marathon for children begins at noon, with a special 10-kilometer race at 4:15pm in memory of Norwegian marathon queen Grete Waitz.