Serpie Planner - event reports
Midnight Sun Marathon (19 Jun 2004)
After two days of showery, grey weather, the skies cleared and we had brilliant sunshine and no wind for the 20:30 start. Around 300 runners competed in this most northerly of marathons, joined in the latter stages by a few hundred half-marathon runners who started later, at 22:30 to run the second half of the course. There was a lot of support along the route from (mostly well lubricated) locals and the views of snowy mountains were very impressive.
Midnight Sun Marathon (16 Jun 2007)
The world's most northerly marathon, taking place at 70 deg North, inside the Arctic Circle.
Quite a good course for fast times: 1) it is fairly flat (although a number of runners did comment on the heavy camber on the roads, making it wearing on the hips) and 2) the temperature is generally just right for running, certainly no more than 10C. The race starts at 8.30pm, meaning that you may well still be running under rays of the midnight sun (daylight is 24 hours at this time of year). It is however pretty likely to rain for at least some of the race and this year it hit around 2.15 hours in, raining fairly heavily for maybe 30 minutes. The late start does mean that you may have to concentrate on 1) not eating too much during the day and 2) not spending too much time wandering around sight-seeing!
The level of support is fairly good, considering that Tromso and the surrounding area are not heavily populated. The race was fairly well marshalled although at times you did have to concentrate on following the blue line on the road to find the way. The race is also small enough that you can even experience following the lead bike for a few kilometres (and it was a push bike, not a motorbike!). Drinks stations every 5km with water and an energy drinks, plus bananas.
Also run at the same time are a half marathon, a 10km race and a children's mini-marathon. Across all the events there were around 1700 competitors, with around 320 finishers in the marathon. Bear in mind that Tromso is fairly small, so the available accommodation gets booked up well in advance.
Three Serpies ran this year: Diane Haywood won her age group, Claire Levermore knocked 13 minutes off her PB, and Mark Braley 1 minute off his.
Midnight Sun Marathon (21 Jun 2008)
The world's most northerly marathon, taking place at 70 deg North, inside the Arctic Circle. Friendly race with a splash of surreality from starting at 8.30pm in broad daylight and finishing, no matter what your pace, in broad daylight!
The course is flattish to undulating with some rather long lonely spells due to the sparse population - although the whole town does seem to support the race. Fundamentally this is a very fast course due to the almost guaranteed cool temperatures - chances of temperatures above 10 degrees centigrade are basically nil.
Water and energy stops every 5km.
Also run at the same time are a half marathon, a 10km race and a children's mini-marathon. About 410 finishers in the marathon, up from 320 last year. Across all the events there were around 2000 competitors, so these events are getting bigger each year... bear in mind that Tromso is fairly small, so the available accommodation gets booked up well in advance.