- Race Name: Midnight Sun Marathon
- Date: June 20, 2015
- Country: Norway (2nd country)
- Start Time: 8:30pm
- Cutoff Time: 5.5 hours
- Hotel: Radisson Blu Hotel, Tromsø (4 star)
- Size: 866 in marathon
- Course: Two Out and Backs
- Scenery: Superb
- Hills: Hilly first half, then flat
- Water Stops: Well staffed; water and energy drinks
- Bathrooms: Fine, more would have been nice
- Crowd Support: Great for the first half, then empty
- Registration: Some in Norwegian, packet pickup at City Hall
Grab a window seat on the flight to Tromsø and enjoy the view. Perpetual sunlight illuminates the mountains and lakes during the flight. From Oslo, you flight through the fjord on approach which is really cool. I wanted to visit Stockholm so my flight plan was pretty crazy: DCA-JFK-HEL-ARN-OSL-TOS in Economy on Finnair and SAS.
Tromsø is inside the arctic circle and it may be remote, but it is not cutoff. I spent four nights at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Tromsø and I was only about five minutes from the start/finish line. The hotel had a great breakfast every morning and got me addicted to Swedish Limpa bread.
Northern Europe hosted my first true destination marathon. The Midnight Sun Marathon takes place on midsummer, the longest day of the year and a very popular Scandinavian holiday.The sun always stays above the horizon during summer in the arctic circle so Tromsø experiences perpetual daylight for close to three months every year.
The marathon started at 8:30pm and the half marathon started at 10:30pm. The marathon course starts winding through city center and then crosses the eastern bridge over the fjord and up a steady incline to the first turnaround.
This first half of the race is by far the most beautiful and unfortunately, the half marathoners do not get the chance to experience it. After we cross back over the bridge, the half marathoners joined us down around the south of the island to the airport. This part of the course was much less scenic.
During the first mile of the course I managed to find a group of four Americans from Virginia and we ran about 20 miles together. I did leave them for a few miles to run with a Welsh couple who sat next to me on the plane. I had so much fun running with my new friends and talked with dozens of other runners about the international races they have planned.
I knew I could run 50 marathons in 50 countries after finishing this race. My next international marathon was August 9th, 2015 at Angkor Wat in Cambodia!