Nearly 5,000 runners from around 50 nations travelled to the Arctic city of Tromsø, Norway to compete in the Midnight Sun Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K on Saturday (17 June). Tromsø is situated above the Arctic Circle at 70 degrees North and is famed as a viewing point for the Northern Lights.
Midnight Sun Goes Missing In Tromsø
Unfortunately conditions were not as ideal as in our image from a previous edition of this northernmost AIMS certified marathon in the world. The 28th edition was shrouded in mist and someone had forgotten to switch on the spectacular Northern Lights show for the visitors.
There were three British athletes in the top six in the main event. After a challenging and hilly race that included a double crossing of the Tromsø Bridge, at 2k and 20k, with its increase in elevation from 6m to 43m above sea level, the winner was Frew Zenebe Brkineh (Ethiopia, 2:26:30).
The leading Brits were Curtis Gibson (Mendip, 2:39:24), Rob Corney (Reading Road Runners, 2:41:44) and Sean Fitzpatrick (Herne Hill Harriers, 2:42:10). Top three UK women in a race won by Germany's Nina Kreisherr (3:00:32) were Lucinda Bayliss (3:27:58), Catherine Rowan 3:40:03) and W45 Bev Clark (3:44:21).
Tromsø local Kristian Ulriksen (1:12:18) enjoyed the spoils of victory in the half marathon and the leading Briton was Oliver White (25th, 1:23:47), who had this to say about his experience: "As Britain basked in a heatwave, in Tromsø it was 10 degrees and pretty nippy in the shade. Weather held up for the half but the marathoners had some rain by the end. It was a bit more undulating than I expected and it's a bit pricey here, a pint of beer just cost me £16.25!"
Tromsø Løpeklubb claimed a double success as Kathrine Kvernmo won the women's half (1:20:13), with Amy Young (12th, 1:36:26) flying the flag for Britain. Norway dominated the 10k with gold medals for Erik Lomås (31:22) and Yngvild Kaspersen (36:42).
Full details are available at runABC race listings.