This post is written by Magnus Winther Warvik, current leader of the NTNUI Friidrett group. Hope you enjoy reading his journey and experience from Oslo Marathon, and his strong third place in Oslotrippelen, which was arranged on Saturday 15.09.18.
Viewer discretion be advised. Don’t do this unless you are very athletic or very crazy.
Right after last year’s Oslo Maraton, I had runners high, as you usually have after a race. When the signup for this year opened the night after the race, and with a couple of beers inside, I signed up for “Oslotrippelen” on the spot. I had already tried each of the distances in Oslo (marathon, half, 10k), now it was time to combine all of them. Fourth person to sign up for the triple, so there are at least three people more crazy than me!
Time flies, and on the tail end of my best running season yet, I was excited. With personal bests in every distance from 1500m to the marathon, this would be a cake walk. But two weeks ago I ran the marathon in Trondheim to see where I stood, with horrendous results. I almost collapsed over the finish line. Would I even be able to finish in Oslo?
Compared to other city marathons, the one in Oslo is hard. With two laps, and each lap having one large hill and one murderous hill, you really need to pace yourself to not die. I started the marathon at a comfortable pace, and actually managed to keep it comfortable most of the race. This was my second marathon I ran where I felt great all the way through. And my first one was also in Oslo. Three gels, a lot of water (it was a hot day!), and one cup of red bull. I finished the race as the third triple participant. Far behind the leaders, but not far ahead of fourth place. So this could only end two ways: third place or worse. With two fourth places in the last two weeks, this gave me extra motivation for the next races.
So what do you do when you just finished a marathon, and are going to run a half marathon in an hour? You bike, eat lots of buns and potato chips, and drink water. The best thing about the triple is that you have access to a special tent that is right by both the start and finish line, where you can store your stuff. With free food, this is like heaven for me. Anyway, the last thing you want to do is stop moving and get stiff. While I was munching food, biking, and cheering for the other runners, I just kept repeating inside my head that a half marathon is short. Because it is. Just half the distance I just ran. It’s really short. So short. Just an hour. Plus half an hour. Something like that. After half an hour, I actually looked forward to the next race. Not because I really wanted to run, but because I wanted to finish the half marathon, so that I could finish the 10K, and go home.
Starting the half marathon, I got excited. Most of the people around me was running their first race of the day, and looking for personal records. Personally I had no idea how this would go, but my legs actually felt really good. And this was just one round in Oslo, not two. This would go easy! I started way faster than in the marathon, and kept the pace for around 10 kilometers. Then, the pace dropped. Bad. From here and in it was a struggle. Just counting down the kilometers, and looking for black bibs behind me (those who are running the triple have black start numbers). But each kilometer came and went, and I couldn’t see anyone passing me. It felt like I was walking up the murderous hill, but I was still one of the first runners. Even in the downhill I couldn’t get the speed up. And in the end, I was the first triple participant to cross the finish line. With this, I was almost guaranteed a third place. The only way to get fourth would be some injury…
The break after the half marathon was similar to the one after the marathon. A lot of food, biking, and massaging. I also drank a cup of coffee, and my last gel. Cola with caffeine. Pumped up, I was ready for the last 10K. With 63 km done, this would be easy. And compared to my feelings after the marathon, I actually believed myself. Almost done.
Last race of the day. Finally! But how hard would I take it? I was almost guaranteed a third place, and it would take a wonder to move either up or down in the results. So I started quite easy. Better to have a nice experience than hate my life, like I did in the half marathon. And Oslo is such a nice place to run. Thousands of people cheering, always great weather (though a tad to hot), and a fast and easy 10K course. But then my hip said it didn’t like what I was doing, with a sting that made me afraid. Would I have to walk? I decreased the speed a bit, and changed from running to limping. But fortunately it almost went away after 5 or 10 minutes. “Just finish now without taking any risks”.
And that’s what I did.
And yes, I have already signed up again next year.
Well done to everyone else who ran in Oslo on Saturday, especially the ones in the club, and my parents!
Marathon (42,2 km): 02:44:06
Half-marathon (21,1 km): 01:24:52
10 km: 38:54
Total (73,3km): 04:47:52