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Midnight Sun Marathon

30/06/2012

Jacob Tangey travelled over to Tromsø in Norway to take part in the 23rd Midnight Sun Marathon on Saturday June 30th. At almost 70 degrees north, you can run in broad daylight in the middle of the night...

In Tromsø (the unofficial capital of northern Norway) the sun doesn't set for 2 months - from the middle of May until July 19, so even in cloudy weather it is daylight for 24 hours.

Jacob reports that after a wet day, Norwegian weather forecasters correctly predicted a dry evening and clear skies for the time of the race and so it got under way in beautiful (though surprisingly humid) running conditions. Starting in downtown Tromsø with lots of crowd support, the runners soon hit the first significant landmark, the 1,026 metre-long Tromsø bridge (44 m above the sea) and crossed to the mainland. This was the highest ascent/descent of the race and led into a nice flat section for the first 20k. Again crowds lined the street in their front yards, with kids providing some high fives to keep the runners going (not really a problem at this stage).

After passing through half-way in his second quickest half marathon time, Jacob was a little concerned that this might not bode well for his prospects of a strong finish. Once more running through town, the crowd support was brilliant with smiles all round. There then followed a stretch out to the airport, to the point where the wheels can fall off any good marathon attempt, ie with the dreaded 6 miles to go. Unfortunately for Jacob, he found this starting to happen with 10 miles remaining! Add to this his amazing ability to go the wrong way (even with marshals) and it made it still a long way home.

He felt that at this stage the small undulations in the road seemed huge, with each kilometer going past slowly and runners seemingly able to `cruise` past him. He did, however, find that this was also where the scenery was at its nicest, looking out over a silver bay with the sun shining down through breaking cloud; very picturesque, though he had no time to stop with a camera!

He hit the town centre for the final time and with a most welcome 200m descent to the finish, was glad that it was all over.. until the next one!

The marathon started at 8:30pm and was won in 2:29:37. Jacob recorded a brilliant time of 2hrs 54mins 16secs as 14th male, to finish well before midnight.

Jacob was pleased to have managed a good time though less so with how he raced, reckoning that it gave him something to work on for the future and surmising that 'Marathons are still hard work but all in all it was a brilliant race. I enjoyed the course and the crowd support was wonderful; I am still not 100% sure of what people were saying, although it seemed encouraging at the time!'

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