After we booked our weekend in Oslo I had a little look for parkruns, knowing that the Nordic countries have a few (there’s 5 in Norway) so I was happy to see that there was one in Oslo, Tøyen parkrun. As I previously mentioned, we were travelling hand luggage only, and the hotel had breakfast included, so logistically I couldn’t get back after running it in time for breakfast, and also couldn’t pack a load of winter running kit, so I decided I would walk it. It was a 9.30 start, so plenty of time to have breakfast first and make my way there.
Our hotel was on the same street as the train station, and it was only two stops, but I still managed to have a panic about getting on the wrong train and was messaging Andy from the platform (the line split later, so some of them were labelled as going via certain stations, with some of them mentioning the one I needed and some of them not)- I needn’t have worried as they all went there. Once at the station I loaded up google maps and followed directions for the Munch museum as that was in the same park. Maps estimated a 7 min walk (and this was 9.20 so I was a bit worried), but as I came out of the underpass I could see the high viz jackets, bright signs and people meeting- always a relief!
The meeting place was by the big rock/sculpture in the centre of the park- easy to spot from the road.
I was a bit nervous about turning up to walk- I didn’t even have trainers on as I only had my snow boots with me. I had checked the results pages on previous weeks and they had people doing it in 50 mins to 1 hr 15, so I knew the volunteers would be prepared to stand in the cold for that long. The paths were a little slippery in places, but some of them had been gritted, and as there was lots of grass you could usually walk on the grass and avoid the pavements when needed.
The course was a small lap from the middle and then 3 laps around the park. The RD did the run brief in English, and said there was a little hill. They had cancelled the previous week, and he explained that they considered it because of the ice, but that the Norwegians were used to it, so if you were not used to it you should be careful as they didn’t want any injuries. The hill turned out to be a very short steep slope leading from a grassy field back up to the main path (not easy when walking so I imagine super tough when running, especially as you had to do that part 4 times). Before it started I chatted to a couple of tourists- one of them was debuting his 250 shirt and had posted in the parkrun tourist facebook group beforehand- it turned out most of the people I chatted to were from near me- Milton Keynes, Cheshunt and the South-East.
Once we started, I was keeping an eye out for the tail walker (as Andy put it, “you will have to make friends with the person who walks at the back”) but there was someone else walking a little behind me. I wanted to keep warm so I walked quickly where I could. I had opted for trousers, thermal top, jumper and my Run Disney jacket (it’s warm but thin) plus hat and scarf- Andy was bringing my big coat later as is really bulky and I thought it would annoy me while walking. This turned out to be fine because I did get warm but didn’t ever need to take any layers off.
It was so beautiful, so as well as slowing on the icy parts, I took a few photos as I went around. The higher point of the course looked across the city, and in the early morning light it was just stunning. I think the sun appeared on my final lap! There was only one marshal out on the course, but plenty of signs and cones so you couldn’t really go wrong. I said thanks to him in the first lap, but I don’t think he realised I was actually taking part in the parkrun until he saw me the second time around as I wasn’t in running gear. In the middle I was being lapped by all the runners, but by the end I was out there on my own and couldn’t see the tail walker either (they only finished 4 minutes behind me). As I came to the finish and crossed the line, the finish token and timer people were chatting, and one of them said “oh, are you doing the parkrun?” and when I said I was, they said “oh cool”, and beeped the timer and gave me a token- I had my watch in case I needed to show (but of course that’s me being irrational!).
Andy messaged to say he as getting the train when I was going into the final lap, and as I passed the bottom part of the park he was crossing the road so came to the middle to meet me and of course I needed a picture with the frame.
My official time was 51:09 and for my 219th parkrun, 68th event and 5th country. I was really glad to have been able to do it, as it was such a pretty start to the day. As soon as I stopped I got a bit cold so we were glad of the museum close by to have a look around and warm up (and use the toilets).
I think that is the snowiest parkrun I’ve been to- we have had some lovely frosty mornings, and I have been to Panshanger in the snow- they don’t tend to need to cancel because the paths are all off road so don’t get very icy compared to normal paths in parks.
Have you run a parkrun in the snow or ice? Does your parkrun often cancel in the winter?