A Norwegian Runaround

There are few things I enjoy more than running in new places.  It’s an easy way to check out ones surroundings and get a bit of exercise in – especially after travelling.

After making the relatively quick 800+ mile trek north from Paris to Olso (Norway) late last night I really had no idea what the place looked like due to the darkness.  The high speed train from the airport was likely through some rather pretty area I’m sure, but at near midnight – the dark countryside…looks…dark.

I woke up this morning in my hotel room and made the short one mile journey to the office.  But beyond that small stretch of road, I hadn’t seen much of the place.

So this evening after I wrapped up work, I headed out for a nice run from the hotel.  At the moment, I’m not actually staying in Oslo proper – that’s a short 10-15 minute drive away.  But the area I am in is choke full of running and cycling paths.  So I just threw on a few GPS units and went out for a wandering run with no particular plan in mind.  It ended up being about 10K or so.

Within about 2 minutes of running, I was treated to the view below.  I’d try and stay along the water the entire time.


At this point, the path was paved, and interestingly split between bikes and walkers/runners.  The fact that it was split wasn’t unusual.  It’s rather that it was slightly grade separated.  Meaning, in between the two paths there’s a slight 2” or so bump up in elevation.


After a bit of on-road running, I decided to take it off-road.  I just followed some random little path that edged along the sea (the open ocean is quite some ways from here, but it’s still salt water best I can tell).


I was wearing both the Garmin Fenix and Polar RC3.  Both companies are sending me their final production units this week (as both prototype units I have ended up having some minor hardware changes/fixes).  The plan is to get reviews out for both units as quickly as possible on the final hardware.  Given I’ve had both units for more than a month now – I’m pretty familiar with them.

Rumor is that Fenix units have started shipping – though, I’m not clear on how that reconciles with some of the advertised features not being in the current firmware (i.e. cell phone integration).


Speaking of Fenix things – I shot the below video on the run today.  It shows the instant-pace stability of the Fenix.  I point this out for two reasons.  First, because people asked.  And second, to show you the differences in beta firmware.  A month ago – the pace fluctuations were all over creation,one second 6 minutes/mile – and the next 12 minutes a mile.  Today in the final firmware, they’re quite nice and very realistic and actually useful.

The top number is distance, middle number is lap pace, and bottom is instant pace.  Obviously, I’m running, so the video isn’t super smooth – but you should be able to get the picture:

Garmin Fenix Instant Pace Demo

Oh, here’s me:


And here’s the area I eventually ran into and through.


They have a beach here, behind which seaplanes took off from.  I could hear them now and again through the brush as I was trail running – but I never got to see one takeoff.

Also of interest is that apparently people actually swim in this water.  The beach had those orange life rings, as well as having outdoor shower stalls on the beach itself.  I guess you have to train for the Norseman triathlon somewhere…


I avoided contact with the water, and instead headed up atop this lookout platform.


From here I could see the gravel portion of one trail, the water, plus a really lengthy listing of birds in the area.  It occurred to me afterwards that perhaps I should have validated there weren’t any much larger big fuzzy creatures that would have eaten me in the woods while running.  (Note: Upon checking, Wikipedia says there are no Polar bears in Norway)


With my lookout complete, I headed on back.  There was tons of activity out on the water.  In the photo below you can see sail boats, rowing boats, and a handful of wind surfers.


I’ll be here through the weekend – so if you have any recommendations for a sweet 12-14 mile run in the Oslo area, I’m all ears!  And, if you’ve got recommendations for the best Norway in a Nutshell tour/etc, drop those too.

Thanks for reading!


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  1. I’m half Norwegian and have a lot of family in Oslo, so I’m there fairly often (live in Copenhagen though)..
    You should really take the T-bane out to Nordmarka (the forest area north of the city), line 3 to Sognsvann or line 1 to Frognerseter both puts you in the middle of everything!

  2. Very nice Ray. These are the kind of discoveries I also enjoy while traveling. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hi Ray,

    I recognice the are and I appears to me that you have run beside my office building. I am actually planning a lunch’n run in about one hour (lunch afterwards).

    Places to see are:
    1)Holmkenkollen Ski jump (a hilly run from Slemdal taking the subway “Tb-bane” giving a panoramic view of tha nations capital.
    2)Folkemuseet on Bygdøy (link to norskfolkemuseum.no
    3)Vigelandsparken in Majorstua
    The Viking Ships on Bygdøy.

    For you long run on sunday, I suggest that you take the train from Lysaker, to either Drammen and the half maratom @ 12:30 hrs. Or, start from your Hotel and head out towards Sandvika, include the island Kalvøya, head over to Slependen, Billingstad, Holmen and Konglungen. And back (if you need to make a longer run, go further to Vollen before heading back).

    If you need guidance, I’l be happy to join as I plan a long run to brush of my long runs before the Oslo maraton on two weeks.

  4. Hello, I am a mountain runner who read and appreciate your posts. I live in the Oslo area and the ultimate is if you have the opportunity to attend Nordmarka Ultra Challenge held September 29.
    ref: link to nordmarka-ultra-challenge.blogspot.no

  5. So cool that you’re here in Oslo! If you need any tips or assistance, let me know! It’d nice to give something back after gaining so much from your blog!

    Since I’m preparing for the Oslo Marathon (Sep. 23rd), I plan to do a 21km run on Saturday morning. Normally I run on asfalt, so I take it from Vika to Snarøya through a semi-coastal road. If you feel like joining, that’d be cool!

  6. So cool that you’re here in Oslo! If you need any tips or assistance, let me know! It’d nice to give something back after gaining so much from your blog!

    Since I’m preparing for the Oslo Marathon (Sep. 23rd), I plan to do a 21km run on Saturday morning. Normally I run on asfalt, so I take it from Vika to Snarøya through a semi-coastal road. If you feel like joining, that’d be cool!

  7. And enjoy the good weather – this has been rare this year… ;)

  8. If you want to run in the terrain its available all around Oslo.There are trails (CC-skitracks) that are marked with color codes that you can follow easy and anywhere. You can find great tracks and suggestions here:

    link to ut.no
    link to skiforeningen.no

    The website is in Norwegian, but with google translate you will probably understand the main lines.
    If you want to run in the mountains, there are also many nice places you can reach in a relatively short time. If you want, we can discuss further over a lunch or a cup of coffee.

  9. Welcome to Norway :)
    As you can see you have quite a few readers here :)

    I don’t live in Oslo, so you are better off listening to the others here which obviously know what they are talking about.

    But from what I have heard Nordmarka has some great trails/roads that go on “forever”

    If you ever come to Bergen (which is the only place to start if you wanna see the Norway in a Nutshell) give a shout :)

  10. Welcome to Norway :) too bad you didn’t come to Trondheim. You’ll have to do that next time. What do you think of fenix as a running device compared to the more dedicated forerunner ones? Are there any functions you miss now when the firmware is getting more mature? I recall you said/wrote that the fotpod is not accepted, thats still the fact?

  11. Welcome to Norway!

    A city run in Oslo, up along the Akerselva (River aker) can also be recommended, but I can vouch for the suggestions above too! :-)

    Have a nice run, and thanks for an excellent blog!

  12. Hi Ray!! I live in Snaroya and your post is my backdoor running routes! Fantastic. Having moved to oslo myself last year its not that easy to find the best routes without a little guidance (and if I was in town I would happily be your guide!). The suggestions on the page are great. But if you need a little more direction, here are my GPS routes on garmin. The marka is fantastic for trail running. The Marka the forest just on the outskirts of Oslo.

    link to connect.garmin.com

    link to connect.garmin.com

    Your also perfectly placed for the pool at Hundsund. Its a 25m pool but I am sure with your swimming pool apps you have probably already found it. Good luck!!!!!

  13. Erlend


    You should really give the Vigeland park a try while you’re here. Beautiful park and excellent for running! Another suggestion would be Sognsvann. Less crowded and peaceful, forrestrial surroundings:)

    Hope you enjoy your stay here!

  14. I’m goging her tomorrow morning, link to skiforeningen.no Epic run!

    best regards