Today was the infamous Holmenkollstafetten in Oslo that Rasmus and I have been training for! Rasmus ended up being the only one of us running in the race today though 🙂
Around 14:00 (2pm), Rasmus’s colleague and good friend Oyvind came over and they started drinking coffee and loading up on sandwiches! I left at 15:00 to meet up with my friend Mya to go watch her boyfriend Espen at the race. Espen and Rasmus were running the same leg, the 8th stage which is 1800m long.
You’re probably wondering what the Holmenkollstafetten is… and no it’s not just a regular 5k or marathon! It is a 18,425m relay race that is broken up into 15 stages – with each runner running 400-1800m. The teams are all made up up employees of companies. First organized in 1923, this event is one of Norway’s largest athletic events, boasting a roster of 45,000 participants! It is hosted yearly and is a big part of Norwegian culture. After the race, the team participants gather together again for a night of drinking and dining at their restaurant of choice.
Norway has an extremely rich heritage and culture. Annual events and community gatherings are very important to Norwegians. The Holmenhollstafetten is thought to be “the most beautiful adventure in the spring” and locals have said it is the marker that spring has officially arrived.
As Mya and I waited for Espen to run past us to hand off his baton to the next teammate, we were amazed at how many people were there! Most teams had matching outfits, some even with full warmup gear and bags. The event runs throughout the entire city, we had to take the T-bane (subway) about 30 minutes to Espen and Rasmus’s stage.
Espen came flying by, he finished the 1800m in a fast 4:45 minutes! He had a great race. We then waited another hour for Rasmus’s heat to begin. It was great when he came whooshing by as well in a speedy 5:47 minutes! Mya was able to snap a great “model shot” as she called it, when he ran past. I was waiting for a photo of his handoff, but my photo was disturbed by Norway’s most famed fotball player of all time, Rune Bratseth! As soon as Rasmus finished he came over and told us about how he ran beside Rune the entire race (Rasmus is a HUGE soccer fan).
Around 19:00 (7pm), Espen met his colleagues from a night of fun, and Rasmus did the same. Naturally, Mya and I met up again to watch the infamous Eurovision song contest… It was quite funny. It was a super day!