Knut Arild Maråk is 31 years old. He lives in Geiranger and works as a researcher for the oil company Statoil. He likes running and cycling in his spare time, and loves hiking during summer and skiing during winter, spring and summer. Knut is a member of the organization committee in charge of the “Geiranger From Fjord To Summit”.
On June 12th 2011, you’ll be organizing the Dalsnibba Run21. Can you tell us where it is located?
It is located in Geiranger, which is a small village in the heart of the fjord landscape in Norway.
The village is located in the middle of a very spectacular landscape, a landscape that is listed on the World Heritage list.
The race starts in warm summer by the fjord and ends on top of Mount Dalsnibba where there’s still a lot of snow, even in June.
This will be the 18 edition of the race. Why was it created in the first place?
It started in 1993 with a organized walk from the fjord up to mount Dalsnibba, which is 21 km. The feedback was that it would be fun to run the same track. The first half marathon was a great success in 1994.
In 2000, we also added bicycling after request from our participants. It is now one of the bigger sport events in Norway.
What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?
The track starts down by the fjord at 5 meters above sea level where it’s summer, and ends in the snow at 1500 meters above the sea. So it’s both a half marathon and a mountain run.
As the track is on a narrow asphalt road, the inclination is approx. 8-9% most of the time, with three small sections of slight descent. The last 5 km of the track is on gravel road and is even steeper, around 10% inclination.
How many runners do you expect on Sunday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?
We expect around 200 runners. As it is a rather hard half marathon with almost only uphill, you have to be fit to get to the finish line.
In addition, we arrange a walk and a bicycle race in the same track on the same day, so we expect around 1000 people in total on the summit.
Many of the best runner’s in Norway have participated, but most of our participants do it for fun.
Do you organize other races during the Week-End? If so, on what distances?
Yes, we have in total six races on the same day. Running, bicycling or walking, each with two distances: 5 km and 21 km. We refer to all of them as “Geiranger From Fjord To Summit”.
At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?
It’s mild at start (around 20°C) and colder at 1500 meters altitude – perhaps around 10°C. It can be winterly in the Norwegian mountains also in the middle of summer, but that’s part of the experience with our race.
We remind our participants before start to send extra warm clothes up to the finish line – it can be two different worlds.
Have you planned festivities around the half marathon?
We invite our participants to the club at one of the Hotels afterwards for a big party! There are also a lot of other activities in Geiranger this weekend.
The half marathon finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Geiranger before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?
Bring your touring skis, your hiking boots or your kayak. In Geiranger you can do it all in the middle of June, and there are plenty of mountains, waterfalls, glaciers and areas to explore.
We organize a skiing tour both on the day before and after the race, this is also in Geiranger.
In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Dalsnibba Run21?
Run from summer to winter – we guarantee you an ascent to remember.
Thank you Knut