My first mission after JWOC was to get into some real Norwegian mountains. The plan was to visit Trolltunga on our way to Bergen for a very special adventure.
I did the 21km run with Alan Cherry, a Brit who now lives in Bergen and Shamus Morrison who is travelling with me after JWOC. The run starts with a brutal 400m climb up some stone steps to a board valley of streams and bare rock. The beaten trail was quite busy on this sunny Sunday so we went cross country heading straight for the snow covered saddle which would carry us across to the next valley over. The ability to leave the trail and take your own route is one of the joys of running in Norway for me. It gives a different sense of freedom to running though the trails of New Zealand’s dense forests.
There was a lot of snow still around for this time of year and it must have been meters deep in the saddle. The track was basically a trench through the snow here and we ploughed on strong and flew down the other side. Once again the snow allows you to be more adventurous and to make your own path.
The track was really nice from here on and was constantly changing between dirt, bare rock, and snow, making it one of the most special runs I have ever done. We also got our first view of the deep valley and the lake over which Trolltunga stood. The track wounds around the hillside with snowy slopes up to the left and a massive cliff down to the lake on the right. The snow-capped mountains in all direction completed the dramatic scene.
We pushed on around the top of the cliff and could and could see our destination. After 1 hour 31 minutes of running we arrived on the scene. There was a small queue to get onto the rock to get that iconic photo and many people sitting all around eating and enjoying the view. We had a bit to eat, explored some of the other spectacular cliffs around the Trolltunga site and then joined the small queue to get the photo. It was an amazing feeling to finally make it here after planning the run a year ago.
The return trip was equally adventurous and after a few kilometres we turned off the track and headed up the slope to get a different perspective. The long strips of bare rock made the running along these hills and ridges quite fast a very fun. We kept gaining height until we came to a snowy valley and cashed in on our elevation by sprinting, tripping and sliding our way back to the main track.
We made the return journey in 1 hour and 11 minutes, running all the way to the icy lake back at the base of the track. This run had absolutely everything I could have asked for and will definitely go down as one of my most favourite runs. Here is the session on Garmin Connect.