Despite its small population, Norway is a sports-mad country.
The best example of this is the 2018 Winter Olympics, where Norway led the medal standings with 14 gold medals and, with a total of 39 Olympic medals, even ensured the highest medal haul of all time at the Olympics for a nation.
In winter, Norway is almost unbeatable in cross-country skiing. But also in alpine skiing, Nordic combined and ski jumping the Norwegians are always good for medals. There is almost no Olympic winter sport in which the country is not among the medal contenders. In summer sports, handball, sailing and athletics are the Scandinavians' strongest disciplines.
Norway's running legends
The most famous Norwegian runner is Grete Waitz, who won the first World Championship women's marathon in 1983. Among runners, all of Norway speaks of the Ingebrigtsen brothers. The trio of brothers are among the strongest middle- and long-distance runners in Europe. The eldest brother Henrik Ingebrigtsen, for example, became European champion over the 1,500 meters in 2012 and multiple European cross-country champion, Filip Ingebrigtsen ran to European Championship victory over the 1,500 meters in 2016 and can also call himself European cross-country champion. The youngest of the three brothers, Jakob Ingebrigtsen surprised in 2018 at the European Championships in Berlin at the age of 17 with the European titles in the 1,500 meters and 5,000 meters, rather he became Olympic champion in the 1,500 meters in 2021.
The biggest running events in Norway
The biggest marathon in Norway is the Oslo Marathon. Internationally, however, the marathon receives little attention, at least among top runners, so that it is mostly athletes from Norway who win the race. However, Japanese running legend Yuki Kawauchi has also won the Oslo Marathon. The well-known frequent runner, who completed more than 10 marathons annually, even set a course record in 2017 with 2:15:58 hours. In total, around 20,000 runners register for the event - including fringe events (half marathon, 10 kilometer and children's races).
Away from the big cities, however, there are some exceptional running events in Norway, such as the Spitsbergen Marathon, which even made it into our selection of the most beautiful marathons in the world. The race takes place in the middle of summer, surrounded by ice on the archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. Although only 2,500 people live on this island, it has a larger area than Switzerland.
Other Recommendations in Norway
Other well-known sporting events in Norway are the Midnight Sun Marathon in Tromsoe, the North Pole Marathon in Longyearbyen, the Red Bull 400 in Trondheim, the Polar Night Half Marathon in Tromsoe, the Tromsoe SkyRace with the Hamperokken Skyrace, the Ecotrail in Oslo, the Stavanger Marathon and the IRONMAN 70.3 Sandnes.
All Running Races in Norway (sorted by date) can be found in the following overview: