Nils I. Haetta has lived in Norway all his life. Born in Kautokeino fourty years ago, he now lives in the Arctic City of Tromsø. He has been a runner since 1990 and he works as a full-time race director for the "Midnight Sun Marathon", the northernmost Aims-certified marathon in the world. He belongs to a running club and shares his passion with fourty other team members. He prefers to run alone, although sometimes he works out with some friends, running six times a week for approximately twelve kilometers each time. He listen to no music while he runs. In the winter he has to run along the roads and also in some tunnels in Tromsø, while in the summer he runs on terrain and up in the montains. But running in Norway is a little different, as the weather conditions and the lenght of the day influence outdoor activities very much. Especially up in the northern part of Norway, where it is often cold and during winter it is dark during the day and night so it is difficult to be motivated to train outdoor. Runners have to wear a lot of clothes also in the summer, but on the other hand, the sun is shining all day and night from May 21st to July 21st, so it is possible to train day and night. As a matter of fact, Nils loves to run under the midnight sun, in the middle of the night. In his hometown, Kautokeino, it can get down to -50 Celsius degree cold (-58 Farenheit) and it becomes difficult to run when the temperature is as low as -20 Celsius! "You can run but you have to run very slow" - says Nils - "It is difficult to breath when you run in such cold weather. When the temperature is colder than -25 Celsius I do train indoor". His running wardrobe includes wool clothes for the winter and tights for the summer; he owns twenty pairs of running shoes and some skiing shoes also; he runs with a waterbottle in the summer and reflective vest and sometimes a headlight in the winter. His running library features "Distance Running", the local running magazine "Kondis" and "Runner's World". Running in Norway is not as popular as hiking or skiing. It is an accepted activity but Nils is one of the few braves. People in Norway are very active but there are not many who run just for running, and even fewer that participate in organized events, for many run to train for other sports. It is indeed safe to run, even off road and on secondary roads, and running with dogs is normal. There are no taboos that are running-related and the only hazard to consider is traffic. When we asked if he has any special food he eats before a run Nils said he usually eats bananas, pasta and bread, food that is popular to eat by Norwegian runners before any race. He often participate in organized events and in Tromsø. There are several 5k and 10k races in addition to the largest marathon race in Norway. The short distances are popular among women, and often there are as many women as men in 5k races. In the marathons there are more men and the percentage is 20% women vs. 80% men participants. The cost to enter a race depends on the distance, but it is usually around 150 Kroner (approximately 15 U.S. dollars). A race packet with T-shirt and food is the prize for the marathon, not for shorter races which award finishers usually with a medal. Charity runs are benefitting mainly the cancer research. Nils running career includes two participation at the "London marathon" (his all time favourite race, beside the marathon he organizes), one "Stockholm Marathon" in Sweden and one "Enschede Marathon" in Holland, in addition to many shorter event in the Southern part of Norway, including 800 and 1500 meter trach races. His personal best on a marathon is 2:49.36 in Stockholm. On the half marathon distance he has a 1:16.00 record obtained in Tromsø. When asked if there was anything that was different when running abroad from running in his own country, Nils replied "The marathon races are much more larger, with many runners. In Norway the marathon races are smaller".
Run The Planet would like to thank Nils I. Haetta from Norway for taking part in the Planeteer Spotlight.