Monday, May 24, 2010

Runner in the Spotlight: Bjorn Norman

Bjorn is originally from Norway and has lived in Charlotte for almost ten years. Hopefully his story can inspire you to get out there and run up more hills. :o)

Where do you work?
I work for Maersk Line, a danish shipping company (part of A.P. Moller Maersk group - danish shipping and energy company) in the North American Liner Operations Department.

You just finished the Uwharrie Rumbling Half. Would you like to share anything about that experience?
It was definitely a humbling experience for a distance that I feel comfortable in. As I am not the biggest morning or daytime runner, the humidity and heat almost took a toll on me as there were plenty of hills in an area I had never been. After crossing the finish line it took me a good while to get my mind to senses again after drinking a gallon or so of liquid. If it was Sunday morning all over again, I would definitely bring my running belt with water bottles or bring a bottle in my hand during the run. Running in the woods gives me space from the regular day, seeing animals (hopefully no snakes!) and listening to the sounds of nature!

What's your favorite restaurant in Charlotte?
When the girlfriend is in town, it is Cheescake Factory. When she is out of town, sushi is on the top of the list (Nikko's or Ru Sans)!

How long have you lived in Charlotte?
I moved to Charlotte from my home country Norway in January of 2009. Charlotte is definitely a great place to live as it has great outdoor activities, temperature and people!

Favorite place you've traveled and loved for running?
Oh, hard to just give one as i have soo many memorable runs! I'm a big fan of Australia and my favorite place to go running was in New Zealand in the mountains (redwoods in Rotorua) and along the ocean. I do have to say that I love travelling around in my home country of Norway, especially spending some time in my grandmother's old cabin by the lake - away from all modern technology. Running during the wintertime in the woods in Norway during snow and 20 degree weather is also awesome!

When and why did you start running?
I started running my junior year of college (2004) to supplement soccer but my love for running became stronger and stronger for each run I completed. Initially it was limited to about 6k three times a week and now it is usually a mimimum of 35 miles per week plus soccer, biking and gym.

What do you love about running?
It gives me great relief from the regular office day, gets me up and out, allows me to meet people, and allows for better health. I do have more energy when I run, it keeps me in shape and I love a challenge - the attempt to push myself to the next level/limit.

What’s the funniest or strangest thing that has ever happened to you on a run?
Being from Norway and having just recently moved to Charlotte I encountered a shock when running on Queens Road (sidewalk) one afternoon. There had been plenty of rain earlier in the week and the grass was still wet, so when passing one driveway after the sun had just gone down, I glanced down to make sure there were no unexpected bumps in the road that would make me do a classy fall. I saw a dark, large and thick snake 5 inches away from where I placed my foot. My heart almost fell out! To many of us Norwegians, snakes are not part of our vocabulary and mostly seen on Animal Planet.

Do you lead any Charlotte Running Club group runs? What time?
I have just joined and not had that opportunity but hopefully I may be able to do so in the future.

What's your most memorable race and why?

I am a big fan of Crecent City Classic 10k in New Orleans but most memorable run was New Orleans Mardi Gras Marathon in February of 2010. I had alot of friends and family (my girfriend's family) cheering me on and I managed a pretty decent time! Also, the course takes you through many of New Orleans' historic areas and has a unique athmosphere surrouding it with jazz.

Favorite Charlotte race?
Many great races but as I am more comfortable in longer races, Charlotte Race Fest is a great race! A few hills, and plenty of people cheering on makes it a true success! (lets not forget to mention the beer after the race)

Where is your favorite place to run in Charlotte?
I love to run in the Southpark area - gorgeous area and lots of runners, however, truly enjoy running in the trails at the White Water Center.

Favorite distance? PR?
I prefer races longer than 10k. The Half marathon is a comfortable racing length but, in contrast, it feels so great mentally to finish marathon. My PR for 10k is 40:19 (Crecent City Classic 2010), half marathon is 1:29 (Race Fest 2010) and marathon 3:23:47 (New Orleans Marathon 2010)

What’s next on your race calendar and what are your goals for the next round of training?
Next race on the calendar is the Carolina Rock-n-Race trail run 13 miles at the White Water Center. The training that I will put forward will definitely go for my next marathon. Within the next year, I do want to qualify for boston - a dream of mine!

What do you love most about the Charlotte Running Club?
The members who all share the love for running. It includes a great community to share experiences, find a new running partner/groups, and learn from others' expertiese.

No comments:

Post a Comment