Alsgaard to Sit Out Sunday’s New York Marathon

Nathaniel HerzNovember 5, 20112
Thomas Alsgaard racing in the Olympics in 1994.

Thomas Alsgaard will skip the 2011 New York City Marathon on Sunday, despite traveling to the U.S. to run in the race.

The Norwegian Olympic champion has been struggling with leg pain after ratcheting up his running hours this summer in anticipation of the marathon, and he was forced to cut short a training run in Central Park on Friday.

“I’ve been away from running too long, I guess,” he said in an interview. “Starting too hard—suddenly, I got a lot of problems. I tried to run yesterday. I tried to go for two hours, but after 1:30 I just couldn’t run any more. I had to walk home.”

Alsgaard’s American visit won’t be a total wash—skipping the race has given him time to see more of the city. He said he’s been eating some good food, and spent Saturday visiting some wine shops, where he said he bought “a lot of wine.”

But rather than suiting up and heading to the marathon start in Staten Island on Sunday morning, Alsgaard will be on the sidelines, watching as his wife, Rønnaug Schei Alsgaard, aims to finish the race in three-and-a-half hours.

Schei Alsgaard is herself a former skier, but after the birth of the couple’s daughter, Alsgaard said that his wife hasn’t had much time for exercise.

“I take all the free time for training myself, so she trains maybe two times a week,” he said.

Still, Alsgaard added, he’s “excited” to see what Schei Alsgaard can do, because she has a “talent for running.”
While his wife pounds the pavement, Alsgaard said he will probably put himself to work, feeding another one of his friends who’s competing.

He’ll return to his native Norway on Tuesday, where he’s gearing up for another ski season managing his marathon squad, Team United Bakeries, calling races for the Norwegian national broadcaster, NRK, and entering the occasional competition himself.

Nathaniel Herz

Nat Herz is an Alaska-based journalist who moonlights for FasterSkier as an occasional reporter and podcast host. He was FasterSkier's full-time reporter in 2010 and 2011.

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    November 6, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    We love you Thomas, but after seeing the langrenn article where: “In September, Thomas Alsgaard trained 90 hours and 5 minutes, spread over 1,236 km. Total hours for October is almost as strong, namely 89 hours and 12 minutes, while the laid back kilometer amounts to 994 ”

    … i can’t believe you were ever really planning to run the NYC marathon. this doesn’t sound like a training plan for anything but a ski season. which is totally fine. that’s what you do.
    You might have gotten a free plane ticket with the Mrs by promising to go? but I’m calling BS on the idea that you were ever really going to run this thing.

    props to Nat on location in NYC with this exclusive.

  • doughboy

    November 6, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    Sir Thomas:

    You are forgiven the unlikely but possible charges that you milked this for a flight to NYC. Is it really all that likely that a superstud from heaven in the most popular sport in the wealthiest nation on earth really needs a free ticket to new york city? seems like a stretch. even poor norwegians can fly to n.y.c. by cutting the alcohol budget for a week or two.

    Really. Running 26 miles on pavement is WAY harder on your body than skiing 50K anywhere, even uphill.

    Thomas we hope you can recouperate quickly to those hours in your marathon races this coming winter.

    good luck from stateside!

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