Among my interests are nature, the climate, and athletics. The continuing functioning of existing ecosystems is important for people's well-being, and in the
long run, essential for the survival of humanity. I used to be active in the Environmentalist Youth organisation in Norway, including being the
leader of the local branch "Ski Natur og Ungdom". I am a member of many organizations for the protection of the environment, including
Concerned Scientists Norway.
Walking, running, and cross-country skiing in forests, hills, and mountains have been part of my life since
I was a small child. I enjoy being out in beautiful, peaceful, and clean natural environments and combining this with physical exercise.
I have also enjoyed taking part in competitions. From the age of eight to twenty, I skied daily in the winter seasons. In the junior class,
I was No. 1 in
Vidarløpet (for many years the largest ski race in the world) and No. 4 in
Skarverennet. In the
Holmenkollen Ski Marathon,
I was No. 3 out of a total of 8000 participants. However, being a top cross-country skier in Norway is almost a full-time job. I therefore ended my skiing career when I started studying at the university, but I still continued somewhat with track and field. When I was 18-20 years old, I ran 1.56 on 800m, 3.56 on 1500m, and 15.10 on 5000m.
In 1988, I had a 3-year plan to see how far I could go. The year after, I ran 8.23 on 3000m, 14.38 on 5000m, 30.50 on 10K, and 1.07.18 on a half marathon. (The
statistics show that over the recent years there has been a significant decline in the quantity of fast runners. During the years 1990-1999, 38 athletes in Norway ran faster than my personal best on a half marathon. During 2000-2009, only 11 ran faster.) In 1990, I received a PhD scholarship and quickly realized that it was impossible to complete a PhD on time when running 10-11 times a week. I therefore had to end my active career in athletics, but I still train about three times a week.
Recently, there has been more difficult to practice cross-country skiing due to the noticeable warmer climate. The number of days with skiing opportunities (defined as more than 25 cm snow on the ground) has during 2000-2009 been reduced by 40 % (compared with the average of 1960-1990) in the lower regions of the Oslo area and by 25 % in the higher regions. Nevertheless, this winter (2010) provided exceptionally good skiing conditions with superb tracks at my doorstep. I therefore trained a bit more than usual and took part in the
Oslo City Centre Race. My race time was 37 minutes, which is about 6 minutes slower than last time I took part in a 10K race, 21 years ago.