The races for the Norwegian national championship started on Friday, March 5, a hundred years ago today. This surprising arrangement was to ensure that the Hamarsings a little further down the lakeshore also would have a chance to get a bite of the World Champion on the Sunday after the championship. It was the first attempt by the Lillehamrings to arrange the national championship, and indeed only the 2nd time the championship was held outside one of the three big centres, Hamar, Kristiania and Trondhjem (as Drammen had arranged it in 1903). And it seems the organisers were hampered a little from their inexperience, because the Norsk Idrætsblad report is full of criticism, without being actually very specific, indicating that the organisers did not have the required knowledge of the rules, or were incapable of using them, or having them observed.
The weather was still fine, and the lake ice was good, though somewhat uneven and full of dangerous cracks. The track was circled by 2000 spectators, more than 20% of the town’s population, and the World Champion almost literally had to fight his way through the excited throng to get to the skating ice. For a change, the championship started with the 500 and the 1500 meter, and the Mathisen brothers were paired on both distances. There were only 3 more participants, the Trønders Sæterhaug and Steen, and the local veteran Kraabøl. As Steen was somewhat indisposed, the races proved very predictable, with clear wins for Oscar in new track records, with his brother in the second places, doubtless on his own skates this time. Especially Oscar’s 1500 was impressive, the first Lillehammer time below 2.30, and a margin of more than 5 seconds.
500m 1.Oscar Mathisen 46,2 tr 2.Sigurd Mathisen 47,0 3.Oluf Steen 47,2 4.Martin Sæterhaug 47,4 5.Bjørn Kraabøl 52,2 1500m 1.O Mathisen 2.29,8 tr 2.S Mathisen 2.35,4 3.Sæterhaug 2.35,6 4.Steen 2.40,0 5.Kraabøl 2.48,2 Overall 1.O Mathisen 2 2.S Mathisen 4 3.Steen 7 Sæterhaug 7 5.Kraabøl 10
After the national championship distances, or perhaps (less probably) in the break between them, the juniors skated a 5000m, won by Ejnar Sørensen in 9.50,2, a new personal and national best time, and a substantial improvement of his former time, lifting him up to 46th place in adelskalenderen, just behind Thourén.
5000m junior 1.Ejnar Sørensen 9.50,2 pb 2.Oluf Jacobsen 9.51,0 pb 3.Harald Monsen 9.59,2 4.Otto Monsen 10.17,2 5.Trygve Sørli 10.21,0 pb 6.Otto Olsen 10.26,0 pb 7.Gustav A Paulsen 10.53,6 pb