Eli Anne Dvergsdal is a 26-year-old from Jølster, near the city of Bergen. She grew up in an active and sporty family near the beautiful mountains of her small village, with exercise and mountain hikes as a natural part of her upbringing. Like her brother, she actively pursued both football and cross-country skiing, with Bjørn Dæhlie as her skiing idol. Eli Anne remembers very well cross-country skiing at Beitostølen when she was just six years old. She was out on the trail and watched the opening race that included Dæhlie, Thomas Alsgård and other stars. She was lucky and grabbed a water bottle that Bjørn Dæhlie tossed aside, something she remembers as a great moment.
To become really good at something, you have to put in a lot of effort, focus and do your priorities
- Eli Anne Dvergsdal
Whenever there were races to be run or hills to be climbed near her home, the family was usually involved, since it was both fun and good training. She also played football on boys’, girls’ and women's teams
The cross-country community in the village almost died out because of the heavy demand for special gear and commitment to be competitive in the sport. She put her racing skis on the shelf and focused entirely on football as a 13-14 year old. At age 15, she moved to Sogndal by herself to attend the special sports school and play for the Kaupanger football club. Endurance was clearly one of her great strengths on the football pitch and she would run on her own just for fun.
Eli-Anne wearing Tights Speed 5" (left image) and Tights Speed Cropped and Jacket Oxygen (right image).
After high school, Eli Anne moved to Bergen to study physiotherapy and to play at Åsane and IL Sandviken in First Division football. At the same time, she did a lot of running and cross-country skiing to maximize her endurance in the game.
In April 2014 she suddenly found herself with a football-free weekend, and said ‘yes’ to taking over a start number for the Bergen City Half Marathon from a student who was ill. Without knowing just what she was getting into, she won the race. It was a breakthrough of sorts because athletics clubs started contacting her. During the summer break from football, she did several mountain running races and was suddenly in second place on the Norwegian squad.
The club urged her to run a 3,000 m and she ran it fast enough to qualify for the Norwegian Championships on her first try. So she ran in the national championship that fall, but maintained her focus on football as her primary sport.
After the end of the football season, she also ran in the national trail running championship, taking bronze. When winter came, Eli Anne had to make a choice and ended up setting aside her football career in favor of running. In the spring of 2015, she took Norwegian Championship mountain running silver and was selected for the European Championships, where she also won silver in the same event.
I think it's important to be patient, always see the little joys and never give up. Then you can go as far as you want
- Eli Anne Dvergsdal
Since then, she has taken five Norwegian Champion golds and 11 medals in mountain, cross-country or regular running, 12 Norwegian Cup wins, four European Championship medals in mountain running and half marathon, first and second place in the World Cup, and a lot of training and running for fun!
Furthermore, she has the goal of improving her personal records in various events, including the 5K, 10K and half marathon. Her goal is to take more medals both nationally and internationally, while continuing her personal development.
Eli Anne’s training is quite varied, with no two weeks being the same. She usually trains twice a day, mostly running in the mountains or on level ground. On top of that, she does basic workouts, cycling, roller skiing and aquajogging. In winter, she does a lot of cross-country skiing and enters some races for the exercise and challenge. The outdoors is her favorite training arena, but she also works out on elliptical and treadmills at fitness centers when that’s what it takes to get the training done.
Diet is an important factor when exercising a lot. And Eli Anne stresses that if you want to perform optimally, you cannot overlook diet or exercise. In order to benefit from the exercise, enough nutrition is important since our bodies work best when supplied with good nutrients. At the same time, it is important to eat food that you like, she claims.
Eli Anne likes comfortable and good-looking sportswear. When it's hot, she likes clothes that are so light that you barely notice them. In cold and rain, it is important that clothes provide the protection needed to stay warm without hindering movement and performance.
In the summer she competes mostly in shorts and singlets, while on cold days she uses a thin, long-sleeved layer under a competition top plus gloves. During warm-up, she usually has a thin running jacket on top of her competition attire, and possibly tights. In most mountain races, you have to carry a 2.5 kg backpack with warm clothing, food and drink, since the finish line is often in the high mountains. So it’s important to have a dry set of clothes, inside and out, as well as a wind and waterproof jacket, headgear and gloves to avoid getting ill.
“To become really good at something, you have to put in a lot of effort, focus and do your priorities. In sports, as in life, you meet both ups and downs. Therefore, I think it's important to be patient, always see the little joys and never give up. Then you can go as far as you want!” she says.
Spring Summer Collection 2018
Eli Anne's favourites