Ingrid Kristiansen

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Ingrid Kristiansen
Kristiansen with family following an October 1987 competition in Zaandam
Personal information
Born21 March 1956 (1956-03-21) (age 67)
Trondheim, Norway
Height1.69 m (5 ft 7 in)
Weight50 kg (110 lb)
EventLong-distance runner
ClubIL i BUL
Medal record
Women's athletics
Representing  Norway
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1987 Rome 10,000 m
Bronze medal – third place 1980 Sittard 3000 m
World Cross Country Championships
Gold medal – first place 1988 Auckland women's race
Bronze medal – third place 1985 Lisbon women's race
Bronze medal – third place 1987 Warsaw women's race
World Road Race Championships
Gold medal – first place 1987 Monte Carlo 15 km
Gold medal – first place 1988 Adelaide 15 km
European Championships
Gold medal – first place 1986 Stuttgart 10,000 m
Bronze medal – third place 1982 Athens Marathon

Ingrid Kristiansen (née Christensen on 21 March 1956) is a Norwegian former athlete. She was one of the best female long-distance runners during the 1980s. She is a former world record holder in the 5000 metres, 10,000 metres and the marathon (at one point in time she held those records simultaneously). Kristiansen was a World Champion on the track, roads and cross-country, becoming the first athlete to win World titles on all three surfaces.[1][2] At the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, she finished fourth in the first women's Olympic marathon. At the 1988 Seoul Olympics, she dropped out of the 10,000 metres final while leading.[3][4] Early in her career, she was also an elite cross country skier, winning several Norwegian titles and a European junior championships.

Kristiansen's 1986 world record in the 10,000 m was not broken for 5 years. Her 1985 London Marathon 2:21:06 was the record marathon time for 13 years.[5]


Ingrid Kristiansen started her career quite unremarkably, running 2:30 to 2:40 for her first few marathons. She won the bronze medal in the 3000 metres at the 1980 World Championships in Athletics and won the 1983 Houston Marathon in 2:33:27 while two months pregnant—a fact she didn't know until two months later.[6] It was not until she gave birth to her first son, Gaute, that her times began to improve. After winning the Houston Marathon again and the London Marathon in 1984, she placed fourth in the first Olympic women's marathon in Los Angeles.[3] She also set two track world records in the 5,000 m (14:58.9) on 28 June 1984 and the 10,000 m (30:59.14) on 27 July 1985, at the Bislett Games in Oslo.[4]

In 1985 she won the London Marathon again in a new world record of 2:21:06; the previous record was 2:22:43 set in the 1983 Boston Marathon by Joan Benoit. Later in 1985 she lost to Benoit in the Chicago Marathon, running 2:23:05 for second place.

1986 was Kristiansen's best year in track. After she won the Boston Marathon in hot conditions, she set a new world record in the 10,000 m (30:13.3), smashing her own world record from 1984 by 46 seconds.[4] Then she broke the 5,000 m world record, running 14:37.89. On 5 April 1987, she won a half marathon in Sandnes, running 1:06:40, but the course was not measured properly and the world record still remained with Joan Benoit.[7] She won the Chicago Marathon, once again in hot and humid conditions, running 2:27:08. She ended the year winning the 10,000 m event at European Championships,[4] running the 2nd fastest time ever (30:23.3) and nearly 40 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher.

In 1987 Kristiansen attempted to break her marathon world record in London, but she slowed in the second half and won in 2:22:48. She won the first World Championships Women's 10,000 m in Rome, despite a leg injury.[4] In 1988 she won the London Marathon for the fourth time, finishing in a time of 2:25:41. Despite a 1:09 first half, she slowed dramatically in the second half, however she was still five minutes ahead of any other woman. At the Olympic Games in Seoul, she participated in the 10,000 m, and even though she was the heavy favourite, she dropped out after seven laps with a fractured bone in her foot.[4]

She returned to racing in 1989, winning the Boston Marathon in 2:24:33 despite the heat in the latter stages. She decided not to run any track races that year, but she still won a few road races in Europe. Her final marathon was the 1989 New York City Marathon, which she won in a time of 2:25:30, running away with it from the start. Gradually she raced less and less, despite winning the 1990 City-Pier-City Loop in The Hague. She retired in 1993 and lives with her husband and two children in Oslo, Norway.

She won 14 out of 26 marathons entered.[8]


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Norway[1]
1980 Stockholm Marathon Stockholm, Sweden 1st Marathon 2:38:45
1981 Stockholm Marathon Stockholm, Sweden 1st Marathon 2:41:34
New York City Marathon New York, United States 2nd Marathon 2:30:08[9]
1982 Stockholm Marathon Stockholm, Sweden 1st Marathon 2:34:26
European Championships Athens, Greece 3rd Marathon 2:36:38
New York City Marathon New York, United States 5th Marathon 2:33:36
1983 Houston Marathon Houston, United States 1st Marathon 2:33:27
1984 Houston Marathon Houston, United States 1st Marathon 2:27:51
World Cross Country Championships New York, United States 4th
London Marathon London, United Kingdom 1st Marathon 2:24:26
Olympic Games Los Angeles, United States 4th Marathon 2:27:14
1985 World Cross Country Championships Lisbon, Portugal 3rd
London Marathon London, United Kingdom 1st Marathon 2:21:06
Chicago Marathon Chicago, United States 2nd Marathon 2:23:05
1986 Boston Marathon Boston, United States 1st Marathon 2:24:55
European Championships Stuttgart, West Germany 1st 10,000 m 30:23.25
Chicago Marathon Chicago, United States 1st Marathon 2:27:08
1987 World Cross Country Championships Warsaw, Poland 3rd
London Marathon London, United Kingdom 1st Marathon 2:22:48
World Championships Rome, Italy 1st 10,000 m 31:05.85
World Road Race Championships Monte Carlo, Monaco 1st 15 km 47:17
1988 World Road Race Championships Adelaide, Australia 1st 15 km 48:24
World Cross Country Championships Auckland, New Zealand 1st
London Marathon London, United Kingdom 1st Marathon 2:25:41
Olympic Games Seoul, South Korea 10,000 m DNF
1989 Boston Marathon Boston, United States 1st Marathon 2:24:33
New York City Marathon New York, United States 1st Marathon 2:25:30
1991 World Championships Tokyo, Japan 7th 10,000 m 32:10.75

Note: The 1987 World Road Race Championship was held in November while the 1988 edition was held in March.

World Records[edit]

  • 5000 m world record with 14:58.89 in Oslo, 28 June 1984 – first woman to run under 15 minutes
  • 5000 m world record with 14:37.33 in Stockholm, 5 August 1986
  • 10,000 m world record with 30:59.42 in Oslo, 27 July 1985 – first woman to run under 31 minutes
  • 10,000 m world record with 30:13.74 in Oslo, 5 July 1986
  • Marathon world record with 2:21:06 in London, 21 April 1985 – record stood for 13 years.


Personal bests[edit]

Distance Mark Date Location
3000 m 8:34.10 13 August 1986 Zurich[1][10]
5000 m 14:37.33 5 August 1986 Stockholm
10000 m 30:13.74 5 July 1986 Oslo
10 km (road) 30:59 9 April 1989 Boston
15 km (road) 47:17 21 November 1987 Monaco
Half Marathon* 1:06:40 19 March 1987 Sandnes
Marathon 2:21:06 21 April 1985 London

* Because of a measurement error this run doesn't qualify for record purposes.

Cross-country skiing results[edit]

World Championships[edit]

 Year   Age   5 km   10 km   20 km   4 × 5 km 
1978 21 21


  1. ^ a b c "Marrakech 98 – History – Rules". Archived from the original on 19 August 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  2. ^ Turnbull, Simon (22 April 2023). "How marathon greats Waitz and Kristiansen made a name for themselves". World Athletics. Retrieved 22 April 2023.
  3. ^ a b Ingrid Kristiansen Archived 19 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Athletics at the 1988 Seoul Summer Games: Women's 10,000 metres Archived 5 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "Sie war ihrer Zeit voraus – Ingrid Kristiansen". RUNNER'S WORLD (in German). Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  6. ^ Hersh, Phil (15 October 1985). "Motherhood best of times for Kristiansen". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  7. ^ "Ewige Weltbestenliste im Halbmarathonlauf zusammengestellt von Herbert Steffny Weltrekord, Laufen Marathon, Statistik, Analyse, Running". Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  8. ^ "ARRS – Runner: Ingrid Kristiansen Christensen". Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  9. ^ World Marathon Rankings for 1981.
  10. ^ Ingrid Kristiansen at World Athletics Edit this at Wikidata

External links[edit]

Preceded by Women's 5,000 m World Record Holder
11 July 1981 – 6 September 1981
28 June 1984 – 26 August 1985
5 August 1986 – 22 July 1995
Succeeded by
Preceded by Women's Marathon World Record Holder
21 April 1985 – 19 April 1998
Succeeded by
Preceded by Women's 10,000 m World Record Holder
27 July 1985 – 8 September 1993
Succeeded by
Preceded by Women's Half marathon World record holder
5 April 1987 – 18 May 1991
Succeeded by
Preceded by Egebergs Ærespris
Succeeded by
Sporting positions
Preceded by Egmond Women's Half Marathon Winner
Succeeded by
Preceded by Women's 5,000 m Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
Preceded by Zevenheuvelenloop Women's Winner (15 km)
Succeeded by