Stian Dahl Sommerseth
Stian Dahl SommersethSEPTEMBER 2023
Welcome to PHONE IT IN, the department where we give someone a list of photos we’d like to see, and then they send the photos, and then we publish them, and then you look at them and read the captions. For this issue’s installment, we tapped Satisfy pro Stian Dahl Sommerseth!
Stian is from Norway, birthplace of salty licorice*, black metal, and some of the world’s most beautiful mountain ranges—which is where you’ll find Stian, running up and down, eating salty licorice, and training for his next race. Over the last seven years, Stian has been covering progressively longer, hillier distances at a progressively faster, gnarlier pace. He’s been steadily creeping up the race ladder, and a few weeks ago, he placed second in the legendary Eiger Ultra Trail (37.2k, 2450 M+ elevation, at 3:26:26). Stian is very fast and very good. He’s also a super-nice dude. Let’s see what he sent us.
* ‘I think the other Scandinavian countries + Finland might fight us on the true origins of salty licorice, ha-ha.’ —Stian
Most Recent Photo On Your Phone
Standing under a camping shower after today’s long run in the mountains. I hate being cold, and this did not do the trick. However, this is a PSA for showering in Satisfy shorts. Shoutout Max Jolliffe, who taught me that and so much more.
Something Really Norwegian
Celebrating Norway’s constitution day on May 17th in a traditional dress called ‘bunad.’ I am no nationalist—and it's not a competition—but I do believe Norway does this stuff well. No military parades, no fireworks—it is literally just all fun and games.
Your Favourite Human
My grandmother. A fierce, fiery spirit with a heart of gold. I love talking about her but never really know where to start. There is so much to say. That is why I have chosen a picture that needs context. Here she is delivering lines in an amazing play based on the book that won Sigrid Undset the 1928 Nobel Prize in Literature: Kristin Lavransdatter. There are not a lot of grandmas that take up acting at the age she did. It is rock 'n' roll, although she would not describe it like that. I look forward to talking to her about it again, whenever that happens and wherever we are.
Something You Do When You're Not Running
Hanging out at the offices of The Norwegian Ministry of Transport. I love my job, mainly because of the people there. This law thing I have stumbled into is fun, but I truly believe I could have worked with anything, anywhere. ‘Choosing’ a career might be the only sacrifice I have ever made, but maaaaaaan, my colleagues make up for it.
A Norwegian Cat
Hipster is the brother I never had. He lives with my parents, never leaves the couch except for a spirited run outside, likes being fed, and can fall asleep anywhere and under any circumstances. Maybe the twin I never had is more correct.
The Inside of Your Fridge
I am pretty sure this is a very ordinary fridge. There is a little bit of everything. I do not have a diet. I am not allergic to anything. I like pretty much everything. I also do not care or have any specific interests when it comes to diet. My body is no temple, but it is a furnace. As long as the fire is burning, I am happy.
The Place You Keep All Your Running Gear
It is practically impossible to take a picture of where I keep all my running gear because it is spread out between my apartment and the office. However, I keep a good assortment in and over my shoe shelf. The upper shelf is reserved for non-running stuff, just in case that’s unclear.
Your Favourite Spot
Parksalongen in Oslo. I was on a date there a couple of weeks ago that went really well. I have no idea when this will be published, but I hope I am still seeing her when it is. Anyways, there is a small scene in the lower level which is perfect for artists that thrive in intimate settings, like The Band Called Oh, pictured here.
My favorite ‘story’ is the life of Julius Caesar, and especially the play written by Shakespeare (this is not the time or place for an authorship discussion, but my dm’s are always open for that). After Brutus betrays Caesar on the Ides of March (March 15th), the assassin has a coin made with his face on one side, and on the other, a pileus with two daggers on either side with the text ‘EID MAR’ beneath. 2000+ years later, it is on my shoulder. I thought I would eventually grow out of my fascination with larger-than-life stuff because I that’s what grown-ups do. Well, I have not gotten there yet andI do not think subtlety will ever be a strength of mine.
Something Really Gross
Something Stunningly Beautiful
The sun setting on my hometown, Tromsø. Separating myself from this city was tough, but distance has been good for us both. I love Tromsømore more than ever now. And even though I wonder how much of that is constructed by my emotional, nostalgic self, I will be back. Guess we will find out then.
Your Proudest Moment
Hobbling over the finish line at Black Canyon 100k this February. This has very little to do with performance on the day and the work put in just to get to the start line. This is my proudest moment because of the people I share(d) that journey with. What have I done to deserve people like Logan Williams (the mustached cutie clapping in the picture) in my corner as a friend, crew chief, and physical representation of the whole Satisfy team that backs me on both good and bad days? Or Moe Lauchert, the photographer who took the picture, who I met for the first time in my life like 30 hours before this, and who by day two I swear I would die for? Or one of my best friends that sits in a chair on Logan’s left, Yngvild Kaspersen, who passed me with a kilometer to go on her way to 7th place in one of the most competitive 100k races in the world? Yngvild and I basically grew up together in a small city far above the Arctic Circle. Like, that is crazy. I am so proud and privileged to have these people (and more) in my corner. I love you all.