Traditions at Tech: The Nisse Race at AU Viborg

On Friday, December 1st, Christmas kicked off at AU Viborg with the traditional Nisse Race, which every year marks the beginning of the Christmas celebrations on the Foulum campus. Between 40 and 50 employees participated, and next year, the new students are also invited to join.

Winners of the Nisse Race 2023: The fastest ‘Nissegirl’ was Meret Daria Kaspereit, the fastest ‘Nisseboy’ was Bo Vangsø Iversen, while the costume prize went to Mette Søgaard Ejsing-Duun

For nearly twenty years, enthusiastic employees at AU Viborg have dusted off their ‘Nisse hats’ and other costumes each year to take part in the traditional Nisse Race around the campus. This year was no exception, as between 40 and 50 colleagues lined up at the starting point in front of the main entrance on December 1st.

"At the Nisse Race we come together across departments, titles, and nationalities. We have many participants who come year after year, and the tradition clearly contributes to fostering a sense of community because we get to know each other better. And we look forward to next year when we can invite the new students," says Bo Vangsø Iversen, a lecturer at the Department of Agroecology and responsible for this year's Nisse Race, which, as always, was organized by the Staff Club Foulum. 

At the Nisse Race, participants could either join the walking group or the running group. The running route was 3.4 km and passed by the experimental farm Foulumgaard, while the walking route of 1.4 km circled around the red buildings of the inner circle. As tradition dictates, there were prizes and trophies for the fastest ‘Nissegirl’ and ‘Nisseboy’ on the running route, and the costume prize was this year awarded to a very fine snowman. There were also draws for nice prizes, and the Staff Club Foulum provided refreshments.

After the run was over, and participants had worked up a healthy appetite, the festivities continued with Christmas lunches at the individual departments and centers, before everyone gathered for a party in the large auditorium in the evening.