John Halvorsen – Biography

John Halvorsen was born August 17, 1966 in Norway. His family moved to Canada in 1980 when his father became defence attaché at the Embassy of Norway.

Distinguished racing career

John has a distinguished record as a racer, which began in his native Norway and continued after his arrival in Canada.

Personal best race times include:

  • 5,000 metre distance: 13:20 minutes
  • 10,000: metre distance: 27:43 minutes
  • Marathon: 2 hours, 17 minutes.

His credits also include:

  • Norwegian Champion in the 1992 and 1993 5000 metre distance.
  • Norwegian Champion in the 10,000 metre distance in 1986 and 1991-1993.
  • A 16th place finish at the 1988 Summer Olympic Games.
  • A 12th place finish at the European Championships.
  • A 19th place finish at the 1992 Summer Olympic Games.
  • A record four-time winner of the Canadian University (CIAU) Cross-Country Championships.
  • A five-time all-Canadian and two-time Canadian Cross Country Championship winner.
  • Winner of several Canadian 10K Road Championships.
  • 1989 Runners World Road Racer of the Year.
  • Winner of several major U.S. road races.

John is also a certified Class ‘B’ International Association of Athletics Federations / Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (IAAF/AIMS) course measurer.


John Halvorsen holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering (Cum Laude) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree with a focus on marketing and finance. Both degrees were earned at the University of Ottawa.


Following his career as a professional runner, John had an 18-year career in the high tech field, working with Nortel, LG Nortel, and Ericsson-LG in product design, strategy and product management.

Volunteer positions

John has a long association with Ottawa Race Weekend, serving as volunteer race director for 10 years (working closely with Jim Robinson, the outgoing Race Director and President) and as Chair of the Board of Directors for three years.

Other volunteer positions include:

  • A board member of Athletics Canada.
  • Chair of the Athletics Canada Run Canada Committee.
  • Volunteer coach at Nakkertok Nordic.