8:30 on a Saturday morning in

August: only moments before the start of the Reykjavíkurmaraþon. Officials remove the last obstacles for the runners on Lækjargata.

 

A PA system kicks into action with a loud bang that startles some of the runners preparing themselves for the race. It underlines the atmosphere of The Reykjavik Marathon: laid-back, relaxed and welcoming.

 

Ten minutes later, participants in the marathon, half marathon and relay-marathon are sent on their mission by Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to officially finish Boston Marathon in 1967.

 

 

Along the half marathon course, Icelanders are cheering, banging pots and pans, playing trumpets, saxophones or electric guitars. Marathon day in Reykjavik coincides with Menningarnótt ('Culture Night'), a national event that brings up to a third of the entire Iceland population onto the streets of the capital. The combination proves exhilarating.

 

Cloudy weather but no rain, little wind and a temperature of 13°C is great running weather. Despite the saying “If you don’t like the weather in Iceland, wait 5 minutes and it’ll be different” these conditions stay favourable all morning.

 

Later, after the half and full marathons split up, marathoners are treated to some unusual sights for a city marathon. The course crosses Elliðaárdalur valley where they run along a salmon fishing river with a waterfall. They pass by the woods of the Öskjuhlíð hill and the ‘geothermal beach’ Ylströndin Nauthólsvík.

The course continues along the waterfront with excellent views of mountains surrounding Reykjavik, including Esjan and the Snæfellsjökull glacier.

 

After rounding Bakkatjörn nature reserve on Seltjarnarness one passes the fishing harbour with the astonishing Harpa Concert Hall.

 

 

22 August, 2015
Reykjavik, Iceland


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The marathon was won by Bartosz Olszewski from Poland in 02:29:30. Kaisa Kukk from Estonia won the women’s marathon in 2:53:09. Half marathon winner was Hlynur Andrésson from Iceland in 01:09:35; female winner was Kara Waters from the USA in 01:22:39.

 

Reykjavik Marathon must be the most international event on the AIMS calendar. Of the 1064 marathon finishers, 906 were from over 45 countries and only 156 were from Iceland! This year there were more runners from the USA (211) and Great Britain (179) than from the organising country.

 

Reykjavik is the world's most northerly and Europe’s most western capital. In short: Iceland, land of fire and ice, is a magical marathon destination with an abundance of spectacular nature like geysers, glaciers volcanoes and waterfalls.

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