The Reykjavik Marathon is held after the middle of August every year.
The race is Iceland’s biggest running event by far and a great celebration for all Icelandic runners, from the ones completing their first race up to the professionals aiming for medals. Everybody who runs in Iceland show up at the Reykjavik Marathon!
About the marathon
The race starts and ends in Reykjavik‘s city center, within walking distance of most downtown hotels and guesthouses.
The average temperature for Reykjavik in August is around 12°C or 54°F, an ideal temperature for long distance running. However, it can sometimes be a bit windy by the seaside. We’ve had great weather in recent years though!
The distances available are: marathon, half marathon and 10k. There is also a relay race, 3km fun run and a 550m kid’s run for aimed at children 6 years old and younger.
Total of 9,540 runners finished the three longest distances (42.2, 21.1 and 10K) in 2016. Thereof, 3,438 runners came from 70 countries around the world.
10 km race:
5,706 finishers in 2016
Course: Fast, almost without any hills. Can be a bit crowded if you get stuck at the back as the streets at the start are not the widest.
Quite a few spectators along the way considering how many/few people live in Reykjavik!
2.527 finishers in 2016
Course: Fast, almost without any hills. The same as the 10K for the first 9k, then the course goes along the sea where there are fewer spectators.
The wind can be a big factor during the second part of the half marathon as there is not much shelter from houses along the way.
1,307 finishers in 2016
Course: The marathon and the half marathon follow the same route for the first ca 16 km but split up after that, the half-marathon runners head back downtown but the marathon course keeps on going in a circle, mainly along the seaside around Reykjavik. The beginning and the end of the course is on city streets in the center of Reykjavik, but the middle part takes you onto beautiful paths all around town. It is a little bit hilly but not overly so.
The Reykjavik Marathon route is very scenic and really showcases the beauty of the city. It takes you past many of Reykjavik’s main sights.
Reykjavik and surrounding areas only have about 200.000 inhabitants so big crowds are not to be expected. The support is fairly strong when running through residential areas but there is sparse support elsewhere. The spectators are though very enthusiastic and there is also a fair amount of entertainment on the course.
See our photo guide to the Reykjavik Marathon.
Here are some tips and tricks for the Reykjavik Marathon.
Read race reports from participants.
Party of the year!
After the race the runners usually linger downtown when the weather is nice and you can see runners all through the day in the restaurants and cafes. We highly recommend celebrating with your fellow runners by spending the day in Reykjavik.
Reykjavik Culture Night, the biggest party of the year, takes place on the same day as the marathon. There are many events and happenings going on all day and into the night. The Culture Night closes with a big fire work show around 11 pm. Don´t miss it, place yourself next to Harpa, at Arnarholl or around the seaside at Sæbraut for the best view
Check out the official website of the Reykjavik Marathon, it has lots of information in English.