The Reykjavik Marathon route is very scenic and really showcases the beauty of the city.
Here is an overview of the course with photos as we go along. Many of the pictures are taken late in the evening, on a bright Icelandic summer night!
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.
This year there are slight changes in the half-marathon and marathon routes. The industrial area by the Sundahöfn harbor is skipped and instead there are longer parts on Sæbraut and in Laugardalur valley. A change for the better!
The map above shows
the Reykjavik Marathon courses: marathon, half marathon and 10K. The yellow line shows the full marathon route.
Km 1: Flat and fast start in Lækjargata in front of Menntaskólinn í Reykjavík (MR – junior college).
The route takes you past Tjörnin (the Pond) and towards the university. This part will be a bit crowded and watch out for the lampposts.
Km 2: The biggest cheers of the race will be from the residents of Lynghagi.
Km 3-4: By the seaside on Ægissíða.
Km 5-6: The first hill, Lindarbraut in Seltjarnarnes. Only a small one, no problem!
Km 7: Enjoy the view over Mt. Esja from the north side of Seltjarnarnes. The coastline on both sides of the city is a big part of the course.
Km 8-9: By the sea on Norðurströnd and Eiðsgrandi. Strong headwinds are not uncommon here, but in recent years we have had excellent weather on marathon day.
Km 10: By the harbor, coming back to downtown Reykjavik. Harpa concert hall coming up to your left.
Km 11: A long stretch of road on Sæbraut (Ocean Avenue!) along the seaside. Watch out for the sculpture Sólfar (Sun Voyager) to your left.
Km 12-13: Still by the sea, running past Höfði where Reagan and Gorbachev met in 1986.
Km 14-16: Running eastwards, where we then turn around and head straight back. Watch out for the leading runners coming towards you on the other side of the street!
Km 17-18: After ca 16km we turn around on Sæbraut and are now running in the other direction. Heading towards Laugardalur. The half-marathon runners leave us now and go straight back to the city center.
Km 19-20: Moving away from the ocean and towards the walking/biking/running paths in Laugardalur next to Suðurlandsbraut.
Km 21-22: Great paths in Laugardalur, the sports centre of Reykjavik. The halfway point is here in the valley.
Km 23: Leaving Laugardalur and onto the path alongside Suðurlandsbraut.
Km 24: Running towards the gorgeous waterfall in Elliðárdalur valley. Watch out for the kids playing if the sun is out. A small hill coming up as you go through an underpass towards Fossvogur.
Km 25-27: One of Reykjavik’s favorite running spot, Fossvogur valley where the weather always seems so much nicer than elsewhere in Reykjavik, and the paths seem flatter and faster.
Km 28-30: Near Nauthólsvík geothermal beach and the Reykjavik’s domestic airport. A long but not too steep hill as you run past the cemetery. But probably the toughest hill of the race.
Km 31: Skerjafjörður, the sea still on our left.
Km 32-34: Back on Ægissíða and Nesvegur, Running along the ocean side in the western part of Reykjavik.
Km 35: Back to Seltjarnarnes, this time for a larger circle around the town.
Km 36: “Shadows” by Steinunn Þórarinsdóttir watching over the marathon runners.
Km 37: Still in Seltjarnarnes, now near the lighthouse Grótta.
Km 38: Again over to the north side of Seltjarnarnes with Mt.Esja back in view.
Km 39-41: Almost there! Running towards the center of Reykjavik. The Reykjavik harbor and then the last turn towards Lækjargata.
Km 42: The finish line!