It’s not too late to sign up for the 2016 Reykjavik Marathon. This is a really great time to visit Iceland. The financial crash is a distant memory, and the feel-good factor has returned as Iceland welcomes more tourists than ever.
If you are one of those people who can’t keep still, even when on holidays, the Reykjavik Marathon is a fantastic reason to realize your dreams, visit an exotic country and run a race while you are there. Even if a marathon isn’t your cup of tea there are shorter distances, plus a relay race and a children’s run so there is something for everyone.
Need more reasons to visit Iceland and run the marathon? Here are 5 reasons why running the Reykjavik Marathon should be your next destination marathon.
1 A Good chance of a PB
If you are looking for a fast marathon in August, the Reykjavik Marathon is the perfect choice. At the height of summer and early fall, elsewhere in Europe and in the United States it is usually too hot to run a really good marathon. But typical August weather in Reykjavik is perfect when hunting for that PB.
The average temperature for Reykjavik in August is around 12°C or 54°F, with the average high of 58 degrees (15 C) – ideal temperatures for distance running.
The course is also fairly flat by most standards. The midsection of the race has some hills but none very long or steep, no heartbreak hills here!
The marathon is also the perfect size, and there are enough people on the course to ensure you will never be alone but not so many that you will be stuck behind the crowds at the start.
2 It´s the perfect excuse to visit Reykjavik and Iceland
Iceland is currently one of the hottest holiday destinations in the world. It is an awesome country of amazing beauty and the tourism is booming.
There are only about 200 thousand inhabitants in the greater Reykjavík area – yet Reykjavik has a lot going for it. Stylish bars and excellent restaurants with fresh fish and high quality meat are everywhere, and interesting shops with various selections of designers goods in between. The city also has many art museums and probably the best selection in the world of geothermal swimming pools.
Reykjavík is also a good base for visiting many of Iceland‘s most beautiful sights. Easy day trips are to see the original hot spring Geysir, the Þingvellir National Park where the tectonic plates between America and Europe meet and are slowly drifting apart, the spectacular waterfall Gullfoss and the famous and sublime Blue Lagoon.
3 The Beautiful course and friendly atmosphere
Iceland does not have a big enough population to have huge crowds anywhere but on race day it seems like everybody in Iceland knows about and supports the marathon. It is a very friendly marathon with people coming out of their houses to cheer, bang pots and play musical instruments.
The course is very scenic and beautiful and takes you past many of Reykjavik’s main sights. Highlights include: Harpa Concert Hall, Sólfar (the Sun Voyager) by the seaside and Höfði where Reagan and Gorbachev took a big step to ending the Cold War.
But by running the Reykjavik Marathon you experience much more than just the city center. The course takes you to the different sides of the city on beautiful paths through various neighbourhoods and many of the popular outdoor areas, past a gorgeous waterfall in Elliðaaárdalur and through Fossvogur, one of Reykjavik’s favorite running areas.
A lot of the course at times follows bike/walking trails that go along the edge of the sea. The ocean views are breathtaking and across the water Mt.Esja and the surrounding mountains watch over the runners.
4. To find your Viking spirit
Visit the home of the Icelandic football team to get some inspiration for your running. Iceland is the smallest country ever to have a team at the European finals, they beat all the odds and made it the quarter-finals, winning the hearts of football fans around the world for their talent, big heart and spirit.
You too can find your Viking spirit and maybe it can help you achieve your personal running goals. Run like hell. Release your inner Viking!
The colorful blue army of Icelandic fans also captivated the Euros with their passion, singing and general loudness! So who knows, probably this year you will hear the famous Huh-chant somewhere along the course.
The expo is in Laugardalur, the valley where the national football team plays their home games and the marathon course passes through the valley.
5 The Post Race Festivities
The Reykjavik marathon is held on a Saturday, the day of the Reykjavik Cultural night – one of the biggest festivals of the year. After the race runners usually linger downtown and you can spot them all through the day in restaurants and cafes.
Many events and happenings go on all day and into the night. Concerts big and small pop up all over the city, and the galleries and museums stay open. Wandering through town you may even be invited into somebody’s house for Icelandic pancakes. As the evening nears the city starts to really vibrate, it definitely is the biggest party of the year.
Photos : VisitIceland, IBR/Eyjólfur Garðarson, reykjavik.is