Friday, June 24, 2011

Reykjavik's Midnight Run - 5K race

I am in Iceland for 2 weeks as a grant winner with my proposal to study the geological features of Iceland.  Knowing that I would be in Iceland, I did what almost any avid racer does - look for a race.  I found one in the Midnight Run (run just before midnight) in downtown Reykjavik.  This large 3K, 5K, 10K combo race (1500 participated in one of these three races) is one of the summer solstice week's celebrations.  There is no darkness during this time of year - think summer evenings around 7PM for most locations and you get the idea of what the middle of the "night" looks like around here.  I can still see the sun at midnight a number of thumb lengths above the horizon. 

I ran the 5K since I was arriving in Reykjavik that morning via a red-eye flight out of Boston and figured that I could at least fake a 5K on no sleep and a full day of sightseeing.  I ended up running 19:11 for the 5K placing 10th overall and an impressive 3rd in my age group of 19-39 year olds (I'm age 35) and 3rd American out of 637 runners for the 5K.  Ironically the 1st overall was an American from NC on his way back to the states from a 10 day bike riding trip in Italy.  It was a fantastic experience to see how another country does a race from the course marking to the pre-race dance warm-up (think Zumba) to finishers medals to hosting it at a local swimming pool and hundreds of us going into the hot tub and pools afterward to relax.
Finishing the 5K officially in 19:11

Then it was back to "work" with my geology study in Thingvellir with a scuba dive on the plate boundary between the North American & Eurasian plates in 4 degreeC water, visit to the original "geyser" (Iceland is where the word supposedly originated from and from this area of geysers) and I squeezed in a 30 min run around the fjord town of Borgarnes at 10PM (with plenty of light).  More on these activities in another blog post - time for bed!

1 comment:

  1. Impressive all around! Sounds like fun and very busy. Running, actually racing when you are jet lagged is not for the faint of heart. Love the race details!