07 April 2021, 7am
Rimi Riga Marathon
Sat 28 August 2021
If you’ve never been to Riga then running a marathon or half marathon there could be a great reason to visit one of the most beautiful cities on the Baltic coast.
The Latvian capital is the biggest city in the Baltics and the Rimi Riga Marathon event has grown impressively over the past 30 years. In 2019, before the impact of COVID-19, the marathon welcomed almost 40,000 runners from 82 countries, who participated in five races (marathon, half marathon, 10km, 6km, and 4.2km Family Run) as well as other festivities throughout the weekend.
The Rimi Riga Marathon is usually a spring marathon which takes place in May as nature wakes up from hibernation; the leaves on the trees are beginning to blossom and the fresh scent of spring can be felt in the air. This will be the second year that the event has been postponed – this year to 28–29 August. There will still be wonderful weather for running and a beautiful vibe in the city at the close of summer.
The Marathon has been awarded World Athletics Gold Label status. “We are proud that the Rimi Riga Marathon has placed our capital Riga on the map of the world’s most prestigious marathons,” says race director Aigars Nords.
The course lies in the very centre of Riga, the largest city in the Baltics. After 31 years the marathon returns to its original start: the very first Riga Marathon took place on 27 July 1991 in the shadow of the Freedom Monument.
Runners take off along Brīvības street and travel the full length of the city on a route which also takes in the Latvian National Museum of Art and Latvian National Theatre. Runners pass through the Art Nouveau district, the amazing panorama of Old Riga and Pārdaugava, as well as the paved streets of the Medieval Hanseatic Old Town and wooden architecture of Ķīpsala island. The course runs on both sides of the Daugava River, the largest in Latvia, and crosses two major bridges. Runners are also taken through Mežaparks, Riga’s largest and most beautiful park. The largely flat, fast route is traffic-free.
The Rimi Riga Marathon celebrated its 30th anniversary race in 2020. The special medals were created by the Japanese designer Junichi Kawanishi, the designer of the Tokyo Olympics medals. While only some of the world’s best athletes get Olympic medals these were awarded to anyone who finished the anniversary marathon on 10–11 October 2020.
Since 2007 the official marathon T-shirt has been designed by well-known Latvian artists: last year’s, for example, by Mareunrol’s, the most-recognised Latvian fashion brand, which is regularly part of Paris Fashion Week.
While training for the marathon the organisers invite you to join the Virtual Running Club www.rimirigamarathonvc.com. Launched in summer 2020 with the help of Sports Heroes, the Virtual Running Club has already offered various virtual events and races – Summer Championships with Paula Radcliffe and Jelena Prokopcuka “competing”, Winter Championships, charity run, plogging and other challenges involving up to 30,000 runners worldwide.