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Race previews Suzuki Midnight Sun Run

04 April 2017, 7am


Suzuki Midnight Sun Run
Fri 23 June 2017

The Suzuki Midnight Sun Run starts on a midsummer evening from the Laugardalur valley in Reykjavik. This year’s edition is the 25th anniversary race.

Runners can participate in the half marathon, 10km or 5km. All races start on Engjavegur and finish by the old laundry springs in Laugardalur valley, which is in full bloom at this time of the year. There are many sports facilities located here — including the national sports stadium and an indoor arena — along with a botanical garden, the family park and zoo and Reykjavik art museum.

Apart from mass concerts, trade shows, exhibitions and the 1995 World Championship of Handball, the Laugardalsholl indoor venue also hosted the 1972 World Chess Championships when maverick American Bobby Fischer defeated the defending champion Boris Spassky. Runners pick up their race number and timing chip at this historic location.

After leaving Laugardalur valley the course is mostly along paths. Runners next enter Elliðaárdalur with its famous salmon river Elliðaár. They run beside the river and then along a riding trail by lake Rauðavatn and then through a golf course in the newly built residential area Grafarholt. Between 3–12km the course is demanding.

The Laugardalslaug geothermal outdoor swimming pools lie right alongside the finish line. Runners are invited to use the swimming pool, hot tubs and steam baths after the race. It is probably hard to find a better way to relax after a race than in a hot tub or pool under a bright sky at midnight.

With almost 24 hours of daylight during at the summer solstice, Reykjavík (65ºN) becomes a city that never sleeps. You can enjoy whale-watching, sea-fishing, horse-back-riding and trips to the many natural wonders nearby and still hit town for the nightlife.

The west coast of Iceland is a great place to view the setting of the midnight sun. The best places to take pictures are the lighthouse at Grotta in Seltjarnarnes and on the waterfront by Sólfar (the Sun Voyager sculpture).

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