Running is probably the most accessible sport in the world. You can do it wherever you are, and if you are like me you want to continue some routines while on vacation. For me, running is almost a daily routine, and I just love to run in cities that are new to me. Reykjavík is a beautiful city to run in. The three main reasons why you should go running in Iceland are:
- The scenery is breathtaking.
- The climate is perfect for running.
- The air is so clean and fresh.
Where should you run
Running in a new city is a great way to get to know a city from another perspective. Running in Reykjavík offers several possibilities, you can run through the city’s green spaces, along the coast with a stunning view of the mountains, through the lively city centre, or even do all three!
(Click on the map for a larger version)
If you’re a serious runner (or even if you’re not) we recommend finding out if there are any races or marathons planned while you’re in Iceland. You should have no difficulty finding something to suit your interest, whether you want to race through Reykjavík, run over mountains, or just have fun.
The Reykjavík Marathon – The third weekend of August
The Reykjavík Marathon is the biggest race of the year in Iceland. Thousands of people participate in this race through the city, whether they run 10K, a half marathon or the full 42 kilometres. There’s even a Fun Run for the youngest runners! The Reykjavík Marathon takes place on the morning of Culture night, one of the city’s biggest festivals.
Colour Run – Early June
It’s perhaps a little misleading to put the Colour Run in a category with races since it’s not actually a race. This untimed run focuses on participation rather than who’s the fastest to the mark and having fun under a rain of coloured powders is the ultimate goal. Luckily, it’s not hard, with good music and a great atmosphere, this run won’t disappoint!
Midnight Run – Around the summer solstice
Iceland’s midnight sun lends a fairytale lightness to this summer solstice run, which takes place for the 25th time this year. The race is unusual because, as the name suggests, it’s run at night!
Participants race through the Laugardalur valley, a popular outdoor area close to the city centre and choose between running 5k, 10k, or half a marathon. After the race, the runners have a chance to take a midnight swim in the Laugardalslaug pool.
The Laugavegur Ultra Marathon – Mid July
The Laugavegur hiking trail is the most popular in Iceland but recently, running the trails from the hot springs of Landmannalaugar to the rough-hewn beauty of Þórsmörk, has also become popular. The route is 55 km and crosses Iceland’s wilderness, an area that’s only accessible during the height of summer.
The fastest runners finish the race in four or five hours, but this run is only for the very fittest runners. It’s challenging but rewarding, taking you through some of Iceland’s most beautiful areas.
New year’s run
This 10k run on New Year’s Eve morning combines serious activity with a light-hearted sense of fun. The run is timed and the route is planned in advance, but many people use the chance to wear colourful costumes and have fun with friends and family.