Due to the pandemic my last race was a 5k in February of 2020. Since then basically all races have been cancelled. Now that the everything is slowly starting back up again I’ve been planning races again, but obviously there are no guarantees of them going ahead.
When Iceland was one of the first countries to allow travellers again in the spring, I started considering a trip. The Reykjavik half marathon has been on my bucket list for a few years now and they seemed pretty confident about the race going ahead. So I decided to enter the race and book a trip around it to see more of Iceland. Since training hasn’t been going all that well this year I decided to enter the 10k instead of the half marathon.
However, two weeks before the race I got an e-mail saying the race could not go ahead in August 2021 and they would postpone it by a month to September 2021. At this point is was too late the cancel my trip, but I also wasn’t planning on going to Iceland again a month later to do the race. The idea behind postponing the race by a month seemed to be mostly that they didn’t want large gatherings due to the pandemic and the tourist wouldn’t be able to change their trips and therefore would not be able to do the race, but this would still allow for the locals (which are more likely to run for charities) to do the race. If you could not make the September date you could transfer your bib to next year.
Two weeks later as I arrive in Iceland I get another e-mail saying they’re cancelling the race all together and all entries will be deferred until next year. Normally they’ll have the race in the morning and they’ll have the culture night in the afternoon and evening. I’m assuming that’s why the race (and the culture night) are on a Saturday rather than a Sunday, so people can enjoy their night and don’t have to work the next day. Unfortunately, they didn’t only cancel the race, they also cancelled culture night.
Since I was in Reykjavik anyway I decided to do a 10k run on my own, following part of the race course along the coast. I had been out walking on Friday morning as well and it was pretty quiet. On the Saturday morning it was clearly a lot busier with runners, probably partially because it was a Saturday but also because a lot of runners had the same idea to run the race anyway. Lots of runners out in groups, most of them seemed to be local though, I got shouted at in Iceland a couple of times, which I assume were encouragements.
I think in the end I saw about a 100 runners out on the course while I was there. Because there were so many people around I did manage to pick up the pace a bit in the first few kilometers, but as it became quieter and me not really being in shape, my pace dropped again towards the end. Nevertheless, I did enjoy my 10k run. I still have a bib for 2022, but haven’t decided yet if I’ll go back to Reykjavik again.
Not sure what the race organizers are doing with the medals for this year, assuming they have the date on it. Not sure if those were already ordered, although they did cancel just two weeks before the race. Might have been nice to tell runners to run their own race and maybe pick up the medal somewhere in the city center afterwards over the weekend.
Either way, still no races yet for me so far. I had an entry for the Boston Marathon, but the field size was cut. I do still have a bib for the London Marathon instead and I also had one for the New York City Marathon, but I deferred that since all Major Marathons are quite close together in the fall this year. Probably for the best, since the travel ban still hasn’t been lifted. Since Reykjavik didn’t go ahead I entered the Dam tot Damloop instead, also cancelled. Considered signing up for the City Pier City, don’t bother, also cancelled. So, at this point I still haven’t done a race since February 2020 and the London Marathon might be my first one since the pandemic. Also means I don’t really know where I stand, although as far as I can tell, not very well trained. I haven’t run much further than 12k yet this year. So, that’s going to be interesting…