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Ice(land), Ice(land) Baby!

To Iceland, then, and Reykjavík city where the girls are pretty - and the boys have to use charm to get them into bed because it's way too expensive to get them drunk!

But we have a higher calling: the Reykjavík Marathon, or the Reykjavíkurmaraþon Íslandsbanka to give it its full official name.

Fortunately, this is not the course.

Twenty minutes before the start. I don't think London is quite so casual. Note that "1:35" here refers to your expected half-marathon time!

Five minutes to go: a few more runners have turned up now.

Amanda bought a Superman top at the marathon Expo yesterday. Made by a British company as it happens...

And off they all go!

Well, not quite all! Team Diabetes are still too busy with their group selfies to actually worry about the race. Once again, I think your Londons, your Bostons, your Berlins, what-have- you, are a bit less laid back.

But Amanda is definitely off and running and I need a way to get around after her.


They came from the suburbs!

There, now you know what the Icelandic for "pacemaker" is. Bet you can't prounounce it, though!

I shall wait here for Amanda...

...but an awful lot of people are pretending to be her.

Ah, here's the real thing. The strange gesture is to be interpreted as "Is that your bike? Were you able to get one?" As indeed I was.

"TOUCH FOR POWER!", it says. Can't hurt to have more power.

I really ought to have found out what this building is, because it looks like a kind of wire mesh model of a building, not a real one.

Note well the longboat sculpture in the background. Amanda had seen it in the guidebook and was really pleased to find it was right on the route. I took up position accordingly. She was distinctly less pleased when she learned she'd run straight past it without even realising :-(

Oh well, at least she's pleased to see me :-)

This time she's not pointing at the bike, she's pointing at the guy in front.

He's doing the full marathon with a couple of plasters instead of shoes!

Another thing about the Marathon: it can be tackled by a relay team as 10+10+10+12.2 km. That means that when you are feeling the strain, one completely fresh new runner after another comes shooting past you. Harrumph!

Somehow, you don't think of Iceland as a place where you need to pour a cup of water on your head to cool down!

This is only about 5 km out from the centre of town. Yep, it's definitely not like London.

And this is the view in the other direction.

One of the official photographers had set up at this point. Aha, I thought, of course they know that the lighthouse in the background will make for a more interesting picture than just filling the frame with the runner alone. Later, when we looked at the official photo of Amanda, we found he'd only gone and done exactly that! Pathetic: it could have been anywhere. Despite taking a few gazillion of our own, we are happy to buy pro photos when they are worth it - after all, I can't necessarily get to all the best spots myself - but not when they're crap.

Hurrah! The finishing straight! Amanda was under strict instructions from her physio to keep it low key: run the first half, yes, but run/walk the second and pull out if she had the slightest problem, so she was distinctly nervous at the start and was worried that aiming for sub-five hours was optimistic. But despite a couple of minor cock-ups finding the right points to give her her gels, she's been doing fine, and she's been far from the only one walking a bit towards the end.

Yeah, that'll do as a sub-5 :-)

Supergirl even gets a cape!

Not as bright as my own bike, but it's served me well.

Reykjavíkurmaraþon Íslandsbanka. Done.

Love to all,


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