Travelling Fit kicks off its inaugural run the world tour in Iceland Reykjavik – just the sound of it conjours images of glaciers, cold rushing water over rocks, reindeer and austere dark trees. The reality however for three entrants in the inaugural RTW tour this year was much warmer than expected.
Warmer in temperature (tip from runners Paul and Robyn Madigan, take sunscreen), warmer in welcome by the locals and warmer in the care given to all TF clients before, during and after the events.
“On race day she (TF director Mari-Mar Walton) ran about three marathons getting out to the 33km mark, I think it was, to cheer everyone and take photos. I have food intolerances, and she had pre-arranged the correct food for me, however each time would check that I had been taken care of.” Robyn
The experiences of the other two clients, Julian and Christine Walker, and Michael and Belinda Comninos and children Isaac, 6, and Xanthe, 2, with the TF organisation of the event and tours were just as positive.
Michael wanted a memorable event for his first marathon. It was so good, they are now planning trips for 2018 and 2020.
Belinda said that while Michael ran the marathon, she ran the three kilometres with the children.
“Isaac and Xanthe are used to our running holidays. Isaac thinks he’d like to do the marathon in Iceland when he’s 18,” Belinda said.
Christine said they chose to do the Reykjavik event because it was a long held goal to see Iceland. They grabbed the chance when it was advertised.
During the race the locals came out in force to cheer the runners on helping them stay motivated and enjoy the experience more.
“They (the locals) were out banging saucepan lids with spoons, cooked small cupcakes and offered them to runners as they went past. There was music playing at so many turns of the street. Just magic.” Robyn
Conditions for the event were ‘excellent’. With a generally flat landscape and bitumen surfaces, albeit warmer weather than expected (Queensland winter according to Christine), the landscape could be appreciated along the way.
Michael found the landscape ‘young’ compared to Australia’s ‘old and worn terrain’, and the contrast and beauty inspiring.
It “felt like a privilege to be there, seeing the landscape, breathing that air and running the race,” he said.
The hardest part of the marathon for each was:
Michael – he had the mindset that he was there to enjoy himself and soak up the vibe from the locals and natural environment, so when the pack and locals thinned out about the 36-38km mark, he missed the motivating energy. However a TF buddy caught up with him and they drove each other to make the finish line with Michael clocking his last kilometre as his fastest.
Paul – (he did the marathon and Robyn did the 10km) the last seven kilometres were the hardest but knowing he had come all the way to participate ensured motivation to cross the finish line.
Christine – hit the 32km mark and suffered (for the first time) a bout of excruciating cramps in her thighs that slowed her down for about half an hour. It made her finishing time slower but she got there by telling herself she had not come to Reykjavik to pull out of the race. (Tip take magnesium spray to squirt under tongue.)
And the ‘wow’ factors?
The trip to the glacier, the icebergs, waterfalls, spectacular landscape, travelling with a group of like-minded people, the sights, sounds and tastes, the race, the care put into the organisation and swimming in the thermal pools.
“The kids thought it was incredible and giggled the whole time we were in the water.” Belinda
And the official report on the fun run from Isaac and Xanthe: It was really great because they got to see interesting things in Iceland such as the big church and they loved being cheered on!
The next Run The World tour is in Cuba next year. See you there!