the warmth of a fire
and of the shining sun.
A healthy man
is a happy man
who's neither ill not injured."
First morning in Reykjavik and also the evening of the Summer Solstice Midnight Run. I had signed up on the Internet before I even arrived in Iceland, thinking it would be a great experience to mingle with the locals and explore part of the city on foot while doing the 5K part of the Marathon. While we were traveling around the country I was trying to find someone to do it with me, since Steve wasn't going to partake. I met a fun lady named Dianna, traveling alone and seemingly up for adventure.
After a morning spent in museums, she and I decided we would try and find the staging area, get her registered, and just generally get familiar with the area. We walked to a bus station and figured out the transport and made it to the big sport complex in the city, only to find out we could not register til late afternoon. A young man heard us talking and offered to show us a place to have coffee and sweets. He was very tall, red haired, and sported the biggest, darkest, hairiest fur coat I have ever seen, draping down to the ground. It was more like a cape and making quite the statement, but not sure about what. As we trouped down the lane with him,I finally asked him what his great fur coat was made of...and getting ready to cringe at the answer. He proudly explained it was 100% POLYESTER! He would never kill an animal for clothes or even food..........except the Icelandic lamb who had a very pleasureful (but short life) and because they were such happy creatures...their meat tasted better. It was a bizarre but fun meeting and he led us to a wonderful "kaffi" spot in the Botanical Gardens, called "Cafe Flora". So our afternoon took a fun turn as we snacked on sweets and had coffees.
We got all the prelims done and returned to our hotel to wait for our late night excursion. Unfortunately, we had a dinner party to attend with free wine (a rarity in Iceland) and lamb for dinner! Happy lamb! Never having actually run a race at midnight, I did everything wrong. Stayed awake all day, ate meat late, drank wine, and as we were leaving for the race (via Taxi we decided), Dianna told me how old she was...older than me...hahha.., and had never ever done a walk or a race, and didn't have any tennis shoes or even work out clothes with her! We got to the staging area along with a couple thousand other "young, stately, athletic Icelandic warriors and warriorettes"..... And just went for it. Dianna was a champ, chatting all the way, while running along side, and enjoying everything, even the strong cold wind that had blown up. Along with our entry fee we received a ticked to the big thermal pool near by and we could soak in the heated water after the race. We walked over to do just that, and could not believe the amount of people squeezed into the hot tubs. We could not have even put a toe in the water without a shoe horn!
Taxi time! Back to the hotel. But I got medal.