Over the weekend, 51 hearty souls took part in the first open water half distance race in Iceland. In a time where race directors are looking to get at least 1,000 participants to the start, the organizing crew in Iceland was content. And 51 starters included individual starters, teams, and those who only wanted to do the swim/bike duathlon.
“This was the inaugural race just to test the course and get the organization up and running. We did not advertise the event so getting 50 people was great, not to mention [having] Macca and [Nick] Saunders,” said race director Pétur Einarrson. “However even with as small a number as 50, the race is already viable as such but obviously in the future we are hoping to get a few hundred athletes to compete which will make it a really attractive event and a good reason for international guests to attend and visit Iceland. On the other hand it should be mentioned that our population is only 330,000 so our per capita participation was massive!”
Macca was out of the water in 27:17, but he did not complete the race. He was all smiles on the bike, but with an Achilles hampering and a cold he only swam and biked.
“What a fantastic race! I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience from start to finish. The scenery was fantastic which helped me get through a tough race. What I especially enjoyed was how welcoming the locals were and the atmosphere of the race itself was completely relaxed. It was great to line up with a 4x world champion in Chris McCormack,” said race champion Nick Saunders. “The race was good preparation for my next race which is a full Ironman distance in Vichy, France. I felt great all day and was pushed by Vidar. I was very happy to win Iceland’s first long distance triathlon.”