After six years of running on foreign soil, it was time for a home-run. As I am currently on holidays in my native Iceland I decided to use the occasion to take part in running races on my home turf. First up was a 10k race in Reykjavík called Ármannshlaupið.
Having set my best 21k time on a chilly and rainy day, and Iceland generally being a chilly and rainy place, I had high hopes for the weather to be in my favor. On the racing day the wind blew from the north. In Iceland, when the wind blows from the north, it really blows from the north — from the Arctic. However, since Reykjavík is located on the south-western part of the island, a northern wind is also a recipe for sunshine as the clouds tend to get caught up in the mountain tops of the central highlands on their way south from the Arctic. Hence, the air was fairly chilly, offset by a dry blue sky. A priori, that ought to be fairly favorable conditions for a good time.
The track was also promising. A flat route running along the northern coastline of the Reykjavík peninsula. With both the track and the weather on my side, I set my aim on a personal-best record. In the past I had struggled with getting below 49 minutes. Hence my primary goal was to get below 48 minutes with a secondary objective to get as close to the 45 minute mark as possible.
Those goals did not take one important aspect into account — my physical form on the raceday. Being on holiday, grilling and chilling with friends, I had perhaps a wee bit too much wine with the barbecue the evening before the race. For sure I had drunk plenty of liquid, but not exactly the right type of hydration. However, since the race did not start until 8pm, I had plenty of time to recover and re-hydrate with the proper substance.
The race turned out to be very nice. I met a good number of old friends, some who I have not met in a long time. One can hardly imagine a better setting. Running in the evening sun, enjoying the view of the bay and the mountains on the other side. As for the pace, I ran the first 5k in 24 minutes and was on a good pace for reaching my objective. However, I could not keep it up for the latter 5k and finished the race about 30 seconds from my target. That said, I can be pretty happy with my time — 48:33 — a personal best.