Although Tórshavn is one of the smallest capital cities in the world, it organises full- and half-marathons every year in early June. “All respectable cities have marathons!” says Johan E. Simonsen’s, former race director of Tórshavn Marathon.
Johan says that what makes the Tórshavn Marathon special is that it is a city race that takes place in nature. “That doesn’t happen anywhere else in the world!” he says. “In the Tórshavn Marathon, participants run along highways that are only a few metres from the ocean, past sheep and other wild animals. And at the finish line, participants are given soup, home-made cakes and coffee, all free of charge. All these factors help differentiate the Tórshavn Marathon from other marathons.”
Around 500 people participated in last year’s race, 230 of them visitors from abroad. These numbers are rather impressive compared to the race’s inaugural year in 2004, when around 25 people – all from the Faroe Islands – took part.
A small team of five people organise the Tórshavn Marathon, and on race days, up to 100 people volunteer to help out. Johan, who last year stepped aside as race director to compete in the race himself, is really pleased with how last year’s race went.
“The weather plays a big role in how enjoyable the day is, and last year’s weather was fantastic. The organisers have only had good feedback, so everyone is very pleased,” says Johan.
Words: Levi Hansson