Reykjavik (Iceland), June 24 (IANS) Nearly 3,000 Icelanders on Tuesday night came out of their homes on to the brightly-lit streets for a run under the midnight sun in the world’s northernmost capital city.
As Iceland’s most spectacular natural phenomenon, the midnight sun is creating stunning skies and endless days during the summer and bringing the longest day and the shortest night ao the summer solstice, reports Xinhua.
The 2015 Midnight Sun Run, one of the events held to celebrate the summer solstice across Iceland, took place for the 23rd time with people joining in for either of the three distances — half marathon, 10 km, and 5 km races.
Iceland marathon runner Kari Steinn Karlsson won first place among men, finishing the half marathon with a time of one hour, 12 minutes and 48 seconds. He said he enjoyed running under the midnight sun.
“It was great. Great conditions and it was calm weather and the temperature was perfect. It was good to see the midnight sun. Unfortunately it was a bit too cloudy, but still it was a perfect evening and I felt great,” he said.
“It’s definitely a different feeling running and it’s still bright outside and it’s so late. It gives you extra energy. It’s a different kind of experience. I really enjoy it.”
For woman runner Arna Ir Gunnarsdottir, running under the midnight sun was just to make up for the loss of time during the long and dark winter in Iceland.
“It’s very nice. We like when the sun doesn’t go down. We like when it’s bright the whole night. And we like to use that time to do something different because it’s dark almost all winter. So we like to use it quite well and it’s very good to run in this good weather and when the time is so much in the evening, so it’s quite nice,” she said.
Describing the midnight sun run as a unique experience, Thora Rose Gudbjartsdottir said she enjoyed the colourful bounties of nature along the route.
“It’s awesome. While we were running, we saw the sky was pink. It’s really nice. It doesn’t feel like midnight, it feels like it’s day,” she said.
Svava Asgeirsdottir from the Reykjavik Marathon was the race manager of the Midnight Sun Run. She said they organised the event to make the best use of the valuable summer time.
“The midnight sun is something very special in Iceland because we have a very short summer. We have a 3-month summer and 9-month winter and in winter the day is very short. It is only four, five hours and then it’s just dark. But in the summer we have daylight all night long. So we are celebrating this longest day of the year, this midnight sun, we call it,” she said.
She said the Midnight Sun Run had become more and more popular as the number of participants was growing each year.
“Everyone likes to run in Iceland. I sometimes say it’s because it’s cold. You have to be running or cycling or walking to keep warm, because it’s rather cold in Iceland,” she added.