A non-stop bike race around Iceland
Contestants in the individual race at the start of the WOW Cyclothon. Photo: Golli / Kjartan Þorbjörnsson
The WOW Cyclothon began today, a race organised by Icelandic airline WOW, kicked off today. Both teams and individual compete in the race which takes place over a total of 1458 kilometres around Iceland in just three days.
All participants raise money for a good cause each year, and this year the cyclists raise money towards a recovery centre at Landspiítalinn Kleppur mental hospital.
"The atmosphere just can't get any better," says Stefán Gunnarsson, competing in the individual contest in the cyclothon. He tells mbl.is that preparation has gone well although he hasn't had extensive cycling experience. He joined the race last year as part of a team and then decided to go solo this year. He believes it's important to listen to the body. "It's not just about getting to Akureyri or Egilsstaðir, it's about going all the way. " The weather conditions have been great this week. " It's also a question of not getting annoyed when the big teams zoom past you. "
Italian competitor Roberto Martini is taking part in the Cyclothon for the first time. He lives in Iceland and used to run whilst living in Italy. "I decided in January to start cycling as a sport," he says and adds that therefore the cyclothon is a big challenge..
Participants at the start of the race. mbl.is/Golli
Participants in the indiividual category in the WOW Cyclothon began the contest at 10 am at Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavik this morning. They will cycle around the country with the contest coming to a close on June 26th at 10 pm, 84 hours after the contest started.
Check out this behind-the-scenes video for a taste of the race.