"Then I just got my feet shot"

Andrea Kolbeinsdóttir at the finishing line, the first of Icelandic …

Andrea Kolbeinsdóttir at the finishing line, the first of Icelandic women in the race and in 7th place overall. In spite of hitting the dreaded 30 kilometre wall her time was improved by 5 minutes. Photo/Eva Björk

“We had already decided, four runners to go out in 3:44:02 and it was just going incredibly well, we stayed together right up to thirty kilometres,” says Andrea Kolbeinsdóttir, who became the most successful Icelandic woman in the Reykjavík Marathon yesterday, and also came seventh in the overall standings of all participants that were about 11,000. By 3:44:02 she meant minutes per kilometre, not the total time of the race.

The running friends are Sigurjón Ernir Sturluson, Grétar Örn Guðmundsson and Jörundur Frímann Jónasson, and one might say that their plan succeeded, as they lined up consecutive places, fourth to seventh, with Sturluson taking fourth place overall and the winner of the Icelandic runners.

There was an upbeat atmosphere ysterday and runners having fun. …

There was an upbeat atmosphere ysterday and runners having fun. 11,307 runners were registered in the race from 84 countries. Thereof, 5,766 women, 5,483 men and 12 gender queer, but this is the first time there are 3 categories in the race. Photo/Eva Björk

The thirty kilometre wall is not a myth

Whereas all four came to the finish between 2:38:25 and 2:42:15, Kolbeinsdóttir says that the mood was good in the friend group during the race. “Then I just got my feet shot! This wall people talk about in a marathon, it exists,” she says in a certain voice, referring to the thirty kilometre wall which is well known to the insiders.

“At kilometre 32, I lose them and fall from 3:44 to over four, ” she says, again referring to the number of minutes per kilometre of running in this marathon’s entire ordeal. “So I’m just by myself for the last ten kilometres trying to get to the finish line,” Kolbeinsdóttir continues, saying that at that point she was running 4:10 minutes per kilometre “When I was there alone in Fossvogur  I wa just dying,” she describes how she felt after hitting the wall these last 10 kilometres.

The President of Iceland, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, was running a …

The President of Iceland, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, was running a half marathon yesterday. Photo/Eva Björk

"I felt my body was tired from what I've been doing recently, yet it ended up being a five-minute improvement and I'm very happy with this and I am excited to be going for full marathon preparations for the Valencia Marathon in December, I hadn't trained specifically for marathon practice for this marathon and I felt the asphalt was starting to get to me after thirty kilometres," says the runner, who sets the course in Spain for Christmas.

Sometimes skiing instead

Kolbeinsdóttir has been running the races for a decade, despite being only 24 years old and I ask her how her interest in running started.

"A good question, I was in football and tennis and a lot of sports, then the running just came very naturally to me. I didn't start anything full time in the beginning, I was running here and there and then I took perhaps a six month’s break doing other sports, but for the last five-six years I've just been running and giving it everything," Kolbeinsdóttir says of her career.

She runs the whole year, yet confesses that she tends to reduce indoor running during the winter months just a little and ski instead. Such a practice is not an option this year, however, because of the impending marathon in Valencia.

“Yes and no,” Kolbeinsdóttir replies when asked about the pleasure level of the day, if she likes her performance. “You would have liked more, of course, and it was disgusting to lose the boys, but given the preparation for this, I just have to be content,” concludes running-back Andrea Kolbeinsdóttir, first of all Icelandic women in the Reykjavík Marathon and seventh overall.


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