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Round Trip

Magazine

Round Trip

The winners of this year’s WOW Cyclothon made the 1,331 km long journey around Iceland in 41 hours and three minutes.

Published in the 2013 August-September issue of Iceland Review – IR 04.13. By Páll Stefánsson. Photos by Páll Stefánsson and Geir Ólafsson.

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The most difficult part of the race was the last 17 km (ten miles) from the finish line by lake Rauðavatn just outside Reykjavík to Harpa [the concert hall] by the old harbor, where the award ceremony took place,” says lawyer Gunnar Thoroddsen of team Subway, which took part in the 2013 WOW Cyclothon. The race is relay style clockwise around Iceland, and 1,332-km (828-miles) long. “I had no energy left, I was completely drained.”

Twenty-four teams took part in the cyclaton, each consisting of four cyclists and two drivers. The winning team, Team IP, made the round trip in 41:03:03 hours—four minutes faster than Synir Helga and 45 minutes ahead of WOW karlar, which placed third. The first female team to cross the finish line was Bjöllurnar, making it in 43:38:25 hours.

“I lost six kilos [14 lbs] in the race. It’s madness, of course, a madness I would not have missed, but I don’t think I’d do it again. Even if I’have traveled extensively around Iceland, this is a totally different experience. You realize how mountainous Iceland actually is, how narrow the roads are, and the wind—sometimes coming from all directions at the same time. Especially in Southeast Iceland where the Ring Road is on a small strip of land, between the ocean and Vatnajökull glacier,” recalls Gunnar.

You can read the remainder of this article and view the accompanying photographs in the August-September issue of Iceland Review – IR 04.13. Five times a year the print edition of Iceland Review & Atlantica brings you a wealth of articles on all aspects of life in Iceland including Páll Stefánsson’s latest images of the country’s majestic landscape. Click here to subscribe.