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Monday, May 28, 2012

Copenhagen Marathon Day, 2012

Just a few days after arriving to Denmark, I woke up early and ventured into the city to watch the Copenhagen Marathon.  Naturally, I looked at the race route and strategically chose a spectating spot close to good coffee and pastry access.  
Coffee: the luxury item I prize above all others
I was surprised the area I chose for its coffee-pastry access points was not more packed with people.  After a walk to the train station and a train ride into town, I arrived early to Copenhagen with plenty of time to grab breakfast from Torvehallerne (a food marketplace) and get a front row spot to see the runners.
  Above, the view of Torvehallerne
Laura's Bakery, conveniently located next to the Coffee Collective-- so all of your pastry & coffee desires can be satisfied in one trip
This coffee spot felt like home to me.  I consider this picture an optical illusion, as the sleek design and friendly, hip fellow making my coffee made me feel like this could be a coffee joint in Los Angeles. 




 Confession: I started with a double espresso and then ordered a latte so I could try them both.  I had a lot of marathon watching ahead of me!  
This pastry from Lauras Bakery is called overskåren
Here's where I cheered on runners for the first half of the day.  The tent on the left was set up for a rockin' band that helped to motivate the athletes.  They played classic rock and even some New Orleans jazz. I stayed through their first set and then went wandering further down the race route. 
Above, the streets start to fill up with people. The peaceful Copenhagen morning is gone, replaced by the cheers of the crowd and the sounds of course entertainment (note that the child, atop someone's shoulders on the right of the photo, has the best seat in the house!)

There were a few things that struck me about this marathon: the late starting time of 9:30 am (such luxury compared to the LA Marathon) and the spectator friendly nature of the race-- which allowed me to catch two exciting glimpses of the elite runners from different locations.  Barbara Sanchez (from Ireland) was the female winner, and after some walking, I got to see her on the route twice: 
It was fun to see friends and family pick out their runners as they passed by-- though most of them were speaking Danish during these reunions, this moment looks the same in any language as happy runners receive a little boost!
The course entertainment was great!  A special hats off to the tuba player from this band, who played for a good stretch of time-- a physical feat equally as impressive as running the marathon if you ask me.

Above, these handcyclists went through the route behind the elite runners
 The warm weather encouraged even more spectators-- as you can see, people are enjoying an outdoor cafe while cheering on the athletes 
  A scenic place to put a sign for your runner!
Lots of cyclists were going about their daily business throughout various points of the course.  This father was transporting his kids as usual (note the encouragement signs for runners in the background)
Above, my first  Copenhagen Cycle Chic moment of my trip here.  For those of you who don't know, Copenhagen Cycle Chic is a great blog dedicated to the unique (and chic) style of cyclists in Copenhagen.  This woman paused to let the runners pass and then proceeded along on her chic and merry way. 

  Below, an ice cream shop in Islands Brygge, a charming neighborhood in Copenhagen that hosts the Copenhagen Marathon finish line.  All the ice cream stores were making a killing that day-- the shops were full of captive audience members inspired by warm weather
 Below, these dogs were my favorite spectators.  They were really getting into the excitement.



  Below, a view of Islands Brygge from the bridge--this scenic street hosts the finish line!
  Below, my favorite quirk about the Copenhagen Marathon: a map of the race route that when folded, doubles as a noisemaker for cheering on runners!  But wait, that's not all-- when you flip the map over, it transforms into an encouragement sign for your runner!  No wonder this city is famous for clever design!  

Congratulations to all of the runners of the Copenhagen Marathon 2012! 
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