Nordea Riga Marathon

LV flag OMLatvian Flag at the “Corner House”- Former KGB Headquarters. Read about it here. Another place to visit in Latvia to learn more about the Soviet Occupation is the Occupation Museum. Both places were highly emotional andย  makes one appreciate safety and freedom.

start line LV

Last Sunday, May 18th, I ran as an invited athlete in the Nordea Riga Marathon in Riga, Latvia, the 2014 European Capital of Culture. This race was very special to me as I am 100% Latvian and it was awesome to be back in Latvia after our first trip there in 2008. I have been working hard on my Latvian language and studying the history of my ancestors and the history of the Latvian people. It is funny, I can understand my parent’s Latvian so well, but when in Latvia it was difficult for me to understand Latvian citizens speaking, I guess that is probably true in any language as accents vary. I would love to spend a few months over there to train in the beautiful parks and to take Latvian Immersion classes. We shall see!

press conference LVPress Conference

Start line

Start line

On to the marathon, I actually didn’t really have any jet lag. I followed this plan and it seemed to work very well. The night before the race I had my Osmo Pre-Load to prepare for the heat. Race morning I had about 500 calories, plus another 350 during the race. It was a little warm and windy but I felt prepared. I feel as though the Nordea Riga Marathon course may not be the fastest course, but with the U- turns and the loop-style, it is tactical.ย  I ran 2:40:22 for second place, much slower than I felt I was trained for, but some days are like that! I was going for the win to honor my family but unfortunately it didn’t pan out this time. I was definitely disappointed in myself afterwards. I think that is an emotion you need to have and work through and then move on! Makes you hungrier for the next.

Run LV

run2 LV

LV run 3

winners pic

big check pic

I had an amazing experience, and met some great people while over in Latvia. I can’t wait to return to tackle this course again next year! Now it’s time to go up to the mountains for a summer of altitude training before my next marathon….CHICAGO! It is my time for a big breakthrough. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for reading, enjoy the pictures!

View from our hotel room at the Maritim Park Hotel.

View from our hotel room at the Maritim Park Hotel.

House of the Blackheads Above is the House of the Blackheads- It was originally built in 1334 and was a meeting and celebration venue for different social organizations in Riga. In the 17th century its occupants were the cheerful and industrious, mainly German merchants โ€“ the Blackheadsโ€™ Society.

st peters cathedralSt. Peter’s Church– truly marvelous.

Vecsriga- Old Riga

Vecriga- Old Riga

Mom and Dad 2 LVMom and Dad by the Daugava River- So happy they were able to come with us! They made it a trip to remember, and I mean that in a good way, teehee.

snail LVMyself with one of the many snails placed in downtown Riga. The were movable and each one was a different color. The marathon shirts had a snail on them this year (so cute!) so I am guessing these were related but couldn’t find information. They were pretty awesome!

Dad plotting our way in one of the many outdoor beer gardens.

Dad plotting our way in one of the many outdoor beer gardens.

Post-race cheese platter! So good.

Post-race cheese platter! So good.

freedom monumentThe Freedom Monument in the center of Riga. It is a very powerful sight and definitely makes you stop for a moment.ย  It was built to honor soldiers killed during the Latvian War of Independence. It is considered an important symbol of sovereignty of Latvia. It represents the unity, independence and freedom of the Latvian people.

At the central market

At the central market

Dried fish at the central market.

Dried fish at the central market.

Cobblestone roads. Yes, there was a section of cobblestone during the marathon.

Cobblestone roads. Yes, there was a section of cobblestone during the marathon, given my falling rate on smooth roads, I am very proud that I did not fall during the race. Winning.

Matt with his new growler at Valmiermuiza Brewery Shop.

Matt with his new growler at Valmiermuiza Brewery Shop.

Chef Vilhelms! We missed eating there this time around, but love the pancakes!

Chef Vilhelms! We missed eating there this time around, but love the pancakes!

That’s all for now! Run Happy and never give up the dream!

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 Comments

  1. Not quite the performance you were looking for but an epic performance and epic trip none the less Ari. Your efforts are always inspiring and I love your race photos how you always have a smile on your face or is that the look of being comfortable with being uncomfortable hahaha lol ๐Ÿ™‚ Latvia looks absolutely beautiful and your photos were amazing!!! Your mother … let’s just say you two could pass for twins especially with those dark shades she is wearing in the one photo. But they always say like mother like daughter. I can’t wait for the breakthrough that’s due to come your way much sooner than later I’m sure!! Keep putting in the work and it’ll come!! Next stop … CHICAGO!!! You are going to do amazing!!! Run Happy!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks Lee! You are so kind. Yeah, my mom and I get that *a lot* ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you are doing well, it has got to be getting pretty warm and muggy in FL!

      • Thanks Ari! I’m doing well I’m coming out of an injury period with my left foot that has slowed me a bit so I’m slowly working back to form and fitness I’m about a month out from a 10-week build up to my first race since Gasparilla. The fall is going to be one of my most heavy race seasons in about two years. Annnnnnd finally yesssss!!! The Florida humidity has begun to rear it’s ugly head lol and has tried to start taking my breath away on runs haha! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Loved the pics! What an awesome trip, experience and race. Learning and living your heritage is so cool. I love your smile in the second race photo. Priceless. Random, but I never realized you had short hair, haha. Or maybe that just sounds creepy. Anyway… Glad you had a great time. Can’t wait to see what you can do in Chicago and in between ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks Heather! I did just cut my hair a few months ago. I got so sick of it! ha! Hope you are doing well, thanks for reading! XO

  3. I know you didn’t get the results you had hoped for, but nice job nonetheless. I love the photos – especially the one with the tulips. It looks beautiful there!

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