H.C. Andersen Marathon has the fastest route in Scandinavia, which make it the ideal run for debutants and runners looking to beat their personal best.
By Nicolai Lisberg
You cannot mention Odense without mentioning Hans Christian Andersen.
The famous Danish fairy tale author was born in Odense, and the city does everything possible to keep his stories alive and so does the H.C. Andersen Marathon, in Denmark called HCA Marathon, which is named after Hans Christian Andersen. The route looks like a scenery from one of his fairytales, there are characters from his stories on each kilometre sign and you might even spot him cheering for you on the route. But that is far from everything that makes this race a fairy tale.
“Odense is completely flat, which is one of the reasons why we have a very fast route. Actually HCA Marathon has turned out to be the fastest route in Scandinavia,” says race director Torben Simonsen and adds:
“This is one of the reason why we consider HCA Marathon a good race for debutants as well as experienced runners who want to beat their own personal record.”
Different distances and everything nearby
The organisers expect a total of 6,000 participants for this year’s race. 1,500 will run the marathon and the rest will do other distances, because beside the marathon, runners can also sign up for a half marathon and a 10-kilometre race.
“Last year we decided to make it possible to just run the last 10-kilometre of the race as well. That turned out to be such a great success that we will do it again this year. It gives families and running clubs with different levels the option to participate on the same day, because they can just choose the distance they are comfortable with,” says Simonsen.
The half marathon and marathon begin and end at Odense Sport Centre, while the 10-kilomtre race starts at the city hall and ends at the Sport Centre as well. This makes the infrastructure quite unique, as everything is in walking distance.
“The route is also very well thought as you run in the shape of a four-leaf clover, which means you run towards the centre of the city on a couple occasions, which gives families and friends several options to cheer for you,” says Simonsen.
HCA Marathon is cooperating with the city’s hotels, so if you are travelling from abroad to participate in the run you can get a good deal for your stay in Odense.