Ari Bragi

An escape from the city life


Directed and produced byEdda Sól Jakobsdóttir
Filmed and edited byIsabella Maria Hale
Colourgraded byJoão Barros Martins
Make up artistTekla Kristjánsdóttir
Words byAri Bragi and Jóhann Páll Ástvaldsson

Ari Bragi Kárason knows nothing else than giving all he‘s got. He is Iceland‘s fastest man, boasting the record for 100 metres, but also happens to be one of the country‘s finest trumpet players.

Ari Bragi Kárason knows nothing else than giving all he‘s got. He is Iceland‘s fastest man, boasting the record for 100 meters, but also happens to be one of the country‘s finest trumpet players. Recently, he‘s worked with renowned Icelandic jazz outfit Mezzoforte as well as the Danish Radio Big Band, which features some of the finest jazz musicians in the country.
These two passions complement each other in his daily life, as he finds time in his hectic schedule to perform both. Now retired from running, his record still holds, while he has moved on to longer runs. A relative newcomer to Copenhagen, Ari wasted no time in finding his feet in the city. Although his mind wavers back to running through mountains and sheep trails in Iceland, running in the city of Copenhagen is his therapy for mind and soul – whether through Søerne or Amager Strand.

When did you begin running?

I began running in the summer of 2009 and immediately discovered that it was a good fit for me. I moved on to longer distances and even entered a 100km competition in Iceland before I eventually discovered athletics in 2014, where my love affair with sprinting began.

What is it about running that fascinates you?

As I am a musician by profession I have always needed something else in my daily life other than just music. Running is a perfect way for me to shut off that world for a little while, enjoying the exercise and the environment around me. Now I head out for runs because I want to exercise, and I always feel a sense of well-being afterward.

Where are you most in your element while running?

I‘ve had most of my unforgettable moments on the running track, but I enjoy off-road trails, mountains, and sheep trails the most.

What is your favorite area to run in Copenhagen?

Amager Strand is definitely my favorite.

What is your favorite area to run in Iceland?

I‘ve run the Fimmvörðuháls route a couple of times and it‘s always as magnificent to arrive running towards the Þórsmörk mountain ridge and to see the land open up.

What is your most memorable run?

It‘s likely when I first broke the Icelandic 100-meter record in 2016. Another special mention is the 100-kilometer run in 2009. I discovered a scale of emotion I didn‘t know existed and learned a lot about myself as an individual following that runs.

What kind of clothing do you recommend for city runs?

I dress according to the weather, and always a little bit more than needed to be sure – as sweat and heat are always better than the cold. I recommend a light breathable windbreaker or shell with a thin base layer under it.

What fascinates you most about running the city?

It‘s such a good feeling after having sat at work for hours, to just stand up, get dressed, have a glass of water, and go out running. There is no better way to break up the day. You‘ll often solve some problems while running.

What is your favorite 66°North clothing for running in the city?

The Kársnes set has been my go-to for the last couple of months. I‘ve thrown on a shell over that if it‘s raining, which has worked out really well.



Highly breathable windbreaker vest.

Running route in Copenhagen recommended by Ari Bragi

What I like most about this route is that you're able to catch a glimpse of the city's buzz during the first part, while then capturing the full contrasting peace of mind when running by Søerne (the Lakes) – not to mention that it's certainly a bonus to end at Kongens Nytorv, close to the 66°North store.

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Running in the city