To have city alive in the marathon!

To have city alive in the marathon!
director of Nordea Riga marathon Aigars Nords
Una Griškeviča
19-05-2013 A+ A-
The office of Nordea Riga marathon is busy with last preparations for this classical distance to be run on Sunday, May 19. ‘We cannot quite believe that this is already the seventh such event that we hold,’ the director of marathon Aigars Nords says in conversation with cultural portal 'Riga 2014.' He and his colleagues have taken care for this event to be interesting not only to runners, but to their supporters as well, organizing the Mile of Culture for the first time this year – a range of cultural accents along almost entire athletic distance.

Where you wait your beloved runner

‘Marathon will be part of Riga – 2014, European Capital of Culture program next year; therefore, this one is kind of a dress rehearsal,’ Aigars says demonstrating us a map complete with all the spots of events and activities and adding that in order to give at least some taste of the next year to participants of marathon and to the public, one of the zones of the distance – the stretch of Valdemāra street from National theatre till Elizabetes street and Bastejkalns and Meierovics boulevard will be turned into Mile of Culture.’


And what will happen there? ‘There will be lots of different music! The main events will take place on the Big stage aside the National theatre and on the Urban stage on the crossing of Kalpaka boulevard and Valdemāra street where DJs and musicians will take center for entire day trying to inspire the runners and the audience alike,’ director of marathon tells underlining that it will be the place to gather those who would not find the marathon interesting enough, as well as anyone eager to meet their beloved runner there. More color to the gigs on stage will be added by circus artists, quires, dance ensembles and musicians working in different genres.

A propos, apart from The Mile of Culture, there will be more than twenty other sites of activities and performances on the distance. ‘Activities are planned in Ķīpsala, Kaņepe cultural center, on Southern bridge and elsewhere. Our main interest is to cover entire marathon route so that the city would be alive! So that there would be no reason to say – oh, it’s boring here!

We want everyone to have a good time on this day, to enjoy concerts and gigs which will be free.

The town will look different on this day – the traffic shut, the runners – on their distance, everything completely green and open, and music everywhere. We want more than 20 thousand participants and public from more than 60 countries to enjoy this cultural program,’ Aigars previews the day to come.


DJs, actors and ‘Auļi’

Asked which artists could draw the attention on Sunday, Aigars looks for help of his grand itinerary again. ‘The Big stage will be repeatedly given to bag-pipes and drums group ‘Auļi,’ who had their anniversary concert recently; we will also hear group ‘Oranžās brīvdienas’ and the actors of National theatre and DJ Rudd. Meanwhile, the Urban stage will present DJ Monsta and entertain with the help of DJ Picaso, Ozols and Bush.

The alternative for those who prefer quieter marathon Sunday will be Jēkaba quarter, where dance ensembles and brass orchestras will perform and quires will have their rounds of singing to rehearse their Song and Dance festival repertoire for an extra time.

Will the public be allowed to join artists’ performances? ‘I think that everyone will already have tried all the possible inter-actions on Museum Night, therefore, marathon will be rather enjoyed in the role of viewers and listeners,’ says Aigars who will not take out his saxophone and entertain the supporters of marathon either as there is enough work for him organizing it.

Dream about Freedom street

Asked, whether comparable cultural practices in sports events are observed in other European cities, director of marathon answers – they are; marathons are performance sites for DJs and musicians elsewhere as well, but the aim of the organizers of Riga marathon is to concentrate the effort even more, compressing the whole panorama into Mile of Culture.

We foresee for the next year, when marathon will be opened by Freedom Run, which, by Freedom (Brīvības) street will extend from Jugla to the city center, that Freedom street will be the site of varying culture, art and music-related activities allowing to perceive this street from a completely different side.

This is the street to reflect the history of the city the best,’ Aigars Nords explains the idea of next year’s marathon indicating that the curator of the thematic line ‘Freedom Street’ Gints Grūbe relates this concept in perfection and emphasizing it as the reason why the organizers of marathon will try to replay this idea.


 It is true, however, that, in order to truly fulfill this dream and for the Freedom Run to happen, police certificate need be received, but Aigars is optimistic, adding, in the end of conversation: ‘So far, we have managed to turn on our runners – there are twenty thousand participants and Nordea Riga marathon is the largest of its kind in Northern Europe. Therefore, now we want to turn on the viewers and supporters, since they are a little inert and do not know how to act in such events. We want then to understand that even if they do not run, they are welcome in marathon!’

The program of marathon and the Mile of Culture is available here:



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