2013 RIGA MARATHON, LATVIA: 5:06:54 (2013-05-19)


Race report:


Capital: Riga (644,000)

Population: 2 million

Currency: Euro (EUR)

Famous people from Latvia:

Helmuts Balderis (ice hockey), Arturs Irbe (ice hockey), Stanislav Olijars (110 meter hurdles)

Fun facts about Latvia:

Over 50% of Latvia is covered by forest, and it’s one of the most environmentally friendly countries on the planet, ranking 2nd in the Environmental Performance Index.

Latvia has one of the highest rates of fashion models per capita in the world.

Latvia is the smallest nation to ever become a colonial power, as the Duchy of Courland set up a number of colonies in Tobago, Trinidad and Gambia in the 17th century (pictured: memorial cannons in Fort Jekabs, Tobago).

A Latvian-Jewish tailor named Jākobs Jufess invented the jeans (Levi Strauss backed him financially).

Latvia holds one of the largest song and dance festivals in the world (with over 40,000 participants), while choir singers and conductors are celebrities in Latvia. Latvia also has one of the largest collections of traditional folk songs in the world, numbering over 300,000.

Latvia is one of only 3 countries in the world, along with Canada and Finland, where ice hockey is the most popular type of sport.