Adventure Marathon’s Polar Circle Marathon is coming up soon – 19th October:
Polar Circle Marathon preview
Known as the Coolest Marathon on Earth, the marathon and half-marathon takes place in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland. The endless ice and snow of this vast country make up the backdrop of this unusual race, in which runners pass glacier tongues, moraine landscapes and soundless, arctic desert. Part of the race takes part on the ice-cap itself.
Runners who took part in the 2011 race described it as follows:
There really are no words to describe the intense cold we experienced when we set off on the run at -15 degrees. But this was nothing compared to what awaited us on the ice cap. To get there, we traversed a ravine and were hit with a freezing polar blast that literally knocked me off my feet. We were knee deep in loose snow (too deep for snowmobiles) with swirling snow flung at us from every direction.
By the time we reached the ice cap it was -30 degrees, and mind numbing.
We wrapped our scarves around our faces, but with each breath they iced up. Consequently, we ended up with a frozen collar of ice which we had to keep turning around to melt. At the same time our sunglasses were icing over and had to be scraped clear.
They described the race as “horrifically awesome” but “I think we possibly had a grin under that frozen scarf for the entire run.”
It is only fair to point out at this stage that the 2011 run was the coldest in the event’s 10-year history, as well as the most extreme of conditions. The average temperature is generally in the region of -10ºC/15ºF.