Sign up now for the October Polar Circle Marathon

This is one marathon where over-heating shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Run in average temperatures of -10ºC/15ºF, but in temperatures that can drop to -30ºC this “is a tough, unique marathon in truly magnificent scenery”.

The Polar Circle Marathon

This marathon takes place in the vicinity of  Kangerlussuaq, Greenland just north of the Polar Circle. The athletes will pass backdrops of glacier tongues, moraine landscapes and soundless, arctic desert. The main part of the course sticks to the gravel road which is frequently covered in snow, but it does also venture onto the slippery ice cap itself and will cross frozen lakes. The race is held just 3 hours from the North Pole.

“The coolest marathon on earth” offers totally different challenges to normal marathons and not just because of the extremely brisk temperatures although warm soup along the way helps combat that! Some of the guidelines on the race website include bringing spiky boots to put over your running shoes, keep an eye out for reindeer and avoid falling through the crevasses that often line the route.

This marathon is considered extreme because of the very different circumstances to other marathons: the intense cold, the need to wear numerous layers of clothing, the hilly terrain and the changing underfoot surfaces , the fluctuating temperatures and icy polar winds. It is also vitally important to monitor your water intake as Greenland has very little moisture in the air. Not something you would expect to have to do is it?

The 2011 run was the coldest in the event’s 10-year history with the -30ºC quoted above, as well as the most extreme conditions. Only 80 participants are allowed to take part each year and they count themselves among the lucky ones. 3 New Zealanders, Jeff Meltzer FCA, Rachel Mason and Karen Mason, competed in the half-marathon in 2011. The temperatures came as something of a surprise to them and they described the event as “horrifically awesome” although they admitted that it was so beautiful that they “possibly had a grin under that frozen scarf for the entire run”. Would they do it again? “This is quite probably the hardest, most amazing thing we have ever done or are likely to do again. As we say, there is nothing like a bit of adventure before dementia, and who knows, maybe we will be tempted again, but probably not until this experience fades a bit,” they commented.

It is an absolutely beautiful and awe-inspiring race and is on the wish-list for many a marathon runner. This year’s race will be held on the 19th October 2013 and you can sign up here

Part of the Polar Circle Marathon route

the Polar Circle Marathon


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