Polar Circle Marathon Itinerary

 

 

ITINERARY

Day 1 (Oct 27): Copenhagen – Kangerlussuaq

Route inspection or Kangerlussuaq excursions

All participants will meet at Terminal 2 Copenhagen Airport. A 5hr flight will bring us to Kangerlussuaq where we arrive in the morning, local time. Kangerlussuaq time is GMT –3 hours. Kangerlussuaq is the larger of Greenland’s two international airports for civilian air traffic. The permanent population is approximately 500 people.

 

The airport was established by the Americans during the Second World War at the inner end of the 170km long Kangerlussuaq fjord that has given name to the town. The air base was of strategic importance, both during World War II and the Cold War. At this time more than 1400 soldiers were situated at the base. With increased technological developments, however, the importance of the base gradually declined and the Americans finally left and handed over the area to the Government of Greenland in 1992.

 

Upon our arrival we check in at Polar Lodge, Hotel Kangerlussuaq or Old Camp. The tour leaders will give a brief welcome before participants staying at Hotel Kangerlussauq depart for the route inspection.

 

Participants staying at Old Camp or Polar Lodge can go on one of the optional excursions that will be offered today, follow the tour leader on a hike to Mount Hassel or simply explore the area on their own. The guided tour up to Mount Hassel is a 2-3 hour hike that follows the ridge eastwards towards the inland ice. The higher we go the more beautiful it gets and, weather permitting, we will have a fantastic panoramic view of the fjord to the inland ice. If there is too much snow the tour leaders will try and find an alternative route at a lower level.

 

The route inspection is heading 35KM east of the airport to Point 660 from where the participants will walk the marked route on the ice cap.  Remember that this will be a cold walk in freezing temperatures and a warm winter jacket, hiking or winter boots, hat, and gloves are essential. The route inspection is also an opportunity for participants who are not running to take part in the excursion to the ice cap. We drive in large all-terrain vehicles, which will take us along Watson River through fantastic landscape varying from lakes fertile moor and dense scrub to large stretches of dunes and rock devoid of vegetation.

 

The road from Kangerlussuag to the cap was originally built by German carmaker Volkswagen who had a testing center on the ice and needed easy access from the harbour to the extreme temperatures of the ice cap. The testing center is now closed and the road is now under the supervision of Sisimiut Municipality. the condition of the road is therefore not as good as it has been, but more like an adventure marathon route. Finally we arrive at the edge of the ice cap at Point 660. where we park the vehicles and walk to the ice cap. It is a great experience to feel the massive cold air from the ice, taste the pure crystal clean air and listen to the deafening silence. You suddenly realize the Greenland is in a category by itself.

 

In the evening dinner is served at the Hotel Kangerlussuag.

 

Day 2 (Oct 28) Route Inspection and Kangerlussuaq excursions

Today, participants staying at Polar Lodge and Old camp will depart forthe route inspection in the morning.

 

Participants staying at Hotel Kangerlussuaq can go on one of the optional tour offered, follow the tour leader on a hike to Mount Hassel or simply  explore the area on their own.

 

In the late afternoon an information meeting about Illissat will take place for participants who have booked the extension to Illulissat. Following this meeting all runner gather at the Hotel Kangerlussuaq for the race briefing where the race officials and medical team will give the final information about the marathon and half marathon races.  Please note that if you have signed up for the half marathon, you can switch to the full just before this briefing starts*. If you signed up for the full marathon and decide to switch to the half*, or decide to include the half* and do the Polar Bear Challenge, please make sure you attend this briefing. *Both full and half marathons are limited to 140 runners, so change of distance and upgrade to Polar Bear Challenge is due to availability.

 

After the race briefing a pasta dinner is served at Hotel Kangerlussuaq.

 

Breakfast, sandwich lunch, and pasta dinner are included today.

 

Day 3 (Oct 29): Marathon race day

At 8:00 in the morning marathon and Polar Bear Challenge runners drive to the starting point near the inland ice, once again using all terrain vehicles to get there.  The marathon is scheduled to start at 9:30am and have a time limit of 7 hours.

 

The marathon finish line will be located in front of the Polar Lodge. From here runners staying at Polar Lodge or Hotel Kangerlussuaq can walk to their rooms while a bus will take runners staying at Old Camp to their rooms.

The runners will be offered water and refreshments at stations posted along the route. In the finish area a BBQ lunch will be served for all participants between 12:00 and 15:30.

 

Half marathon runners and non-runners can spend the day going on an optional tour, explore

the area on their own, or cheer on the marathon participants. It is not possible to go to the route and to the start line as the “all terrain” vehicles are in full use for the marathon.

 

In the evening a semi-pasta dinner is served at restaurant Roklubben.

 

Breakfast, BBQ lunch, and dinner is included today.

 

Day 4 (Oct 30): Half Marathon race day

At 7:00 in the morning marathon and Polar Bear Challenge runners drive to the starting point near the inland ice, once again using all terrain vehicles to get there. The half marathon is scheduled to start at 8:30 and have a time limit of 4 hour time limit. More information about the race can be found on the Polar Circle Marathon page.

At the finish line the all terrain vehicles will be waiting to take all runners back to Kangerlussauq as they fill up. The last vehicle departs when the last runner has finished. The runner will be offered water and refreshments at stations along the course. In the finish area a light lunch will be provided.

 

Marathon runners and non-runners can spend the day exploring the area on their own. It is

not possible to go to the route or the start line to cheer the runners off, as the “all terrain” vehicles are in full use.

 

In the evening we will celebrate the completion of The Polar Circle Marathon with a festive

Greenlandic dinner in Roklubben. Awards ceremony for the top three finishers in each category will also take place before the party under an (hopefully) northern lights lit night sky sets off.

Busses back to the hotels will depart several times during the night.

 

Breakfast, and celebration dinner are included this day. In addition participants running the

marathon this day have a post race meal included.

 

Day 5(Oct 31): Departure

After breakfast and check out we travel back to Copenhagen. The flight leaves just before noon so we have a final opportunity to enjoy a last stroll or jog around Kangerlussuaq.

Arrival in Copenhagen in the evening (CET). Once again please note that we do not recommend same day connections from Copenhagen due to the late arrival from Greenland and the fact that luggage cannot be checked in all the way. Again it is possible to book post nights at the Grand Hotel in the city center.

 

Breakfast and a meal onboard the flight are included this day.

 

EXTENSION Illussat Extension - 4 days/3 nights

 

Illulissat is one of Greenlan's most picturesqe towns and the best place to see on of nature's wonders - the Ice Fjord.

 

Day 1 Monday October 31: Kangerlussuaq to Illulissat

We check in for Air Greenland's flight in the morning. After arrival and transfer to the town we check in at Hotel Hvide Falk. The hotel is situated at the waterfront of the world famous Ice Fjord with an impressive view over Disko Bay. Restaurants, museums, shops, and the harbor are all within walking distance. Illilussat is situated in the heart of the famed Disko Bay, an area of great natural beauty. The town itself is picturesque, lively and inviting. By Greenland standards it offers many cultural sights thta - apart from the birthplace and museum of artic explorer Knud Rasmussen - include a Hunting and Fishing museum and the fine collection of paintings of Emmanuel A. Petersen. Since the foundation of Illulissat more than 250 years ago, it has grown steadily and is today Greenland's third largest city with more than 4000 inhabitants. The main occupation is fishing. Our tour leader will guide us on a walking tour, giving us an overall introduction to the town and the possibilities we have in the area. Breakfast is included.

 

Day 2 Tuesday 01November: Illulissat and the the Ice Fjord

Illulissat is rightfully called the capital of icebergs. In the Diski Bay the gigantic icebergs linger. South of the city the enormous Ice fjord cuts its way through the country. It starts 32 kilometers further inland, where the huge Sermeg Kujalleq Glaier, with a front more than 5 kilometers wide and several hundred meters high, is calving icebergs with a speed of 25 meters per day, equivalent to 20 million tons of ice or more than 10% of all icebergs in Greenland. This makes the glacier the most productive outside Antarctica. These facts and the stunning setting have put the Ice fjord on UNESCO's World Heritage list. After breakfast we walk to the harbor and embark for a 2 1/2 hour boat trip on the Ice fjord where we wil see the spectacular bergs. We will get really close to the impressive "floating mountains" and see their true greatness. A goo chance to get some stunning photos and an experience you will never forget. Remember warn clothes.  The afternoon is free to shop or walk to one of the nearby hilltops overlooking the Ice Fjord or go on some of the optional excursions if available. Breakfast in included.

 

Day 3 Wednesday 02November: Illulissat

We will go for a walk down to the Sermermiut Valley, approximately 2 kilometers south of Illulissat. Sermermuit means "The People by the Ice", and the place has been inhabited from 1400BC to 1737. In 1727 when the first Danish commercial expedition arrived at the Ice Fjord and discovered Sermermuit, some 250 people were living there. From the valley and the small bay, we walk along the fjord and up onto the hills with a grand view of the Ice Fjord. Th rest of the day is at your own leisure with the opportunity to book one of the optional tours. Breakfast is included.

 

Day 4 Thursday 03November: Illulissat - Kangerlussuaq - Copenhagen

We go by bus to the airport in the morning and fly via Kangerlussuaq to Copenhagen. Arrival in th evening (CET). Breakfast and a meal aboard the flight are included.