Polar Circle Marathon & Half 2024

26 October 2024
  • Adventure
  • Half Marathon
  • Marathon

Run One of the Coolest Marathons on Earth!

The 2024 Polar Circle Marathon occurs in Kangerlussuaq Greenland on Saturday 26 October. The Half Marathon is on Sunday 27 October so if you fancy a real challenge you can run both in the Polar Bear Challenge. Run past stunning glacier tongues and take in the stunning endless ice landscape, whilst looking out for Musk oxen and arctic foxes. The Polar Circle Marathon offers a rare opportunity to visit one of the most remote corners of the world while taking part in a challenging but rewarding running experience. You can choose to take part in the full marathon or the half or both!

Our 5-night tour starts and finishes in Copenhagen, Denmark with a 5-night stay in beautiful Greenland. You also have the option to book a selection of extension tours and activities to make the most out of your trip.

The Polar Circle Marathon is the perfect way to combine a special running event with exploring one of the world’s most remote and beautiful corners.

This is a two-day event with the marathon on Saturday and the half-marathon on Sunday. Consider joining the Polar Bear Challenge (PBC) and run both races! Entry is limited to 150 runners for each distance.


Meals Included

Meals Included

Daily meals provided as per the itinerary



English-speaking tour leader included



Roundtrip flights for Copenhagen-Kangerlussuaq

Trip Extension

Trip Extension

Trip extension is available upon request



A choice of accommodation in Kangerlussuaq



Marathon, half-marathon entry available or why not do both, the Polar Bear Challenge!

Celebration Party

Celebration Party

Post-race celebratory dinner



Choice of excursions to choose from

Travel Package Information

  • Itinerary

    • Polar Circle Marathon Package/5 days/October 24 - 28, 2024

      23rd October 2024: Suggested Arrival day in Copenhagen
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      Arrive one day early in Copenhagen to ensure that you arrive to Copenhagen and are ready for the flight to Greenland in the early morning. Explore this capital city on your own or pound the pavement with other runners and see some of the city’s most impressive sights on our optional guided running tour. In the evening, join other guests for dinner at the Albatros Travel headquartersYou will enjoy tapas and browse an exclusive collection of running clothes from CRAFTRace packets will be distributed. Accommodation is available at Hotel Hebron, a short walk from Copenhagen Central Station which is a 15-minute train ride from the airport. 


      24th October 2024: Copenhagen - Kangerlussuaq: Optional Excursions (DAY 1 OF TOUR PROGRAM)
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      All participants will meet at Copenhagen Airport Terminal 2. The flight to Greenland departs early in the morning and Air Greenland does not cooperate with other airlines, meaning you must claim your luggage at Copenhagen Airport, clear customs, and check in again for the flight to Greenland. As check-in closes one hour before departure, we strongly recommend that you do not book a same-day connection. Please see “Price Info” at the bottom of this page for details on booking pre-nights in Copenhagen.

      A 4.5-hour flight will bring us to Kangerlussuaq where we arrive in the morning, local time (GMT –2 hours). Approximately 500 people make up the permanent population of this township, which was established by the American army during the Second World War and handed over to the Government of Greenland in 1992.

      Upon our arrival, we’ll check in at Polar Lodge, Old Camp, or Hotel Kangerlussuaq. The tour leaders will give a brief welcome at each place before the optional excursions will run. For those who haven’t booked an excursion, it is possible to follow the tour leader on a hike to Mount Hassel or simply explore the area on your own. The guided walk 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 from the fjord to the inland ice. If there is too much snow/ice the tour leaders will try to find an alternative route at a lower level.

      In the evening dinner is served at Restaurant Roklubben.

      Meals: Flight meal, lunch at your respective accommodation, and dinner. 

      25th October 2024 - Route Inspection
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      Today all participants will depart for the route inspection in the morning to get an idea of the challenge it is to run on the ice.
      Non-runners will also participate in the tour and can use the day as a sightseeing trip to the Greenland Ice Sheet.

      The inspection tour heads 35 km east of the airport to Point 660, where participants will walk the marked route on the ice sheet. Remember that this will be a cold walk in freezing temperatures – a warm winter jacket, ski pants or similar, hiking or winter boots, hat and gloves are essential. Runners may want to bring their running shoes to test running in the conditions, but it is advisable to bring other, warmer footwear too.

      We will drive in large all-terrain vehicles, which will take us along Watson River through the fantastic landscape that varies from lakes, fertile moor and dense scrub to large stretches of dunes and rock devoid of vegetation.

      The road from Kangerlussuaq to the ice sheet was originally built by German carmaker, Volkswagen, who had a testing center on the ice. The testing center is now closed and the road is under the supervision of Sisimiut Municipality. The condition of the road is therefore not as good as it used to be, but is more like an adventure marathon route. The access to the ice sheet has also declined over the years, partly because of lesser maintenance and partly because of the retreat of the ice sheet over the past years.

      Finally, we arrive at the edge of the ice sheet at Point 660 where we park the vehicles and walk onto the ice cap itself. It is a great experience to feel the massive cold air from the ice, taste the pure crystal clear air and listen to the deafening silence. You’ll suddenly realize that Greenland is in a category by itself.

      In the late afternoon, there will be an information meeting about Ilulissat for participants who have booked the extension to Ilulissat.

      Later on, all runners will gather at 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.

      If you wish to change distance* or make late registration for the Polar Bear Challenge this is also the time to do it. It is not possible to make late registration to the Polar Bear Challenge after the marathon race on Saturday.
      *Both full and half marathons are each limited to 150 runners, so change of distance and registration for the  Polar Bear Challenge is due to availability and on a first come, first serve basis.

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

      Meals: Breakfast, sandwich lunch, and dinner

      26th October 2024 - Marathon Race Day
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      At 7:00 in the morning, marathon and Polar Bear Challenge runners will drive in all-terrain vehicles to the starting point near the ice sheet. The marathon is scheduled to start at 8:30 and has a time limit of 7 hours. More information about the race can be found on the race info section.

      The marathon finish line will be located in front of Polar Lodge. From here, runners staying at Polar Lodge and 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 (including specators) between 12:00 and 15:30.

      Half-marathon runners and non-runners can spend the day exploring the area on their own, but are also encouraged to cheer on the runners at the finish line. It is not possible to go to the start line to cheer the runners off, as the all-terrain vehicles are in full use.

      In the evening, a semi-pasta dinner is served at Hotel Kangerlussuaq.

      Meals: Breakfast, BBQ lunch, and dinner

      27th October 2024 - Half-Marathon Race Day
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      At 7:00 in the morning, half-marathon and Polar Bear Challenge runners will 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 has a time limit of 4 hours. More information about the race can be found on the race info section.

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

      Full marathon runners and non-runners can spend the day going on an optional tour or exploring the area on their own. It is not possible to go to the route and finish line and cheer, as the all-terrain vehicles are in full use for the half-marathon.

      In the evening, we will celebrate the completion of the Polar Circle Marathon & Half-Marathon with a festive Greenlandic dinner in Roklubben. The awards ceremony for the top three finishers in each category will also take place before the party kicks off under a (hopefully) northern lights lit night sky.

      Meals: Breakfast and dinner (also light lunch for half-marathon/Polar Bear Challenge runners)

      28th October 2024 - Farewell Greenland or Hello Ilulissat
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      After breakfast, we will check out and travel back to Copenhagen or onwards to Ilulissat if you book the extension tour.

      The flight to Copenhagen leaves just before noon so we have a final opportunity to enjoy a short stroll or jog around Kangerlussuaq.

      We arrive 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 can’t be checked in all the way. Again it is possible to book post nights at Hotel Hebron in the city centre.

      Meals: Breakfast and flight meal 

  • Extensions

    • Post-Race Extension to Ilulissat l Three-Night Package: October 28 – 31, 2024

      Make the three-night extension to Ilulissat part of your unforgettable Greenland experience.  The wild nature and the Inuit culture make Greenland a unique destination. Small colorful houses clinging to the mountainsides, icebergs, Inuit culture and architecture highlight this extension. With luck, we will be treated to amazing Northern lights on one or more evenings. Space is limited.

      Monday, October 28​ – Following our flight to Ilulissat, you will be transported to Hotel Hvide Falk where restaurants, museums, shops and the harbor are all within walking distance. Following is a guided walking tour of the village to see iconic sights and learn about many activities the area has to offer. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy on your own.  (breakfast included)

      Tuesday, October 29 – After breakfast today we will explore the beautiful area with a two-and-a-half- hour boat trip on the Ice Fjord where you will enjoy the impressive company of the ‘floating mountains”. The afternoon is free to explore on your own or to choose an optional tour. (breakfast included)

      Wednesday, October 30 – After breakfast today we will explore the surrounding area of Ilulissat with a hike to the Sermermiut Valley. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Kangia (another name for the Ilulissat Icefjord and its massive icebergs), see stone ruins of old turf houses and learn the story of the cliff aptly name ‘the place to fall’. The rest of the day is on your own. Optional tours available, weather permitting. (breakfast included)

      Thursday, October 31 – After breakfast, you will be transported to the airport for your return flight to Copenhagen. Due to the arrival time back into Copenhagen, you may consider an overnight in Copenhagen at Hebron Hotel. (breakfast and flight meal included)

      (activities subject to change)

      Optional Tours

      Running Copenhagen | October 23, 2024 (1.5 hours)

      Stretch your legs in Copenhagen with fellow runners while you see the some of the City’s most famous sights. The tour meets at the H.C. Anderson statue, departing at 1:30pm, and passes the Queen’s castle, Parliament, and the Little Mermaid. Small groups with plenty of time to ask questions during the tour. Pace is adjusted according to overall participant level but you should expect to run 3-3.75 miles per hour. (approx. 5 miles)

      Tundra & City Sightseeing Tour – October 24 & 26, 2024

      Learn about Primitive Kangerlussuaq and it’s transformation from an air base (Second World War – Cold War) into a small settlement with a modern international airport. Making use of Greenland’s longest road you will embark on a road trip to explore nature. At the harbor you will enjoy stunning views of Kangerlussuaq Fjord before moving on to Kellyville, a small town centered on a research facility and old base. You will have the opportunity to meet and learn about Greenlandic sled dogs but, as it is not sledding season you will not be able to sled. Ample opportunity will be given to take in the gorgeous landscape and hopefully spot mush oxen along the way.

      Note: Participants will be placed on Thursday or Saturday according to where they are staying and what distance they are running. Your race pack will indicate the date/time of your excursion.

      Northern Lights Tour | October 25, 2024 (2 hours)

      Kangerlussuaq has roughly 300 clear nights per year and artificial light is used sparingly so the backcountry’s cloak of darkness lies just a short drive away. The bus will take you to see an ethereal light display (a result of gaseous protons and electrons from solar wind colliding with molecules in the Earth’s atmosphere). Shades of brilliant green bands with the possibility of red, blue and violet make this trip a night to remember.

      Note: Northern Lights tour is weather dependent. In case of cloudy weather, the tour will be cancelled, and a full refund given. Because it is a natural phenomenon, the Northern Lights cannot be guaranteed. Dates may be changed to accommodate weather.

      Russel Glacier | October 24 & 27, 2024 (4 hours)

      Board a tundra coach – a special 4WD vehicle designed to handle ice, rocks, and uneven ground- and then drive partially off-road on the fascinating route to the magnificent Russell Glacier. The drive will take approximately 1.5 hours, and you may see reindeer and musk oxen.  The glacier is an impressive sight, with vertical walls of ice that rise as high as 60 meters. You will have a chance to hike along the glacier’s edge to truly appreciate its immense power and get close enough for some great photo opportunities before heading back to Kangerlussuaq.

      Note: Participants will be placed on Thursday or Sunday according to where they are staying and what distance they are running.  Your race pack will indicate the date/time of your excursion.

      Meet the Sled Dogs | October 29 & 30, 2024

      Visit the home of Flemming, a local musher, and meet his dogs.  You will learn about raising the pups, the expeditions he has been on, and mushing itself. Please remember that these are working animals and not pets – they are not meant for cuddling – observation only.  This excursion does not include dog sled riding, but will, unlike a dog sled riding tour, give a very thorough and interesting look into the history and life of dog sled mushers in Greenland.

      Sail to the Oqaatsut Settlement | October 30, 2024

      Our tour begins with a 30-minute boat tour from Ilulissat to Oqaatsut.  We will sail among the gigantic icebergs from the Ilulissat Icefjord on their path north of Ilulissat. After we arrive in Oqaatsut you enjoy a guided tour of the settlement where you, among other things, will see the school, church, and fish factory of Oqaatsut. Learn about living in a small settlement-community and the history of Oqaatsut.

      The settlement tour ends at Restaurant H8 Explorer where we will enjoy lunch made from local ingredients. Afterwards, explore, hike or simply enjoy a peaceful hour or two with a cup of coffee and unforgettable views before the boat sails us back to Ilulissat.

      On the route back expect to see the 70 million year old volcanic Disko Island to the west and the green mainland to the east. We will pass Ilulissat Airport and the popular bay Bredebugt, which is surrounded by small cabins owned by locals.

  • Packages & Rates

    • Polar Circle Tour | Four-Night Package: October 24 – 28, 2024


      • Roundtrip airfare from Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq
      • Four nights at selected property
      • Meals as listed on the itinerary
      • Sightseeing as listed on the itinerary
      • All air and hotel taxes
      • Pre-race briefing
      • Celebration dinner
      • Airport transfers (per itinerary)
      • Services of Albatros Adventure Staff

      Post-Race Extension to Ilulissat | Three-Night Package: October 28 – 31, 2024

      • Flights from Kangerlussuaq – Ilulissat – Kangerlussuaq
      • Return flight to Copenhagen
      • Airport transfers to hotel
      • Three nights’ accommodations at Hotel Hvide Falk
      • Daily breakfast
      • Sightseeing as listed on the itinerary
      • Hotel taxes
      • Services of Albatros Adventure Staff

      Not Included:

      • Race entry ($595 for the Marathon or Half-Marathon, $775 for the Polar Bear Challenge)
      • All activities listed as optional
      • Gratuities and tips
      • Incidentals
      • Travel Insurance

      Please Note:

      • Single accommodations are limited.
      • Luggage is restricted to 33 pounds per person on the Ilulissat extension.
      • Additional nights in Copenhagen are available upon request.


      For this tour you should fly in and out of Copenhagen.  The airport code is CPH.

      Flights Information:

      2024 flight time are not confirmed.  The following are subject to change.

      October 24, 2024 (Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq) 10:00 AM depart CPH – 11:40 AM arrive (SFJ) | GL781 

      October 28, 2024 (Kangerlussuaq to Copenhagen) 1:05 PM depart Kangerlussuaq – 8:25  PM arrive Copenhagen  

      October 28, 2024 (Kangerlussuaq to Ilullissat) 8:25 AM depart SFJ – 9:10 AM arrive Ilulissat | GL502 

      October 31, 2024 (Ilulissat – Kangerlussuaq) 7:15 AM depart JAV – 8:05 AM arrive Kangerlussuaq | GL501 

      October 31, 2024 (Kangerlussuaq to Copenhagen) 1:40 PM depart SFJ – 9:00 PM arrive CPH | GL782 

      Single & Double Rooms

      All package prices are per person and are based on two people sharing a room. If you are travelling with a companion and book together, you will automatically be put in the same room. If you book separately but would still like to share with a specific person, simply put the name and/or booking number of your companion in the ‘comments’ section of your booking.

      If you are a solo traveller, you will be paired with another traveller of the same gender.

      Any participants who wish to have a room for themselves can pay a single supplement fee to obtain a single room.

      Hotel Kangerlussuaq participants have the option to share a family room with up to 4 people, please contact our sales team for more information



      Race Entry
      Marathon or half-marathon$595
      Polar Bear Challenge$775
  • Hotels

    • Kangerlussuaq
      Hotel Kangerlussuaq

      Hotel Kangerlussuaq is directly adjacent to the airport, which means it is also close to the marathon start/finish area. The hotel has nice and fairly large single and double rooms with private bathrooms. You can also opt for a quad room (family room) where four people can sleep – this means two twin beds and an additional bunk bed. Breakfast is served in the cafeteria, and the hotel also has a nice restaurant and a bar.

      Old Camp Hostel

      Located 3km away from the airport, Old Camp is a traditional hostel format with small, cozy rooms and shared bathroom facilities. Old Camp’s accommodations are simply furnished, yet well-outfitted with all of the essential amenities, such as beds, linens, and a small wardrobe. The hostel consists of four buildings: three for accommodation and the fourth serves as the reception and boutique.

      The Ulo building will look the most familiar to regular hostel-goers, as the rooms consist of bunk beds. The Qajak and Tuukkaq buildings feature double rooms with two single beds that can be joined together as a double bed. In every building, you will find a communal dining and living room, perfect for relaxing and sharing stories with fellow travellers.

      Please note the Ulo wing consists of 13 bunk beds. When you select a shared-double for this property you will be allocated a single bunk bed in a shared room.

      Polar Lodge


      In terms of facilities, Polar Lodge is fairly similar to Old Camp (although with bigger rooms). However, it is only about 200m from the airport, and is directly adjacent to the start/finish area for the marathon. The total capacity is 16 rooms. Toilets and bathrooms are on a shared basis in the hallway. The lodge has a small dining room where breakfast is served, a small kitchen with a stove, refrigerator and kettle, and a souvenir shop.

  • Event Information

    • Race Date:

      • Marathon – Saturday October 26th, 2024
      • Half-Marathon – Sunday October 27th, 2024

      Race Time: 7:00 AM


      The race is organized by Albatros Adventure Marathons of Denmark and supported by the local community.

      The Course:

      The marathon and half-marathon take place on uneven gravel road and ice. You will run on the ice sheet, as well as roads. The ice sheet may be covered with a thick layer of snow, and the roads may be covered with ice. You will pass enormous glacier tongues and moraine plains and go through tundra and arctic deserts.


      The weather in Greenland is unpredictable. Expect temps to be -10 C (14 F) at the start, and “warm” to 10 C (50 F) by the finish. Snow and strong winds may occur, which can drop the temp below 0 and cause concern for frostbite.

      Entry Fee:

      Entry to the marathon and half-marathon is $515 per entry. The Polar Bear Challenge is $689. Prices subject to change for 2024.

      Time Limit:

      The course time limit for the marathon is seven (7) hours. The course time limit for the half-marathon is four (4) hours.

      Number Pickup:

      Numbers will be provided at the race briefing the evening before the event or will be picked up on the way to the tented camp-site.


      Awards will be given for the top three overall males and females in both races. Prize money is only for runners who live in the community. Each runner will receive a medal and T-shirt.

      Running Shoes:

      The Polar Circle can be run in a pair of normal running shoes or trail running shoes. Spikes are mandatory when running on the ice cap. Please bring a pair of running spikes with carbon steel points that can be fitted to your running shoes. This is a definite advantage on the ice sheet sections.


      Challenging trail course in a remote area with extreme low temperatures and wind.