Polar Circle Marathon & Half 2024

Nights
5
Date
26.10.2024
  • Adventure
  • Half Marathon
  • Marathon

Run One of the Coolest Marathons on Earth!

The 2024 Polar Circle Marathon takes place 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 2024 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.

 

Meals Included

Meals Included

Daily meals provided as per the itinerary

Guide

Guide

English-speaking tour leader included

Transfers

Transfers

Roundtrip flights for Copenhagen-Kangerlussuaq

Trip Extension

Trip Extension

Trip extension is available upon request

Accommodation

Accommodation

A choice of accommodation in Kangerlussuaq

Entry

Entry

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

Celebration Party

Celebration Party

Post-race celebratory dinner

Excursions

Excursions

Choice of excursions to choose from

Travel Package Information

  • Itinerary

    • Polar Circle 2024 Itinerary /5 days/24 October - 28 October

      23 October 2024 - Optional Pre-Tour Day in Copenhagen
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      On 26 October, the tour package officially begins. However, as our flight to Greenland leaves early in the morning, we strongly advise against booking same day connections. This means you should plan to arrive in Copenhagen one or more nights in advance. Pre-nights can be booked at the Best Western Hotel Hebron located in Copenhagen’s city center. Hotel Hebron is less than a 5 minute walk from Copenhagen Central Station, which, in turn, is only a 15-minute train ride from the airport.

      On Wednesday 23 October, we offer participants the opportunity to book a running sightseeing tour through the beautiful city of Copenhagen. Our local running guide will take us on an 8km tour through the historical streets, and we’ll stop at the most famous and interesting sights. Please see Package Add-ons below for more details.

      In the evening, all Polar Circle Marathon 2024 participants – runners and spectators alike – are invited for a free, informal dinner at the Albatros Travel headquarters. Tapas will be served in our canteen, where you can meet and mingle with other participants and browse exclusive offers on running clothes from our partner, Craft. If you’re missing anything suitable for Greenland, this is an excellent chance to stock up. You’ll also receive your race packet, which contains your start number, race shirt, and more.

      Any participants that do not make it to the dinner will receive their race packets at the airport on the morning of 24 October.

      Meals: Dinner

      24 October 2024 - Copenhagen - Kangerlussuaq: Optional Excursions
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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 –3 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.

      25 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 challenges they will face running 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 35km 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

      26 October 2024 - Marathon Race Day
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      At 07:00am 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 08:30am 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 spectators) between 12:00pm and 15:30pm.

      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

      27 October 2024 - Half-Marathon Race Day
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      At 07:00am 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 08:30am 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)

      28 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 

  • Packages & Rates

    • Our Polar Circle Marathon 2024 Package

      The Polar Circle Marathon 2024 takes place in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, where endless ice and arctic tundra comprise the setting for this unusual race. Runners pass by glacier tongues and moraine landscapes on their way through the soundless, arctic desert. This is a rare opportunity to combine a trip to remote Greenland with a uniquely exciting race.

      Our packages includes:

      • Roundtrip flights Copenhagen-Kangerlussuaq with Air Greenland
      • English-speaking tour leader
      • 4 nights accommodation in Greenland
      • Meals according to itinerary
      • Route inspection on the ice sheet
      • ABTA Protected
      • Support and guidance from our team throughout your trip

      Also Available:

      • Race entry
      • Copenhagen hotel extra nights
      • Additional tours and excursions

      Race Entry Includes:

      • English-speaking race officials
      • Medical team
      • Timekeeping
      • Transport to the starting point
      • Manned drink stations including safety equipment
      • Start number and medal
      • Exclusive Polar Circle Marathon 2024 running T-shirt

      Single & Double Rooms

      All package prices are per person and are based on two people sharing a room. If you are traveling 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 traveler, you will be paired with another traveler of the same gender.

      Any participants that wish to have a room for themselves can pay a single supplement fee in order 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.

      Basic PackageSingle Supplement
      Hotel Kangerlussuaq £2540£540
      Old Camp Qajak & Tuukkaq Wings£2179£225
      Old Camp Ulo Wing£2085£225
      Polar Lodge£2269£359
  • 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.

      Kangerlussuaq
      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 travelers.

      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.

      Kangerlussuaq
      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 26 2024
      • Half-Marathon – Sunday October 27 2024

      Race Time: 07:00am

      Organiser:

      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.

      Temperature:

      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 £320 per entry. The Polar Bear Challenge is £409. 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:

      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.

      Difficulty:

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

  • Seven Continents Club

    • The Seven Continents Club®️ (SCC) offers a unique opportunity for runners to run on all seven continents of the globe, as well as providing numerous benefits to its members. The club operates as a global frequent traveller club for runners, offering waitlist priority for high-demand events, early pre-registration periods for a number of races in popular destinations and tour package vouchers for money off international tour packages. What’s more, Seven Continents Club®️ rewards all its members for the extraordinary achievement of running marathons on each continent with their own special finishers medal and certificate of completion. Join the SCC today!

Your Experience Price from Date   Availability
Polar Circle Marathon 2024From £2,085.00 Date 24/10/24