IceFjord Midnight Marathon
The Icefjord Midnight Marathon takes place in the picturesque town of Ilulissat (Greenland), a colorful backdrop that winds its way through the ancient Inuit ruins of Sermermiut to the UNESCO-accredited Ilulissat Icefjord. With ice stretching out as far as the eye can see, embark on a true trail run over rocky terrain and past impressive icebergs that glitter under nocturnal sunlight.
Ilulissat is an extraordinary winter wonderland located about 300KM above the Arctic Circle in the Disko Bay on the western coast of Greenland. It is Greenland’s third largest city with a population of 5,000 people. Although this small number may be surprising, the fact that there are almost as many sled dogs as people is even more so!
We offer a four-night and a five-night package with several optional excursions such as kayaking among the icebergs – this frosty gem is the perfect place to explore on the water, especially where it is home to more than 15 species of whales! You can also hike and sail to the Oqaatsut Settlement or opt to meet a local musher who will introduce you to his way of life, his dogs and educate you on their upbringing. Two optional post-race extensions are available. Consider joining us and embark on the adventure of a lifetime!
Travel Package Information
Wednesday, May 29
Since the flight to Greenland departs in the morning on Thursday, May 30, we strongly recommend you arrive in Copenhagen at least one day in advance. Rooms can be reserved at the Comfort Hotel Vesterbro (or similar). In addition, you can join a running tour crafted specifically for Icefjord Midnight Marathon participants. This will give you the perfect opportunity for sightseeing some of the fantastic Copenhagen sights while running. The tour departs at 3:30 PM from City Hall Square (H.C. Andersen Statue) and will last approximately 1.5 hours. The distance will be about 8KM with a pace adjusted according to the overall level of the participants (approx. 5-6 km/hr or 3-3.75 miles/hr). The rest of the day is on your own. Please note that this hotel night is NOT included in your package price and is optional (although highly recommended).
Thursday, May 30
Today, all participants will meet at Copenhagen Airport Terminal 2. An almost five-hour flight will bring us to Kangerlussuaq, where we arrive in the morning and will transfer to a domestic flight to Ilulissat. Due to the smaller size of domestic carriers and limited seat availability, the group will be divided into two flights. All flights will have landed by late afternoon, and in Ilulissat we will check into our hotels. After we have settled in, you are invited to join us for a tour of Ilulissat. We will walk around town with a local guide who will explain the history and highlight places of cultural significance. The tour will begin at the historical Hotel Hvide Falk, and wind its way past the Zion Church, the local fish market, and the colorful houses on our way toward the harbor. Along the way, enjoy interesting stories on a variety of topics, such as the origin of Ilulissat, how the city has developed over the years, and the importance of its fishing culture.
The walking tour is an excellent opportunity to get your first glimpse of the fascinating culture in Ilulissat, and your guide will be happy to answer any questions you might have.
In the evening, all participants will meet to enjoy a Greenlandic buffet. If you still have some energy left at the end of the day, you can join an evening kayak excursion among hundreds of icebergs. (Plane meal and dinner included)
Friday, May 31
This morning, after breakfast at your hotel, you can shake off the travel stiffness with a light hike through one of the region’s most acclaimed areas. We will hike to the Sermermiut Valley, which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its exceptionally beautiful nature and unique importance to glaciological science.
The hike is a must-do activity in the region and will take us approx. 2 KM south of Ilulissat, beginning at the Icefjord Visitor Center. From there, we enter the UNESCO-area on a wooden path toward the famous ruins of Sermermiut. Sermermiut is an ancient settlement that has been home to many different Inuit people for more than 4000 years. The stone ruins of old turf houses are scattered on various hilltops that we will be able to see as we walk. We continue through the old settlement to Nakkaavik, a cliff whose name means ‘the place to fall.’ You can ask your guide about the origin of this haunted name. From here, we are treated to a breathtaking view of the Kangia, the famous Ilulissat Icefjord with its many massive icebergs. While you explore the enchanting surroundings, your guide will prepare hot coffee and tea to keep you warm in the arctic wind. We will follow the same wooden path back to town.
In the afternoon and the evening, you have the chance to experience the Icefjord by boat. We will embark on a boat trip with experienced guides who will give us information as we wind our way through the icy giants. No matter the weather, the icebergs make an impressive sight – they shimmer and shine with the sun, while clouds highlight the extraordinary blue colors hidden in the ice. The experience is much more exciting in small boats, so we will be using two 12-participant boats. This means there will be four departure times for this trip: two before dinner and two after dinner.
In the evening, all participants will meet to enjoy a pasta dinner and get the race briefing. Please note that the race briefing will be your last chance to change distances.
Tonight, you can join an optional kayak excursion. (Breakfast and dinner included)
Saturday, June 1
You have the morning and afternoon to sleep, explore, and prepare yourself for the night to come. Today, you might also choose to “meet the sled dogs” (only offered on June 1). The marathon begins at 9:00 PM and the half-marathon will begin at 10:30 PM. All races will be done by 4:00 AM at the latest (Breakfast included)
Sunday June 2
Today is a justified relaxation and recovery day. Most of us will likely sleep the morning away. You may also use the day to explore on your own or join one of the optional excursions. On this day we will run a sail excursion to Oqaatsut, a tiny, authentic village 20KM north of Ilulissat. Otherwise, we also offer a day trip by boat to the immense Eqi Glacier. It is also possible to join our Kayak among Icebergs Excursion after breakfast. In the evening, all participants will gather for the celebration dinner. Together, we will revel in the prior night’s victory, share stories, and enjoy a good meal together. (Breakfast and dinner included)
Monday, June 3
We will say goodbye to those on the four-night package as make their way back to Copenhagen for their international flight home. Flights from Ilulissat/Kangerlussuaq will arrive in Copenhagen around 9:30 PM with a meal served on the flight. Guests are responsible for their own flights home from Copenhagen. Please keep in mind that you will need time to collect your bags and check in for your flight home. We recommend that you don’t book flights within three hours of our 9:30 PM arrival. We strongly recommend staying the night in Copenhagen and flying out the next day.
If you are on the five-night package you will have one final day to enjoy the charm of Ilulissat and its surroundings. Again, you may choose to explore on your own, or if you haven’t been kayaking yet, we highly recommend it! Today there is one final optional excursion to sail from Ilulissat to the Oqaatsut settlement or the Eqi Glacier, in case you haven’t been able to join the previous day. (Breakfast included)
Tuesday, June 4
Five Night Package Clients Only
Sadly, it is time to say farewell to Ilulissat. We will fly first to Kangerlussuaq in the morning. Once in Kangerlussuaq, we will board a flight back to Copenhagen that will arrive around 9:00 PM. There will be a meal served aboard the flight. Guests are responsible for their own flights home from Copenhagen. Keep in mind that you will need time to collect your bags and check in for your new flights, and thus we don’t recommend booking flights within three hours of arrival. Given the late time of our arrival, we strongly recommend booking a night in a hotel in Copenhagen and flying out the next day. (Breakfast and plane meal included)
OPTIONAL DAY EXCURSIONS
Running Copenhagen (1.5 hours) – May 29, 2024 (approx. 5 miles)
A perfect way to shake out your legs with our guide and do some sightseeing in Copenhagen before heading to Greenland. Crafted especially for Icefjord midnight Marathon participants the route has been planned with the beautiful scenery of Copenhagen in mind. You will run along the canals and the harbor as well as Copenhagen’s Parliament, the Queen’s Castle, and H.C. Andersen’s Little Mermaid Statue. The tour is very informal and there will be plenty of time to ask questions about the sites, places, or people you pass. Pace will be adjusted according to the overall level of the participants, but you should expect between 3-4 miles/hr.
Meet at City Hall Square by H.C. Andersen statue at 3:30pm.
Kayak among Icebergs (3 hours) | May 30 & 31 and June 1, 2 & 3)
Ilulissat is known as the capital of icebergs, and you will see why as we paddle our way through the gigantic ice fjord just south of the city. You can smoothly slice your way through the water while keeping your eyes open for whales – 15 species regularly inhabit Greenlandic waters in the summertime! There will be morning guided kayak groups on several days. In the evenings, you can experience the serenity of the landscape as we calmly paddle our way among the ‘floating” mountains under the extraordinary midnight sun. Whether it is sunny or cloudy, the icebergs offer beautiful reflections – the sun will emphasize their sparkle, while clouds evoke the deep blue color of the ice. Your guides will provide information on the ice sheet and its glaciers, as well as the story of the original kayak that was made from sealskin and wood and will answer any other questions you may have. Thanks to our certified kayak guides, modern equipment, and safety protocols, it is possible for you to paddle through this remarkable landscape. The tours are open to all levels, whether you are a master paddler or it’s your first time in a kayak. We take pride in providing a safe and comfortable experience for everybody and want everyone to be able to experience the magic of floating among the largest collection of icebergs in Greenland. Note: the option to do this excursion on June 3 is only available for the 5-night package.
Departures: The excursion will start at 8:00 PM on May 30 & 31 and June 3. On Jun 1 & 2, the excursion will be a morning tour and start after breakfast. Please pick the day and time you prefer when booking your package, but please note that due to participant limitations and various excursion schedules, we cannot guarantee a specific day or time.
- Certified guide
- Kayaking gear, double sea kayak, paddle, thermal suit, dry suit, life-jacket, boots and gloves
- Pictures from the tour which can be downloaded
- A bottle of water and a chocolate bar
Meet the Sled Dogs (1.5 hours) | June 1 (10:00 AM)
For every animal lover! The excursion begins at Arctic Living, at the place of Flemming, a local musher who will meet us outside next to his dogs. You will learn about training pups, the expeditions he has taken them on and “mushing” itself. These are working dogs and not pets. We will be able to observe the dogs, but they are not meant to be cuddled. Please note that only 12 people can take part in this excursion at one time so book early!
Sail to the Oqaatsut Settlement (5 hours) | June 2 & 3 (11:00 AM)
The tour starts in Ilulissat at 11AM with a 30-minute boat ride among gigantic icebergs. Arriving in Oqaatsut, you will enjoy a tour of the local school, church, and fish factory. You will learn about living in a small settlement-community and gain much history of Oqaatsut. The tour ends at Restaurant H8 Explorer where you will enjoy lunch made from local ingredients. After lunch you will have time on your own (1-2 hours) to hike or simply enjoy the local coffee and unforgettable views. On the way back you will see the 70-million-year-old volcanic Disko Island to the west and the green mainland to the east. Note: Option on June 3 is only available for the five night package. (Lunch included)
Eqi Glacier Express (6 hours) | June 2 & 3 (10:00 AM)
Only a few places in Greenland are as beautiful as the Eqi Glacier, which ends in the fjord 80 kilometers north of Ilulissat. By boat, it is possible to get very close to the glacier and experience huge pieces of ice breaking off (called ‘calving’). The sounds are enormous and the sight of icebergs crashing into the water is breathtaking. We will sail on modern boats that will get us quickly to the glacier. The route heads north along the coast, passing Bredebugt, the settlement of Oqaatsut, and the big fjord system called Pakitsoq, where whales and seals are often seen. Further along we will pass through the Ataa Strait, which is surrounded by steep mountains and boasts waterfalls and a rich bird life. Upon reaching Eqi, we will anchor at a safe distance and idle for approximately an hour in front of the glacier. While we wait for the ice to calve, we will enjoy a packed lunch that we’ve brought with us from the hotel. After we’ve thoroughly enjoyed the sight of the glacier, we’ll head back to Ilulissat. (Lunch included)
*Please note that if the min. number is not reached for all excursions, we reserve the right to either move participants to another departure day or cancel the excursion. If the excursion is canceled, you will be refunded.
Additional details will be shared after you book your tour and excursions.
OPTIONAL PRE-RACE EXTENSION
Ice Camp | Two-Night Package | May 28 – 30, 2024
Day 1 – May 28: Arrival Day | Copenhagen – Kangerlussuaq – Ice Camp
We will meet at Copenhagen airport where a 4.5 hr flight will bring us to Kangerlussuaq in the early afternoon. Upon arrival, we will depart for Ice Camp in all-terrain vehicles. Our destination is Point 660 on the edge of the ice cap and will take about an hour. We will have an important safety briefing and, following our experienced guide, we will then venture onto the Greenland ice Sheet. The hike to our destination is about 2 miles and our priority upon arrival is setting up camp. Once our accommodations are in order we will relax with a warm beverage and enjoy the silence that the ice sheet offers. Dinner will be wholesome, simple and warm. In an environment where no food sources are available, your humble meal of freeze-dried food (easily carried on such expeditions) will feel like a gift. (Breakfast and dinner included)
Day 2 – May 29: Ice Camp – Kangerlussuaq (Polar Lodge)
Following a night spent snuggled in our warm sleeping bags and an energy-packed breakfast, we will head out on our hike. We will proceed with care over seemingly eternal fields of ice, following our guide and always being careful of any potential ice fissures. Throughout the duration of this expedition, we will maintain a safe distance from danger and plot a route across secure terrain. Crampons and trekking poles will provide each guest with extra stability. Ropes will not be used. Please note: As a participant on this trip, we expect you are willing to pull a sled with your own/group equipment from the ice edge to the camp. This effort is considered by the majority of participants to be a fairly easy and natural task to perform, but be aware it is expected. Depending on weather conditions, we will either enjoy our packed lunch whilst hiking or back at base camp. As our adventure concludes, we will break camp, pack up our goods and leave only our footprints behind. We will then drive back to Kangerlussuaq to check into the Polar Lodge, where we will stay for the evening. Dinner will be at Roklubben. (Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included)
Day 3 – May 30: Kangerlussuaq – Ilulissat
Today we will make our way from Kangerlussuaq to Ilulissat for the start of your race-package. (Breakfast included)
All itineraries subject to change.
Packages & Rates
Icefjord Midnight Marathon | Four-Night Package: May 30 – June 3, 2024
Icefjord Midnight Marathon | Five-Night Package: May 30 – June 4, 2024
- Roundtrip flight from/to Copenhagen – Kangerlussuaq
- Four (4) or five (5) nights hotel accommodations at selected property
- Domestic transportation from/to Kangerlussuaq – Ilulissat
- Meals as listed on the itinerary (including celebration dinner & farewell BBQ)
- Icefjord by Boat Tour
- Guided Ilulissat City Walk
- Guided Sermermiut Hike
- All hotel taxes
- Pre-race briefing
- Services of Albatross Adventure Marathons Staff
- Flights to/from Copenhagen
- Accommodations in Copenhagen
- Race Entry
- Optional excursions/extension
- All activities listed as optional
- Gratuities and tips
- Travel Insurance
Pre-Race Extension (Ice Camp) | Two-Night Package: May 28 – 30, 2024
- Two (2) night accommodations (one night at Ice Camp/one night in Kangerlussuaq)
- Meals as listed on the itinerary
- All hotel taxes
- Guided Ice Cap hike
- Safety gear (crampons and trekking poles)
- Camping gear (including a warm sleeping bag)
- Transportation to/from Point 660 (per itinerary)
- Services of Albatros Adventure Marathons Staff
- All activities listed as optional
- Gratuities and tips
- Travel Insurance
Rates (all prices are per person and in US dollars)
Triple Occupancy available on request – limited availability
Icefjord Midnight Marathon Package Four-Nights Double Occupancy Four-Nights Single Occupancy Five-Nights Double Occupancy Five-Nights Single Occupancy Standard Room - Sold Out $3420 per person $3910 $3665 per person $4295 Bay View Room - Sold Out $3665 per person $4260 $3935 per person $4675 Deluxe Explorer Room - Hotel Icefjord (Four-Night Sold Out and Five-Night Limited Availability) $4090 per person $5000 $4395 per person $5590Pre-race extension packages Pre-race extension packages Double occupancy Single occupancy Ice camp - Sold Out $770 per person $910Copenhagen Option Copenhagen Option Double occupancy Single occupancy Comfort Hotel Vesterbro $155 per person $295Race Package | Optional Activities Running in Copenhagen | May 29 $65 per person Kayak among Icebergs | May 30 & 31 (sold out) and June 1,2 & 3 $220 per person Meet the Sled Dogs | June 1 $65 per person Sail to Oqaatsut Settlement | June 2 & 3 $320 per person Eqi Glacier Express | June 2 & 3 $450 per personRace entry Marathon $385 per entry Half Marathon $385 per entry
CopenhagenComfort Hotel Vesterbro
Located in proximity to the world-class amusement park “Tivoli Gardens”, Comfort Hotel Vesterbro Copenhagen features pet-friendly accommodation with a bar and entertainment activities. The venue offers a prime location in proximity to Liberty Column. The hotel is approx. an 8-minute walk from Sats Scala. The accommodation includes rooms with TV, ironing facilities and armchairs plus private bathrooms. For your comfort, you will find dryers, guest toiletries and bath sheets.IlulissatHotel Hvide Falk
Centrally located in Ilulissat, providing a comfortable stay with authentic, Greenlandic experience and hospitality. Consider upgrading your room here for a stunning view of the bay. Book early as these rooms are limited.Hotel Icefiord
Located on the coast of Diskobay. You will enjoy modern amenities with a high level of personal service and an amazing view of the bay and the ever-changing constellations of iceburgs. Whales are attracted to and thrive in Disko Bay and often come close to shore. You will have a first-row seat to view them from Hotel Icefiord.KagerlussuaqPolar Lodge
A cozy hostel located just about 200m from the airport arrival hall. Toilets and bathrooms are on a shared basis. The lodge has a small dining room where breakfast is served, a small kitchen with a stove, fridge, and kettle. Internet can be purchased at reception.Ice Camp
Race Date: June 1, 2024
9:00 PM (21:00) – Marathon will start
10:30 PM (22:30) – Half-Marathon will start
The race will officially end at 4:00 AM.
Course: The 2024 Icefjord Midnight Marathon will challenge you with hills, trails, and roads as you traverse the course. A course map can be found here.
Marathon – $385 USD
Half Marathon – $385 USD
Marathon – 18 years +
Half Marathon 16 years +
Marathon – 7 hours (must finish by 4:00 AM)
Half-Marathon – 5.5 hours (must finish by 4:00 AM)
- Runners finishing beyond 4:00 AM will receive Finished No Time (FNT) as their official finish status. An FNT race result is not accepted by the Seven Continents Club® as a qualified completion.
- Marathon runners that have not begun their second loop within four hours will be held back at the start/finish area (half-way point).
Awards: Everyone who finishes their running event within the time limit will receive a Finisher Medal and Race Shirt.
Temperature: As we are significantly above the Arctic Circle, participants should prepare for the day to be chilly, with an average temperature between 6 and 7°C (43 – 45°F). Ilulissat averages about five (5) days of rain in June, so there is a small chance that the race will see some rain. That said, June is known as a dry month in Greenland.
Difficulty: The course is difficult due to the relentless hills and the terrain.
For more information click here
Registration & Booking
Rates: All prices are based on current exchange rates and may change due to currency fluctuations. All payments to Marathon Tours & Travel will be processed in US Dollars.
Reservation and Payments: A completed tour application together with a deposit of $800 per person must be received with your registration. Final payment must be received before March 1, 2024. Final payments received after March 1, 2024 are subject to a $50 late payment fee. Bookings made after March 1, 2024 will require full payment at time of booking.
Cancellations: All payments, including your deposit, are non-refundable and non-transferrable. Non-transferrable includes applying your balance to another person, another year or another trip. Should you cancel for any reason, you will forfeit your trip investment. Therefore, travel insurance for every trip is highly recommended. All cancellations must be received in writing.
Not Included in the Price: All items not specifically listed under tour features. The race entry fee is an additional cost to the package price.
Insurance: For your protection, trip cancellation, baggage, health and accident insurance is highly recommended for all participants. However, no representation or description of the insurance made by our staff constitutes a binding assurance or promise about the insurance.
Security Policy: Marathon Tours & Travel’s security policy requires that anyone staying in our room block must be registered as part of our package. If a registered client attempts to house a non-registered guest and /or invite them to attend any of our scheduled activities, the registered guest’s tour package will be forfeited and parties may be denied access to future tours. Please note that no exceptions will be made as this policy will be strictly enforced.
Responsibility: These tours are operated by Marathon Tours, Inc. of Chelsea, MA who acts only as an agent for the passenger to the companies offering such services and assumes no liability for injury, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity caused by any reason whatsoever by any party offering such services. All terms and conditions offered are governed by the laws of Massachusetts. The right is reserved to cancel the tour prior to departure with a refund, less applicable credit card and processing fees, made as full settlement to the passenger. The right is reserved by Marathon Tours, Inc. to deny acceptance of a booking application by any person. Marathon Tours, Inc. may make any changes or alterations in the itinerary as it deems necessary for the proper handling of the tour. The sole responsibility of any airline used is limited to that set out in the passenger contract evidenced by the ticket. The airlines concerned are not to be held responsible for any act, omission or event during the time that the passengers are not on board their aircraft.
"Incredible destination, unique experience..." - 2023
Incredible destination, unique experience, possibly one the hardest events out there but worth the effort – this is a once-in-a-lifetime setting."The setting is quite unique - breathtaking..." - 2023
The setting is quite unique – breathtaking. Truly one of a kind location – can make for a marquee event and super destination."We have had great experiences..." - 2023
We have had great experiences with Marathon Tours.
Meet the Reps
Trip Designer | Cycling Product Manager
Trip Designer | Cycling Product Manager
Born and raised in Canada, Marcie discovered the magic of road cycling in grade six after earning a 10-speed bike selling oranges for her school fundraiser. Although active in soccer, basketball and rowing during her school years, she admits that physical activity took a backseat to a career in design.
While raising her kids in New England, she rekindled her love of cycling in 2016 and, as a personal challenge, added running and swimming in 2018 to compete in her first 70.3 Triathlon in Prague, CZ to celebrate her 50th birthday. Since then, she has completed two full and five half distance triathlons; and a number of gravel and CX races. Her love of travel and cycling has spurred her to ride her bike more than 24,000 miles in the last six years including multi-day adventures across Czech Republic and three different states. She has circumvented Lake Champlain and conquered mountains in Austria, Canada and the US on two wheels.
Though competitive in nature and fueled by the excitement of a new venue, Marcie found that her greatest joy in racing Triathlon came from the challenge of planning for the unexpected and getting to know people along the course, hearing their stories and motivations and finding out their “WHY”.
A self-admitted “Jack of all trades”, Marcie comes to MTT with work experiences as both a bicycle mechanic and a producer of custom cycling endurance apparel. Marcie currently manages running packages to Big Five, Petra, Iceland Volcano, Polar Circle, Midnight Marathon, Lost City, First Light, Queenstown, Great Wall, and our very own Patagonia Running Festival. She is excited be a part of your journey and to help you to achieve your “WHY”.