Polar Circle Marathon

October 26, 2024
  • Half Marathon
  • Marathon

If you have questions regarding Marathon Tours & Travel’s Polar Circle Packages please:

Welcome to a tough, unique marathon in truly magnificent scenery. The Polar Circle Marathon takes place in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland. The endless ice and snow of this vast country make up the backdrop of this unusual race, in which runners pass glacier tongues, moraine landscapes and soundless, arctic desert.

A part of the route takes place on the slippery ice cap itself, but the main part of the course is run on the gravel road (often snow covered) that connects the inland ice with the small township of Kangerlussuaq, just north of the Polar Circle. The average temperature in Greenland in October is normally around -10ºC / 15ºF, but colder temperatures should be expected. Snow is not unusual, and while much of the race can be run with regular trail-running shoes, it is mandatory that proper spikes are worn for running on the ice cap.

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

This is a two-day event with the marathon taking place 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.

Marathon Tours & Travel is pleased to be Adventure Marathon’s exclusive agent in the United States and Canada for packages to this exciting destination.

Meals Included

Meals Included

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included daily



English-speaking tour leader



Roundtrip flights between Copenhagen-Kangerlussuaq

Trip Extension

Trip Extension

Ilulissat extension offered



4 nights at your choice of hotel in Kangerlussauq. Pre & Post-nights available in Copenhagen



Choose the Marathon, Half-marathon or Polar Bear Challenge (both events)

Celebration Party

Celebration Party

Post-race celebration dinner



Choice of excursions to choose from

Travel Package Information

  • Itinerary

    • Polar Circle Marathon Package/4 Nights/October 24 - 28, 2024

      (Optional) Pre-Package: October 23
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      Optional Pre Tour-Day

      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 headquarters. You will enjoy tapas and browse an exclusive collection of running clothes from CRAFT. Race 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. 

      Thursday, October 24
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      Meet at Copenhagen Airport, Terminal 2 for your 4.5-hour flight to Greenland. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel for check-in. After a brief welcome, join your optional excursion, relax and settle into your room, or hike Mount Hassel (2-3 hours) with your tour leader. Finally, we will enjoy dinner together at Restaurant Roklubben. (Flight meal, lunch at your respective hotel and dinner included)

      Please note: As our flight to Greenland departs early in the morning and Air Greenland does not cooperate with other airlines, we recommend arriving on October 23rd and spending a pre-night at Hotel HebronIf you plan to arrive on October 24, know that you must allow time to collect your luggage from your international flight, clear customs and check in for your departure to Greenland. Check-in closes one hour prior to departure. 

      Friday, October 25
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      Route Inspection Day

      This morning all guests (including non-runners) will participate in a race course inspection in large all-terrain vehicles to see the beauty of this fantastic landscape and to understand the challenge of running on the ice cap. In the afternoon, those who have chosen the extension to Ilulissat, will have a pre-tour briefing. Later in the evening, all runners will attend an official race briefing at Hotel Kangerlussuaq followed by a pre-race pasta dinner. (Breakfast, sandwich lunch and dinner included) 

      Please note: a warm winter jacket, ski pants or similar, hiking or winter boots, hat and gloves are essential today. Runners may choose to bring their running shoes to test running conditions in addition to boots. 

      Saturday, October 26
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      Marathon Race Day!

      After breakfast, marathon and Polar Bear Challenge runners will embark at 7:00 AM in all-terrain vehicles to the race start. The Marathon is scheduled to start at 8:30 AM. Supporters and runners will enjoy a BBQ lunch between 12:00 PM – 3:30 PM. In the evening, fuel with a semi-pasta dinner at Hotel Kangerlussuaq. (Breakfast, BBQ lunch at finish area and semi-pasta dinner included)

      Sunday, October 27
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      Half-Marathon Day!

      After breakfast, runners are transported to the race start. The half-marathon is scheduled to start at 8:30 AM.  Today, those who ran yesterday can enjoy an optional tour or cheer runners onA light lunch will be served in the finish areaThe rest of the day is yours to enjoy. All will meet again in the evening for a celebratory Greenlandic dinner and awards ceremony in Roklubben. (Breakfast and light post-race meal for runners, dinner included)

      Monday, October 28
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      Farewell Greenland or Hello Ilulissat 

      After breakfast, it is time to say goodbye to Kangerlussuaq, check-out and depart to the airport for the flight back to Copenhagen or Ilulissat if you chose the optional extension. Due to our late arrival time back into Copenhagen, an additional night in Copenhagen is highly recommended.  (Breakfast and flight meal included)

      (activities subject to change)

  • Extensions

    • Post-Race Extension to Ilulissat | 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.

      Greenlands third largest town, Ilulissat has just under 5000 residents and offers a variety of tour options including dog sled rides, and helicopter or small plane flights over the Icefjord which can be booked upon arrival to Ilulissat and can be dependent on weather and minimum participantsSpace on this extension is limited. 

      Monday, October 28​ – Following our flight to Ilulissat, you will be transported to Hotel Hvide Falk where restaurants, museums, shops and the picturesque 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. You will have the rest of the day 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 late arrival time back into Copenhagen, you may consider an overnight in Copenhagen at Hebron Hotel and book your return flight home on November 1.. (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 seeing some of the City’s most famous sights. The tour meets at the H.C. Anderson statue in Radhuspladesen (City Hall Square). Departing at 1:30pm, we run along the canals and will pass the Queen’s castle, Parliament, Little Mermaid and many beautiful parks. Small groups allow plenty of time to ask questions during the tour. Pace is adjusted according to overall participant level but expect to run 3-3.75 miles per hour and approximately 5 miles.

      Tundra & City Sightseeing Tour – October 24 & 26, 2024 (3.5 hours)

      Learn about Primitive Kangerlussuaq and its 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 the beautiful 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.

      Please 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.

      Please 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 the 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.

      Please note: Participants will be placed on Thursday or Sunday tour 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 (1.5 hours)

      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.

      Please note: The date and time of your tour will be determined according to the number of participants and other optional excursions you have chosen. This tour is non-refundable. 

      Sail to the Oqaatsut Settlement | October 30, 2024 (5 hours)

      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.

      Greenlandic Buffet | October 30, 2024

      In the evening it is possible to book the traditional Greenlandic Buffet dinner at Hotel Hvide Falk. This is a feast of local specialties not to be missed. Eat as much as you can from land and sea.

  • 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 ($415 for the Marathon or Half-Marathon, $535 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 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 

      Travel Insurance

      Travel Insurance for U.S. Residents

      Travel Insurance for Canadian Residents


      Rates (all prices are per person in US dollars)

      Polar Circle Four Night PackageDouble OccupancySingle Occupancy
      Old Camp - Ulo (bunk beds) - SOLD OUT$2725 per person$3035
      Old Camp - Qajak & Tuukkag (twin/double) - LIMITED SPACE$2840 per person$3155
      Polar Lodge - LIMITED SPACE$2960 per person$3455
      Hotel Kangerlussuaq - LIMITED SPACE$3315 per person$4060
      Pre/Post Nights Hotel Hebron Copenhagen$140 per person$225
      Optional: Ilulissat Extension - October 28 - 31Double OccupancySingle Occupancy
      Hotel Hvide Falk - Standard Room$1490 per person$1740
      Hotel Hvide Falk - Bay View$1680 per person$1955
      Optional ToursRates
      Running Tour in Copenhagen | Oct 23$70 per person
      Tundra Safari & Kangerlussuaq Tour | Oct 24 & 26$95 per person
      Russell Glacier - Kangerlussuaq | Oct 24 & 27$165 per person
      Northern Lights Tour - Kangerlussuaq | Oct 25$60 per person
      Meet the Sled Dogs - Ilulissat| October 29 & 30$55 per person
      Sail to the Oqaatsut Settlement - Ilulissat | October 30$260 per person
      Greenlandic Buffet - Ilulissat | October 30$80 per person
  • Hotels

    • Old Camp Hostel

      Offers two price options and is located 3KM away from the airport, Old Camp is a traditional hostel format with small, cozy rooms and shared bathroom facilities. Simply furnished, yet well-outfitted with all the essential amenities, such as beds, linens, and a small wardrobe, Old Camp consists of four buildings: three for accommodations each of which contain communal dining and living rooms and a fourth which serves as the reception and boutique.

      Two Options:

      Ulo building rooms have bunk beds
      The Qajak and Tuukkaq buildings feature rooms with two single beds that can be joined together if desired

      Polar Lodge

      In terms of facilities, Polar Lodge is similar to Old Camp (although with bigger rooms). However, it is only about 200 yards from the airport, and directly adjacent to the start/finish area for the marathon. Toilets and bathrooms are shared and located 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.

      Hotel Kangerlussuaq

      This is an ideal choice for accommodation with, fairly large, rooms and private baths. It is close to the airport and the race start/and has a nice cafeteria, restaurant, and hotel bar. (Wi-Fi available for purchase).

      Hotel Hvide Falk (Extension)

      This hotel is ideal for viewing and experiencing Disko Bay and the town of Ilulissat. There is a terrific restaurant and pub onsite. Choose between Standard and Bay Room options (both have private bathroom).

      Hotel Hebron (Copenhagen)

      Located less than a 10-minute walk from Copenhagen Central Station, which is easily reached by train from the airport (15 mins).

  • Event Information

    • Race Date:

      • Marathon – October 26, 2024
      • Half-Marathon – October 27, 2024

      Race Time: 7:00 AM

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

      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 $355 per entry. The Polar Bear Challenge is $470.

      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 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.

      For more information click here

  • Registration & Booking

    • Rates: Land Prices may change due to currency fluctuations or changes in any taxes or park fees.

      Reservations and Payments: A completed tour application together with an initial non-refundable deposit of $800 per person must be received before confirming your reservations. Final payment is due before August 1, 2024.

      Eligibility: Marathon Tours & Travel, an authorized tour operator, is required to offer travel arrangements in conjunction with guaranteed race entry. All runners must be residents of the USA or Canada.  Marathon Tours & Travel is authorized to sell to a resident of a country where there is not an existing official Tour Operator.

      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 price: All items not specifically listed under tour features.

      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.

      Travel Insurance for U.S. Residents
      Travel Insurance for Canadian Residents

      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.

  • Testimonials

    • "Always wonderful trips..." - 2023

      Always wonderful trips. This one was especially remote, which I love. Great experience overall. Wonderful and well informed staff. Always good humored and fun.

      "Pre-trip was excellent..." - 2023

      Pre-trip was excellent. The description of key issues was always right on. I felt that I understood not only the hazards of race day, but what to expect on the other days as well. It was a fabulous trip. The area is so beautiful, I didn’t want to leave.

      "The course was beautiful..." - 2023

      The course was beautiful and unique

      "Well I just finished the Polar Circle Marathon..." - 2019

      Well I just finished the Polar Circle Marathon ugh that was a beast of a race.

      "Thanks Scott, the Polar Circle Marathon was so much fun..." - 2019

      Thanks Scott, the Polar Circle Marathon was so much fun. Everything was great. Glad to have worked with you on this trip. I would recommend it to everyone.

      "This was one of the best organized events I have participated in..." - 2018

      This was one of the best organized events I have participated in. Everyone was knowledgeable and helpful. They did a great job at keeping everyone updated on events and changes due to the weather.

      "Fun group of people, excellent food..." - 2018

      Fun group of people, excellent food and most challenging course so far.

      "Hotel Kangerlussuaq was FANTASTIC..." - 2018

      Hotel Kangerlussuaq was FANTASTIC. Great breakfast and rooms, hot showers. Staff was outstanding. We stayed at the Clarion Hotel upon arrival in Copenhagen and the night prior to departure. The hotel is super convenient, connected to the airport terminal.

      "Amazing landscape and supportive and enthusiastic..." - 2016

      Amazing landscape and supportive and enthusiastic it’s very well run. Old Camp is pretty low-end lodging, but there isn’t anything the race organizers can do about that. I was delighted that I was able to switch to the hotel on the second day. All in all, this is a fantastic race and experience. Bravo! staff, very knowledgeable

      "I suggest recommending winter running shoes..." - 2016

      I suggest recommending winter running shoes (gore Tex or other), minimum shirt gaiters and long ones are fine as well. Suggest training by running in sand or other soft surface.

      "Amazing landscape..." - 2016

      Amazing landscape and supportive and enthusiastic staff, very knowledgeable

      "What did I like best? The adventure of it..." - 2016

      What did I like best? The adventure of it. So different than any other travel experience.

Recommended Resources

Meet the Reps

Marcie Clawson

Trip Designer | Cycling Product Manager

Marcie Clawson

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”.