Polar Circle Marathon

greenland 16Yesterday I finished a tough marathon near the North Pole in Greenland. Perfectly named the Polar Circle Marathon, it’s held within the Arctic Circle. To say the temperatures felt freezing would be an understatement. Here are the top reasons to consider a race at the top of the world:

1. Running on an ice cap. I don’t know of any marathon in the world in which part of the course traverses over a complete ice sheet. It’s like running on a skating rink surrounded by powdery snow and glaciers. The impressive views help offset the challenge of running on ice and you must wear spikes or coils on the bottom of your running shoes to help with the slipperiness. But it’s worth every slip and slide you make.

2. Running in the frozen tundras and next to glacier lakes. Spectacular scenery surrounds you and you even must wear sunglasses because of the sheer whiteness.

greenland 103. The hills. Runners meet some of the toughest hills ¬†and hardest terrain even after you survived the ice cap at the beginning of the course. You’ll work your glutes and hamstrings and come back with a much more toned body (well, at least you can tell yourself.)

4. Running in temperatures with a negative sign in front of the number. Want to race in cold conditions? It’s too cold to even stand outside for a few minutes. Luckily, the running helps warm you up (a bit).

greenland 125. The gratitude and euphoria you feel at the end. Finishing an adventurous marathon and one that involves a significant increase in your finishing time gives you an even greater satisfaction.