It’s the middle of the night and the sun is shining, what better time to complete a marathon? In Norway’s city of Tromsø, positioned 322 kilometres above the Arctic Circle, the annual Midnight Sun event is the world’s northernmost marathon. Runners leave the start line at 8:30pm, winding over the city’s bridge with rugged snow-capped mountains providing the panorama. The route stays close to the water, and crowds of merry locals are known to set up picnics beside the track, cheering runners on and offering nuts as snacks or hot coffee. This is an experience race, not a ‘personal best’ race, one which attracts more than 4,000 runners from 56 countries.
Arrive a day or two prior to the run and indulge in an unconventional break in a city where the sun doesn’t set for a 9-week stretch during the summer. Attend the local pasta parties for some carbo-loading, and view the city from above on Tromsø’s cable car, which connects with Mount Storstein.
Tromsø is where the Arctic adventure begins so be sure to explore the surrounding areas once race day is over. Head out to the Fjord, or take a short flight to Svalbard, an expansive archipelago between the North Pole and Norway. From here, consider stepping aboard the Silver Explorer, a purpose-built luxury expedition cruise ship designed especially for navigating waters in some of the world’s most remote destinations.
WORDS OF WISDOM
- Book ahead to dine at Emma’s restaurant for a taste of Arctic cuisine. Fresh fish from the surrounding fjords is often on the menu, as is reindeer, a local delicacy.
- Norwegian, a Scandinavian low-cost airline, has direct flights to Tromsø from Gatwick International Airport, London.
Visit Midnight Sun Marathon