On the race day, it was as cold as one could expect when the start line is located at the ice cap. After everyone gathered at the line, a Greenlander dressed in furs fired the gun and we all climbed towards the ice cap!
Normally when I run, I will put on music. This time I purposely didn’t, so that I could remember every moment of this hard but once-in-your-life experience.
I remember these things: The heavily padded snow on the ice was thick, making it difficult to run. The whiteness of the snow on the ice cap almost blinded my eyes. I gasped for air, feeling short of breath in the cold climate, and my throat felt as dry as paper. It was dreadfully difficult to drag my feet, heavily laden with those metal spikes.
AN INTERNATIONAL RACE
Luckily, we ran as a team, and people of all races encouraged each other along. I ran the latter end of the marathon with my new Italian friend Luigi, who helped me when I thought I could run no more. We pushed each other to the finish line.
If you do it, don’t expect a huge crowd to cheer you on like at every other marathon. Here you will pretty much run by yourself with only amazing nature as your witness. The first onlookers I saw in 5 hours 40 minutes were the locals who gathered near the finish line to encourage us the last few legs!
That night we had a big celebration party. Everybody was happy and everyone was a winner! And after the party, we all stood outside and saw the dancing northern lights. I enjoyed my time in Greenland, and loved that I met new friends connected by the coolest marathon on Earth!
Tip 1: If possible, do choose the window seat on flight to Greenland for the best view!
Tip 2: Dress warm, dress in preferably dry-fit layers. Bring a beanie, gloves and waterproof shoes or boots with grip.
Tip 3: For people who loves northern lights and photography, the sunrise in November is as late as 9am and sunset is as early as 4pm. Bring a tripod!