A July Ultramarathon in Vík lacks permits, runners warned event is potentially a scam
Runners who have signed up for „The Iceland Race“, in Vík in South Iceland on July 8, are being cautioned by authorities, local media and the running community that the race organizers have not filed for any of the required permits, and that the race is potentially a scam.
Suspicious company offering no information
Runners can sign up for the race at the website of a company which calls itself Alpine High Events. Under the "About Us" the company offers the following description:
"We are curating, directing, and managing events around the globe to help save the world one smile at a time."
The company claims it has organized numerous other similar events, but the site offers no information about previous races. The company seems never to have organized an event in Iceland. The site offers no information about its staff or who is actually responsible for events. The only contact information given is a webform and an email address. The company offers a campground outside of Denver, Colorado, as its physical address.
Offer no concrete details about the race
Runners can sign up for three different runs, a 10 km, a marathon run and a 100 km ultramarathon. The page offers no further information about the route, but offers an unforgettable adventure, promising a run through the „mystical lands of scenic Southeastern Iceland“. The description for each race is identical:
"…enjoy the dramatic landscape amidst some of our earth's most stunning scenery. Come join The Iceland Race community to explore the picturesque waterfalls, unique black sand beaches, amazing lava columns, lush green mountainsides, enticing glaciers, and phenomenal volcanoes. You may even make friends with a local puffin or arctic fox along the way through this magical course."
The company promises "Races, music, and more in the mystical lands of Iceland." The race and "all festival activities will be staged in Vík", the website promises. Now, with less than three months to the race and promised festival activities, the site offers zero information about either. The routes for the different races, starting point or information about the music and "festival" is nowhere to be found on the site.
Clicking on the individual races takes you to a booking site, Event Brite, where people can sign up for the event and pay the registration fee.
Organizers fail to answer inquiries
Participants, who have paid as much as 215 USD for tickets, have been unable to reach the event organizers for further information. The local running community has similarly been unable to reach organizers. Guðmundur Kristinsson, who operates the website runninginiceland.com, which is one of the best English language resources for runners in Iceland, told the local newspaper Morgunblaðið that he had listed the event on his website, but removed it after questions arose about the race.
Guðmundur tried contacting the organizers of the race three weeks ago, but has yet to receive any answers. The website provides no details on the organizers.
Turned in a blank permit form
Local authorities have no further information about the event. In August of 2016 a man who called himself Michael Pendleton contacted the mayor of Vík to inform him about the race. When the mayor pointed out that the race had to apply for permits and asked for further information about the event, the man sent back a blank permit application form, promising to fill it in later. The man has not been in any further contact with the municipal authority.
The Police in South Iceland have also not received any information about the event.
The last activity on the Twitter feed of the race was on February 22, but up to that point the account had been quite active.
— The Iceland Race (@IcelandRace) September 15, 2016
Ever dreamed of a second home in a fishing village in the Westfjords? Now's your chance!
This day in history: The sinking of whaling vessels in Reykjavík harbour was "Iceland's 9/11"
Kitten TV "Kattarshians" coming to the US: Best thing to come out of Iceland since Björk
Ask the Expert
Elves and hidden people: Do Icelanders really believe in elves?
Food & Drink
Don't miss the annual Icelandic Meat Soup Day in downtown Reykjavík on Saturday
Food & Drink
The five best places for brunch in Reykjavík
Photos: Walking paths at Víti crater lake turned into mudfields: 'Worst I have seen'
Photos: This year's pysja rescue confirms 2017 was best year on record for pufflings
Photos: Icelanders celebrate the win over Kosovo which secured a spot at the World Cup
Brush up on your Icelandic by singing world's hardest karaoke song
Follow Iceland Mag
Join our weekly hand curated newsletter to have all the latest news from Iceland sent to you
Don't worry, we won't spam you. Promise!
Watch a video of a RV get blown off the road just north of Reykjavík
Want to know what you are eating at an Icelandic Þorrablót? Here's your answer!
Chris Burkard: "Iceland is one of the most beautiful locations in the world"
Meet the friends of Iceland!
Vikings had a dark sense of humour, reveals Irish academic
10 words and phrases in Icelandic that don’t exist in English
Cuteness overload: A video of a litter of Arctic fox pups explore the world for the first time
Watch a selection of the most amazing Hollywood movie scenes shot in Iceland
Magical beauty of Icelandic landscapes captured in this award winning time-lapse video
Superb short film featuring breathtaking drone footage shot along the Ring Road One
Video: The stunning beauty of the Diamond Beach and other wonders of South Iceland