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
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