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Iceland Mag

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Laugavegur ultra marathon: The whole spectrum of Iceland’s interior landscape compressed in one trip

  • Landmannalaugar nature reserve This is where the runners will begin their 55 km (34.5 mi) long endurance test. Photo/Vilhelm Gunnarsson

Iceland’s most popular endurance race will take place for the 20th consecutive year on Saturday 16 July. Around 300 runners will negotiate Iceland’s most famous hiking trail, which lies between Landmannalaugar nature reserve and Þórsmörk nature reserve in the south central highlands. Due to it’s popularity the route is called Laugavegur, which is a reference to Reykjavík’s main shopping street.

The route is 55 km (34.5 mi) and is usually done in three to five days but the runners do it only in a matter of hours.

Last year Icelandic runner, Þorbergur Ingi Jónsson set a new record when he finished the run under four hours: at 3.59.13. That was eight minutes faster than his previous record (4.07.47) from 2014, which again was twelve minutes faster than the previous record.

Laugavegur hiking trail is very challenging for runners and they have to be in peak condition. The environment should be a huge inspiration. The route is basically the whole spectrum of Iceland’s interior landscape compressed in one trip, taking you up and down beautiful desolate volcano hills, over bursting glacial rivers and clear blue water streams, alongside glaciers and rugged mountains, through lava fields, geothermal areas and green valleys.

To get an idea of what is facing the runners you can watch the video below.

The race is fully booked. You can expect registration for the 2017 race to open early January. If you are interested move quickly as this year’s race sold out fast.

See more information on marathon.is

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