The 100 mile Hengill Ultra is this weekend
Solomon Hengill Ultra, the country's largest trail running event, will now be held this weekend for the twelfth time. Participants will run a variety of routes, the longest being a hundred miles, or 160 kilometers.
The participants of the race come from all over the world, with examples of competitors from Mexico, Greenland and Australia. A mbl.is interview with Einar Bárðarson, one of the organizers of the event, reveals that today the number of registered participants was 830. There have been around a thousand participants in the past few years, but he says more people have registered when they did not make it out of the country due to a pandemic. Nevertheless, he says he is content with the figures this year, that they are good considering the way the weather forecast has been.
“The forecast for the weekend has not been ideal, but it is improving dramatically and actually starting to look very good,” Bárðarson says, later adding that it is still open for registration for some races: “So if people are falling into the running gear today, it’s still possible.”
Runners are invited to choose from six different distances ranging from five to 160 km. The longest distances are now complete, but people are still able to register for the five or ten km races until Saturday.
Running in the midnight sun
All the races will begin at Skyrgergerðin in Hveragerði, with the first runners starting at eight on Friday morning and will take part in the hundred-mile race. There will be a total of nine races launched from Skygergerðin, with three of the distances to be completed, in addition to the traditional daytime version being devised in a midnight race. The midnight races were first introduced in last year’s race, and Bárðarson says they were a success.
“Our regular runners get the option to try running in a different setting, even though it is on the same track. In the beautiful summer weather and with good visibility, it’s just natural to be there in the midnight sun,” he says.
A Unique Opportunity to Make Dreams Come True
Bárðaron reports that it is extremely enjoyable to be part of people achieving their goals.
“What we love the most is when people come to the finish line full of endorphins and joy after they put this effort into practice and overcome the limitations they’ve even been preparing for a number of years,” he says.
According to him, Hengill Ultra is a unique opportunity to run long distances and be confirmed in a legally sanctioned track. Participating in such long distance races abroad can cost more than hundreds of thousands of ISK, and if the daily form is not good on the day of the race, that money is lost. There is much less money and risk involved in Hengill Ultra’s participation, but the highest registration fee is just under 45,000 ISK.
Seven decades between the youngest and oldest competitor
According to the running event’s registration website, six participants are registered in the hundred-mile race and the oldest competitor of Hengill Ultra this year is among them. It is surgeon and accomplished runner Höskuldur Kristvinsson, who turns 74 this year. The youngest competitor of Hengill Ultra, by contrast, is seven decades younger than Höskuldur and is only four years old. His name is Franz Andrés Jónasson who is enrolled in the five kilometre race.
The Hengill Ultra will take place this Friday and Saturday, and the event will be streamed on Facebook and Vísir.