The 5 most adventurous races in Iceland this summer

Running outdoors in a good group and getting your exercise …

Running outdoors in a good group and getting your exercise makes life both fun and improves your health. Screenshot/Instagram

Many running competitions have been taking off all over the country in recent years, but the interest in running has probably never been greater. As the Icelandic summer has begun, it’s the perfect choice for those who love to run to sign up for an unforgettable run with their family or friends. The competitions are diverse, so everyone should be able to find something suitable, regardless of ability and age, and whether the interest lies in street running or  trail running.

Recently, trail running has been especially popular in Iceland as well as abroad. There are examples of runners from all over the world flocking to Iceland to experience Icelandic nature and take part in running on adventurous trails. For example, tickets are awarded every year for the Laugavegur Ultra Marathon , which is a 55-kilometer race, which takes place in mid-July.

There are still available tickets for many races, which are undoubtedly a powerful experience for runners. The travel website of mbl.is is highlighting five fun and adventurous running competitions that will be held this summer.

In Hengill Ultra the route goes through Reykjadalur which is …

In Hengill Ultra the route goes through Reykjadalur which is popular for its hot natural baths. Screenshot/Instagram

Hengill Ultra, Hveragerði – June 7 and June 8

Hengill Ultra will be held for the 13th time on June 7 and June 8. As in previous years, a wide variety of running routes will be offered, 5 km, 10 km, 26 km, 53 km, and 106 km.

The 26 km race includes a route up Reykjadalur Valley to Ölkelduhnjúkur and around it. The town of Hveragerði is expected to be very lively, with 836 people competing in the race last year and the town turned into a larger-than-life running fiesta with a sales exhibition at the gym.

The running route around Laugavatn lake is partly through water.

The running route around Laugavatn lake is partly through water. Screenshot/Instagram

The Golden Route (Gullspretturinn), Lake Laugavatn – June 15

The Golden Route is perfect for those who love to try something new and let out their inner child in a mud-swamp. The race is around Lake Laugavatn and the route is 8.5 km long, where rivers, swamps, and moors are crossed in a free-flowing fashion.

The competition is also perfect for bright-hearted running kids, but last year the youngest of the 200 participants was 10 years old. After the race, the participants are offered each piece of Icelandic rye bread with smoked trout, cocoa milk, and one ice-cold beer.

Nothing like running out in nature.

Nothing like running out in nature. Screenshot/Instagram

Suzuki Midnight Sun Run, Reykjavík - June 20

The Suzuki Midnight Sun Run is one of the biggest races this summer, with 5 km, 10 km, and half-marathons, as 21.1 km. The competition celebrated its 30th-anniversary last year, with over 2,300 runners making it to the finish line in the Laugadalur valley in Reykjavík. Runners from 58 different countries took the race, most of them from the United States, the UK, and Germany. The race has been popular for a long time, as it is a unique occasion to run in the beautiful surroundings of the Laugadalur valley and nearby in the midnight sun.

The running queen Mari Järsk won the 100 km Dyrfjallahlaup …

The running queen Mari Järsk won the 100 km Dyrfjallahlaup Run last summer. Skjáskot/Instagram

The Dyrfjallahlaup Run, Borgarfjörður eystri – July 6

The Dyrfjallahlaup is a true runner-up festival in the beautiful fjord, Borgarfjörður eystri. It is perfect for runners who are making their first steps in outdoor trail running, with a wide range of running routes - 12 km, 24 km, and 50 km.

The race is in the so-called Víknaslóðir area near Borgarfjörður eystri, where the beautiful nature of the area is combined with the majestic lite liparite mountains and landslides, and the dark and majestic basalt peaks. Last summer, a total of 255 participants finished the race, including the running queen Mari Järsk, who won the 50 km race.

A running group is ready to start running from Goðafoss …

A running group is ready to start running from Goðafoss waterfall. ScreenshotInstagram

Súlur Vertical, Akureyri – August 2 to August 4

The mountain-running event Súlur Vertical offers a breathtaking experience for the most adventurous runner. Four distances are offered, 18 km, 28 km, 43 km, and 100 km, on trails that lead runners through beautiful nature around Akureyri.

This is the second time that 100 km has been raced, but the route has up to 3,500 m elevation, where the race is from Goðafoss waterfall and up the town mountains of Súlur and Vaðlaheiði. The shorter distances will start in Kjarnaskógur, but all the races will end in the town center of Akureyri, where a celebration awaits the runners. Last year, 456 runners competed in all distances combined.

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