Polar Circle Marathon 2010

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The Polar Circle Marathon is a classical 42.195 km marathon over the ice covered mountainous terrain of the polar circle. The temperatures are relatively low, around -10 degrees Celsius in the autumn, when the race takes place. The marathon course takes the runners over the permanent, 3 km thick ice cap and through tundras, moraine landscapes, glaciers, among other outstanding nature sceneries. The Polar Circle Marathon is more demanding than usual marathons due to the cold weather and the slippery surface for the parts of the race that goes over the actual ice cap.

Sixty runners started the marathon this year on Oct 23. An account of the journey can be read over at The Guardian.

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The lack of snow cover made the going tougher, as the bare ice offered little grip, even with spikes

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A competitor struggles to stay upright on the ice

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Nick Mead (right) and Paolo Barghini of Italy (who came second in 3:20:15) tackle an uphill section

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Dutch twins Catherina Eva (left) and Maria Schilder finished second and third in the women's full marathon - both in 4:13:41

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The rest of the undulating route (the track to the left of the lake) seen from the top of Sugar Loaf mountain

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After the ice-cap, the marathon route passes the edge of the Russell Glacier

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A competitor gets close up to the glacier during a stop-off on the pre-race route inspection

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Recent ice fall at the Russell glacier

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Although the Polar Circle marathon involves a net height loss of around 500m, there are still a lot of hills to climb (around 500m up and 1,000m down)

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The final few miles of the route (track on the right) into Kangerlussuaq - home of Greenland's main airport and base for the Polar Circle marathon

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Winners Maja Boe (3:52:59) and Jesper Rygaard Hansen (3:17:35), both from Denmark

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