Adventure Athletes Plan To Run Across Greenland

Greenland run map 01a

There may be a lack of explorers heading to the North Pole this year but that doesn’t mean there won’t be some big adventures in cold places this spring. Take for example the Greenland Run which as the hame implies will feature endurance athletes running across the massive landmass that is Greenland.

On April 15, Jukka Viljanen and Greg Maud will set out from Isortoq on the east coast and begin running towards Kangerlussuaq on the west. Their journey will take them across the Greenland icecap, covering a distance of approximately 620 km (385 miles). Along the way they’ll battle plenty of snow, ice, high winds and temperatures as cold as -30ºC/-22ºF as they attempt to become the first people to run across the country. A support crew that includes polar explorer Jens Erik, two mushers and dogsled teams will follow along. The entire expedition is expected to take 15-20 days to complete.

If Jukka and Greg’s names sound familiar it is probably because you’ve read about some of their other adventures here in the past. They ran across the Kalahari Desert together back in 2010 and both have completed similar feats of endurance in the past. Last year, Jukka also ran across the Sahara Desert for instance, and he has taken part in marathons in both the Arctic and Antarctic. Greg is an Everest summiteer, topping out in 2007 and in 2011 he competed in the legendary Marathon des Sables, a 250km (155 mile) ultramarathon in the Sahara Desert of Morocco.  Check out their full resumes here.

The two runners have conducted training sessions in Lapland in preparation for the demands of this run. They also intend to make daily blog posts along the way as well, sharing updates from the trail. They’re still about five weeks away from setting out, so they’re currently still preparing for their adventure. Expect more updates once they get underway.

Kraig Becker