Polar Circle Marathon

24-25 Oct 2020

Married couple wins The Polar Circle Marathon 2019

Not only do they share the same nationality, this year’s winners of The Polar Circle Marathon are in fact married. Under extreme conditions in Greenland, the Italian couple won both the half marathon and the marathon in the two-day weekend event – even setting new race records.

28. October 2019, Copenhagen

Endless ice, snow, and -5 degrees. The Polar Circle Marathon is a challenging adventure race that attracts runners from all around the world. The race sells out every year with a max of 200 runners due to the facilities in the remote Greenlandic town Kangerlussuaq.

This year Italy dominated the podium. The married couple, Christian Stuffer and Birgit Klammer, hail from the Dolomite region. They took first place both Saturday 26 October in the marathon and Sunday 27 October in the half marathon. Christian Stuffer ran the marathon in 2:59:35, while his wife smashed the women's race record by more than 6 minutes. Birgit Klammer finished the marathon with the impressive time of 3:34:34.

“It was amazing, truly unique. You cannot understand the conditions on the ice until you have seen it with your own eyes. There is a great relationship between us runners up here. You meet many people from other countries, share stories and experiences, and there is a great support for each other before, during, and after the race,” says Birgit Klammer, who enjoyed being in a corner of the world with limited access to internet and phone calls, making the entire experience intense with almost no contact to the outside world. 

Sunday, the Italian couple impressed again by winning the half marathon race – this time they both took the race record. Christian Stuffer ran the challenging half marathon in a remarkable 1:35:29 while his wife finished in the record time of 1:53:26. 

“Birgit is used to winning, but this was my first time winning, so it's the first time we shared a victory. It was a fantastic experience,” says Christian Stuffer with a smile. In their daily life, the couple runs the Hotel Cendevaves in Santa Christina Valgardena, where they arrange running vacations in the offseason. They are used to training in the mountains and have specialized in more challenging marathons. Their next marathon adventure could very likely be another of Albatros Adventure Marathons races, the couple says. Most likely Bagan Temple Marathon in Myanmar, Great Wall Marathon in China, or Big Five Marathon in South Africa.   

Polar Bear Challenge and average times
The runners who finished both the marathon and half marathon in Greenland were rewarded with a special Polar Bear Challenge-medal and bragging rights. The Italian couple won the Polar Bear Challenge and set new time records for male and female. In total 138 runners finished the Polar Bear Challenge.

The marathon has a time limit of 7 hours. The average time for women was 5:21:16 and 5:19:48 for men. In the half marathon the time limit is reduced to 4 hours. Here the average time for women was 2:54:14 and 2:40:23 for men. 

Runners from 28 nations took part in this year’s Polar Circle Marathon. In 2020 the race will take place on 24 and 25 October. Registration for next year opens in December. 

Facts about Polar Circle Marathon:

  • The Polar Circle Marathon - often referred to as "the Coolest Marathon on Earth" takes place in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland. This year the race took place 26-27- October. In 2020, the race will take place on 24 and 25 October.
  • The Polar Circle Marathon features a classic 42.195km marathon and a 21.097km half marathon. Runners can sign up for the Polar Bear Challenge and run them both.
  • The weather in Greenland is always unpredictable! Runners can expect the temperature to be below freezing. This year the temperature was -5 degree at the marathon race start.
  • A part of the route takes place on the ice sheet itself (this year 3,8 K), but the main part of the course is run on the gravel road (often snow covered) that connects the ice sheet with the small township of Kangerlussuaq, just north of the Polar Circle.
  • The race has a limit of 200 runners due to the facilities in the remote Greenlandic town Kangerlussuaq. 
  • The Polar Circle Marathon is arranged by the Danish-based Albatros Adventure Marathons. 
  • Website: https://polar-circle-marathon.com and https://albatros-adventure-marathons.com/ 


Link to results: https://polar-circle-marathon.com/results


Download press photos here: Polar Circle Marathon 2019 Winners - Media Link

Senior Press Officer: Steen Albrechtsen 
Direct phone: + 45 36 98 97 46, mobile: +45 41 11 24 90
Email: SA@albatros.dk
Website: albatros-adventure-marathons.com

Read all the reviews!

What others thought

What a fantastic and intimate experience! I was amazed at the great logistics in such a harsh environment! Lars and Annette and the doctors were amazing hosts!

Lisa Forshey,
2015 Polar Circle Marathon finisher

It was a wonderful experience and the team made a great job making us feel secure and having every detail considered! Every penny worth it!!

Liam Lynch,
2015 Polar Circle Marathon finisher

I "got" all that I wanted: extremely cold temperatures, amazing landscape on the ice cap and along the road, end-of-the-world feeling. PLUS the organization was very good (considering the location...), the atmosphere between the runners at Polar Lodge very friendly. And the Polar Bear Challenge is such a good idea, for the challange AND for having the chance to go one more time on the ice cap, with possibly different weather conditions and so different "views".

Nicolas Muller,
2015 Polar Circle Marathon finisher