The Polar Circle Marathon takes place on uneven gravel road and ice.
The run starts about 4km from the ice sheet and follows the gravel road onto the ice sheet itself. While running on the ice sheet one be very attentive and careful, even with a thick layer of snow on top this part can still be very slippery. Due to the enormous powers of nature and the general retraction of the ice sheet, the exact distance on the ice will only be found a couple of days before the race, but a 3km loop is the aim. Because of the danger of falling into a crevasse, it is strictly forbidden to leave the marked route on the ice sheet.
Coming back up from the ice and passing the starting point you have approximately 32km left to the finish line in Kangerlussuaq. Please bear in mind that although the road is gravel, it is likely to be covered in a layer of snow. Running these remaining kilometres you will pass enormous glacier tongues and moraine plains and go through tundra and arctic desert. If you are lucky you may also see reindeer and musk oxen grazing along the route. The terrain is hilly all the way with the steepest ascents being the climb coming off the ice sheet and the approximately 75m-high climb 5km before the finish line. From the ice sheet to the finish line, however, the route has an overall descent of approximately 500m.
The marathon finish line is located in front of Polar Lodge in the northern part of Kangerlussuaq.
The half marathon finish line is located at Long Lake, just before Sanddrift Valley.