(FAIRUSE NOTICE: This blog site may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes only. This constitutes a 'Fair Use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 USC Section 107 of the US Copyright Law.)
Program: Northwest Passage Marathon and Ultramarathon Package #1 Dates: July 29 to August 1, 2011 Cost: $3,900 from Yellowknife, NT, Canada
Program: Northwest Passage Marathon and Ultramarathon Package #2 Dates: July 29 to August 5, 2011 Cost: $7,900.00 from Yellowknife, NT, Canada
The Northwest Passage Marathon on Somerset Island in Nunavut, Canada, is North America’s most northerly marathon and ultramarathon. This race is held under the 24-hour Arctic sun and against the backdrop of the fabled Northwest Passage.
The Northwest Passage Marathon is a true wilderness route. The 50 km course leaves Arctic Watch, goes north along the shore of the Cunningham Inlet for 10 km to Polar Bear Point. The runners then turn west and run beside the famed Northwest Passage for the next 18 km. The trail follows a series of old raised beaches of sandstone pebbles. There are icebergs on the water and ancient encampments on the shore. During past events, runners saw dozens of beluga whales, many seals and polar bears. At Cape Marie, runners turn south and inland along the Red Valley (so named for the red stone and soil). Muskox sightings in this area are common. The trail then swings back east and climbs gently before dropping back down towards the Cunningham River. The final kilometres are along the river back to Arctic Watch.
This is a rough trail run with no roads, marked with Inukshuks and flags. The surface is generally smooth and covered with pebble-sized rocks. There are some shallow creek crossings. There’s no need to carry water, all the water is potable. But expect to have wet feet!