Arctic Marathon Post by Lizzie Horsler (Scotland)

My artic marathon experience was amazing. As someone who has never attempted a marathon before, let alone even thought I would be running one that is finish line is the arctic circle, I had the best time ever. The experience started on Friday evening when we had the pre-race meeting from Apolo, this helped reassure me about the marathon route and where the aid stations were.

Saturday morning, we had a group trip to see the huskies. They were so cute and friendly; we went husky sledding around the forest, and they were surprisingly fast! After we went for hot squash and biscuits inside around a fire it was a nice chance to talk to everyone and get to know each other. We also got to muck about on a frozen lake, it was so pretty. Saturday afternoon was the pre-race jog to get used to layers, -6 degrees feels very cold compared to Scotland. We all had dinner together in the evening in one of the many restaurants in Santa Claus village, I got to try reindeer meatballs and they were quite delicious, sort of tasted like beef.

On Sunday race day I was quite nervous when I woke up, Dan and I headed to breakfast which was a buffet style with both hot and cold foods, this was nice as I could eat exactly what I wanted, and all the food was so yummy. We headed to the start line (the arctic circle) and at 9am exactly we set off! The first 4km is a beautiful loop around the forest near Santa Claus village it was so enjoyable. There were aid stations 4 times throughout the race and these were very useful as they had gummies, chocolate, bananas, and a range of drinks.

The first half of the race felt good, and the sun was shining making it a lovely day for running. By the time we got to 30km it was definitely a challenge and we were both getting very tired, luckily the course was not too hilly and we managed to carry on running. As someone who had never run over 35km before I was doubting at the start if I would even make it round but the support from other runners and anti the elf who was at the aid station was very motivating and pushed me to keep going and run at a decent pace even when my legs where so tired it hurt to walk! Crossing the finish line into the arctic circle was such an amazing feeling, a mixture of pride and disbelief that I just did an arctic marathon in 4 hours 30 mins. We got a lovely medal and an arctic marathon jacket which is super comfy. Sunday evening we had a lovely dinner where trophies were prese4nted by Santa Claus, I got one for 2nd lady! I definitely ticked some items off the bucket list this trip including seeing the northern lights, meeting an amazing bunch of people, and most importantly running a marathon! It was such a well organised and fun trip that I would do all again in a heartbeat.