Record interest in Arctic athletics

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Both an upcoming cycling race around scenic Lofoten in Northern Norway and this weekend’s annual marathon in Norway’s Arctic county of Troms have attracted record registrations this year. Extreme athletes are clearly keen on seeking out the Midnight Sun, even though it may not come out.

Record numbers of cyclists and runners have signed up to take part in the Lofoten Insomnia Race and the Midnight Sun Marathon this year. PHOTO: Lofoten Insomnia Race/Facebook

Record numbers of cyclists and runners have signed up to take part in the Lofoten Insomnia Race and the Midnight Sun Marathon this year. PHOTO: Lofoten Insomnia Race/Facebook

The cycling race, called Lofoten Insomnia Race, will run through the night of June 27-28, covering distances of 235, 110 and 55 kilometers. The race begins at two o’clock in the morning.

“There’s something special about cycling through a summer night in Lofoten,” Geir Ellingsen, one of the organizers of the Lofoten Insomnia Race, told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN). The course runs from the fishing village of Å, at the farthest tip of Lofoten, to Lødingen and has attracted 550 cyclists.

Farther north, in Norway’s Arctic capital of Tromsø, more than 5,000 runners are expected for the annual Midnight Sun Marathon on June 21-22. The race also offers shorter versions than the full marathon, but fully 60 runners will be competing in the race as part of the Norwegian Championships.

A total of 63 nations are represented among the runners. “Many are coming because they really want to run through a light summer night,” Lena Nymark, among the race organizers, told DN. “We can’t guarantee midnight sun, but can guarantee a great experience.” The weather forecast for the weekend called for chilly temperatures, and rain.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund