"You shouldn't run the Leif Eriksson Marathon if you want to achieve your personal best time."

The route is tough so you shouldn't run the Leif Eriksson Marathon if you want to achieve a top time. The organisers estimate that it takes about an hour and a half longer to run than an ordinary marathon on flat roads.

And you will probably not find another marathon in the world that offers more beautiful views with blossoming meadows, grazing sheep, sparkling blue sea and slices of ice along the way. 

Runner’s high in Qassiarsuk

In 2017, the starting signal will sound on Saturday, 19 August when you can choose between the 10 km, half-marathon or marathon distances. Walking the half-marathon route is a recently added option.

If you are fortunate, the sun will be high in the sky so you can enjoy the South Greenlandic summer and focus on conquering the many hills that need to be traversed on the route.


Even though the marathon stretch goes down desolate tractor tracks, you feel very safe. There is thorough information before departure, good direction signs and catering along the route.

And you will not find better support from the volunteers and other participants anywhere else.

How to get to the marathon:

  • You sign up by sending name and start fee to account number 6471-1628760 - it is also possible to pay in cash the day before the marathon.
  • The price for participating depends on which route you are running and if you wish to attend dinner on Saturday evening. See more information in Leif Eriksson Marathon's open group on Facebook.
  • The quickest way to Qassiarsuk is to fly to Narsarsuaq from where boats regularly cross the fjord to Qassiarsuk 

"There has never been more than 55 registered runners. In other words, a tight crowd that takes off when the signal sounds."

Get a sniff of the atmosphere

For the six years the Leif Eriksson Marathon has been held, there has never been more than 55 registered runners. In other words, a tight crowd that takes off when the signal sounds.

It is recommended that you are in Qassiarsuk for the briefing and communal eating already on Friday 18 August. You will then have good time to greet the residents of the settlement who are usually quite inquisitive and love to follow the marathon.

If you participate in the Leif Eriksson Marathon, there is the option to stay overnight in a tent next to the school which has toilets and running water available for use. In the settlement's service building, there are also toilets, showers and washing machines.

Leif Eriksson

Leif Eriksson was the son of the fabled Viking, Erik the Red, and the first European in North America, which he discovered almost 500 years before Columbus.

In the settlement, Qassiarsuk, which is believed to be Leif Eriksson's childhood home, a bronze statue has been erected in remembrance of his explorations. This was done in 2000 with the celebration of the 1000th year of his journey towards the west.