Every year in the first week of June, around 200 adventurous athletes from around the world flock to the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard to participate in the exotic Spitsbergen Marathon. Starting and ending in Longyearbyen, the world’s northernmost town, the course sends the participants through a harsh but beautiful Arctic landscape. Despite the incomparable nature of the marathon itself, one aspect that stands out for most is undoubtedly the legitimate risk of running into a polar bear along the course. Even though polar bears wandering onto the course has never happened, it certainly ads to the thrill and uniqueness of Spitsbergen Marathon.

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