Westfjords Runners' Festival (5 days) - JULY 2021



Westfjords Runners' Festival (5 days) - JULY 2021

This is a 5-day tour to The Runners' Festival, a unique 4-day event in the stunning Westfjords of Iceland where you can combine challenging sports events with rugged and raw nature and lively festivities. The festival consists of a half-marathon, a 10-km run, a wilderness run (45 km, 24 km and 10 km) plus open-water swimming, mountain biking and a 3-day triathlon. This annual festival is organised by locals and 2020 marks the 12th consecutive year. There is a very welcoming and homely feel to the festival where some participate in all the events while others take part in one or more events. This is a fantastic event for the whole family where joy and a lively spirit are in the forefront.

Challenge yourself to sporting events in the magical and spectacular landscape of the Westfjords while enjoying this colourful, vibrant, and happy festival. 

Hey Iceland is excited to offer this unique event as part of your overall fantastic experience in Iceland. The 5 days / 4 nights package offers an inclusive Iceland experience with popular highlights, group dinners, as well as an entry to the memorable Runners' Festival. Don't miss out on this fantastic experience. 

There is a certain joy and lively spirit surrounding the festival which is a wonderful event for the whole family. Challenge yourself to sporting events in the rugged and spectacular landscape of the Westfjords while enjoying this colourful, vibrant and happy festival. The dates for 2021 are available soon. Send us a request for further information.

The 3-day triathlon consists of:

  • 500 m open-water swim (Friday)
  • 55 km mountain bike race (Saturday)
  • 24 km wilderness run (Sunday)

Possible events to choose from (add-on):

  • Skálavík run 12 km
  • Skálavík run 19 km
  • Skálavík bike 19 km
  • Open-water swim 500 m
  • Open-water swim 1500 m
  • Arnarnes half marathon
  • Arnarnes 10 km run
  • Vesturgata mountain bike race 55 km
  • Vesturgata ultra run 45 km
  • Vesturgata original run 24 km
  • Vesturgata short-run 10 km
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Highlights

  • Enjoy 4 days festivities of running, swimming & biking with Icelanders
  • Go native in fun and activities
  • Glimpse into the lives of Icelandic sailors of the past at the Ósvör Maritime Museum
  • Sail over Breiðafjörður Bay and marvel at its uncountable islands

Included

  • 4 nights' accommodation in rooms with private facilities
  • Breakfast daily
  • 1 local farewell dinner (3-course)
  • 5 days bus tours/transfer according to the itinerary
  • English speaking guide
  • Entrance to Ósvör Maritime Museum
  • A ferry ride over Breiðafjörður Bay

Prices

N/A per person in double room*
N/A single supplement per person*

Minimum 15 passengers.

  Date

  Events to choose from

  Price  p.p from:

  Including

  Thursday

 Skálavík Run 12 km

 37 eur

 Registration fee.
 Transfer from Bolungarvík to starting point.

 Skálavík Run 19 km

 37 eur

 Registration fee.
 Transfer from Bolungarvík to starting  point.

  Friday

 Open water swimm 500 m

 22 eur

 Registration fee.

 Open water swimm 1500 m

 22 eur

 Registration fee.

 Arnarnes half Marathon

 33 eur

 Registration fee.
 Transfer from Ísafjörður to Súðavík village sport hall where the race starts.

 Arnarnes 10 km run

 25 eur

 Registration fee.
 Transfer from Ísafjörður to where the race starts (between Súðavík village and Ísafjörður)

  Saturday

 Vesturgata mountain bike race 55 km***

 52 eur

 Registration fee.
 The race starts and ends in Þingeyri village.

  Sunday

 Vesturgata ultra run 45 km

 52 eur

 Registration fee.
 Transfer from finishing line to Þingeyri (where the race starts)

 Vesturgata original run 24 km

 52 eur

 Registration fee.
 Transfer from Þingeyri village to starting point and transfer from finishing back to Þingeyri

 Vesturgata short run 10 km

 37 eur

 Registration fee.
 Transfer from Þingeyri village to starting point and transfer from finishing back to Þingeyri

 

*** full suspension mountain bike are available for rent upon request

*NOTE: Prices may change without prior notice in relation to cost increases that are outside Hey Iceland´s control.

Itinerary

Thursday | First glimpse of the magical Westfjords - Run & Bike

You will be picked up at your accommodation in Reykjavík between 8:00 and 8:45.
Leaving Reykjavík with your guide heading to the Westfjords, passing small villages over mountains and passing along numerous fjords getting to know the landscape where you will spend the coming days. We will make a stop at Búðardalur and Hólmavík village on the way. The trip to Ísafjörður takes about 8 hrs so approx arrival time at your hotel in Ísafjörður is at around 17:00.

Check-in at the hotel followed by an introduction of the next days' programme.
Transfer to and from Bolungarvík for those doing the run this evening.

Events today:

  • 19:40 Skálavík Bike (19 km, from Skálavík to Bolungarvík village)
  • 20:00 Skálavík Run (12 km & 19 km from Skálavík to Bolungarvík village)

The Skálavík way is incredibly beautiful and sheep are to be seen everwhere along the way.
At 22:30 a prize ceremony is to be held in Bolungarvík village.

Friday | Ísafjörður walk/hike - Open-water swim & Run

They day starts at 10:00 with a walk and a light hike in Ísafjörður village and the surrounding mountains. We will return to the hotel at 14:00 for free time/rest.

Events today:

  • 16:00 Open-water swimming (sea): 500 m and 1500 m (Ísafjörður)
  • 20:00 Arnarnes half marathon run (Súðavík to Ísafjörður)
  • 21:00 Arnarnes 10 km run (Arnarnes to Ísafjörður)

Challenge yourself to a chilling open-water swim in the North Atlantic Ocean. The open water swimming competition starts by the shore next to the Maritime Museum in Ísafjörður. The sea temperature in July is usually around 7-9°C on average. It is allowed (and recommended) to wear a wetsuit, and most people do so, although there are usually a few tough nuts who brave the cold wearing just regular swimwear.

In the evening you can join a road run called the Arnarnes race under the midnight sun (half marathon or 10 km). The half marathon starts in the small town of Súðavík. The course takes you through the village and then you simply follow highway #61 along the coast, under the majestic mountains and through the oldest and shortest road tunnel in Iceland. You will run past nesting sites for Arctic terns, eider ducks and other bird species, and you might even see a seal or two if you are lucky. The run finishes is in downtown Ísafjörður. The 10 km run simply follows the last 10 km of the half-marathon course.

At 22:15 a prize award ceremony in Ísafjörður centre.

Saturday | The villages of the Westfjords - Bike

Today is the biker's day at The Runners' Festival and for those biking the morning starts with a transfer to Þingeyri village.
For non-bikers we offer a 3-hours bus tour with our guide to explore the neighbouring villages and make a visit to the Ósvör Maritime Museum to get an insight into the lives of sailors past. We continue to visit the charming fishing villages of Bolungarvík, Suðureyri, Flateyri and Þingeyri, which is the base for today's events.

Possible events today:

  • 10:00 Vesturgatan mountain bike race: 55 km

This is a 55 km bike course and one of the most scenic ones you can find. It is, however, also very challenging. The Kaldbakur mountain pass is considered to be one of the most remarkable roads in Iceland. One part is carved directly out of the steep rocks, other parts follow the shore so closely that you have to be aware of the changing tides. Biking this route is a truly unique experience. You will enter a remote world of its own where abandoned farms and a lighthouse are the only remains of civilization.

Locals mass-produce waffels for participants and supporters alike. You can also choose to relax and take in the stunning nature and serenity in a yoga class.

Afternoon prize award ceremony in Þingeyri Sports Hall.

View entire itinerary

Sunday | Free time in Þingeyri village - Run

Transfer to Þingeyri village for today's running/festivities. In the afternoon we head back to Ísafjörður and end the day with a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Events today:

  • 08:00 Vesturgatan ultra: 45 km
  • 11:00 Vesturgatan original: 24 km
  • 12:45 Vesturgatan short: 10 km

Today you have the opportunity to run the famous Vesturgatan trail, a half, whole or double version.
The 45 km run starts in front of the church in Þingeyri. Shortly after leaving the village, you will find yourself on a gravel/mud trail that takes you through the narrow valley Kirkjubólsdalur. At the end of the valley, you come to the biggest climb of the day, which takes you up to 550 m altitude. At the highest point, you will go through a mountain pass right under the highest peak in the Westfjords area, Kaldbakur. Note that it is very possible that you will have to run through some patches of snow close to the highest point. When you come down to sea level again, you follow the trail by the shore of the fjord Arnarfjörður all the way to the very tip of the peninsula where you enter the fjord Dýrafjörður again. The finish is at Sveinseyri, an abandoned spit 10 km outside Þingeyri. There you will find a tent with refreshments.

Vesturgatan original is a 24 km run that starts with a scenic bus tour for about an hour from Þingeyri along the coast of the fjord Arnarfjörður to the deserted valley Stapadalur. There, at the shore and under steep and picturesque cliffs, the race will start. Although the course mostly follows the coastline it is surprisingly hilly, with numerous climbs on the way. Most of them are relatively short, although perhaps steep. Make sure to save some energy for the very last uphill, which is quite long and strenuous. The rough surface also calls for your attention. The finish is at Sveinseyri.

Vesturgatan short is a 10 km race. To get to the start point, you will be taken by a bus and/or a rescue service vehicle to the lighthouse in Svalvogar, at the tip of the peninsula between the fjords Arnarfjörður and Dýrafjörður. This ride, which some may find a bit hair-raising at times, is included in your registration fee. The race starts close to the Svalvogar lighthouse. As the surface is rough and uneven, please be cautious and try to avoid nasty falls. The finish is at Sveinseyri.

Monday | Dynjandi Waterfall, Breiðafjörður Bay, and back to Reykjavík

We leave our hotel in Ísafjörður no later then 08:00 and start heading back to Reykjavík with some scenic stops on the way. Passing the Westfjords villages we ariive at the spectacular Dynjandi Waterfall for a stop to marvel at its endless beauty. We go for a ferry ride from Brjánslækur over Breiðafjörður Bay where we gaze at its numerous islands, arriving 2 hrs later in the beautiful village of Stykkishólmur. Our last stop on the way to Reykjavík will be at Gerðurberg, where basalt columns form an impressive wall of patterns. We will arrive in Reykjavík at approximately 19:00 where you will be dropped off at your accommodation.

 

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