Some 300km inside the Arctic Circle lies the picturesque Norwegian city of Tromsø, at the foot of the Scandinavian Mountains. It is also where Team ELLE will be on 1 August, as we run for the hills – with extreme trepedation – to take on the Tromsø Skyrace. Equal parts trail-running, alpinism and mental, Skyrunning is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: racing up and down mountains, skimming clouds and taking in the awesome beauty of big wilderness from as high as you can get. Its practitioners are evangelical, technically skilled and very, very fit. And us? We're new.
The route begins at the base of the Tromsdalstinden mountain, rising up 1,238m (above sea level) with views over the city and neighbouring fjords. The steep rocky trail descends back to sea level, through a forested valley and across a river, before the next ascent. At 1,404m, Hamperokken – the highest mountain peak on the mainland peninsula – is the most technically challenging part of the race, with 5km of rocky ridge (we've been warned we may need to use our hands) before the last 50m scramble to the narrow ridge summit where we fully expect to reach nirvana. The euphoria will be short-lived: this is but the halfway marker. From here the route doubles back to Tromsdalstinden, up-and-over to the finish, the sum total of 45km to be completed within a 12-hour time limit. Sounds wild to the point of madness? Maybe. Who's up for an adventure?
What: Tromsø Skyrace
When: Sunday 1 August 2015
Where: Tromsø, Norway
Fit Factor: 5/5
Why We’re Running: For adventure and adrenaline
Race Mantra: Don't. Look. Down.
Run it: There is no ballot process for this race, visit the official website for more details
Watch it: Take a cable car up to Fjellheisen for a glimpse of the route
Follow it: We'll be tweeting from the race @ELLEfitteam, #ELLEfit, @TromsoSkyrace
Find out more: Visit tromsoskyrace.com for information about this and other similar events