Svalbard Turn is arranging Svalbard skimaraton. The cross country ski race is held near Longyearbyen, the ”capitol” of Svalbard. It is the worlds northernmost cross country ski race. It gives you 42 km in classic stile and goes through the artic nature.
Equipment: All participants must be dressed and equipped to deal with different weather conditions. Protection against low temperatures and wind is important. You shall therefore carry a backpack (total weight 3 kg) which at least shall contain; Windproof dress, balaclava, extra windproof mittens, extra socks, alpine goggles (or similar), food and something (hot) to drink.
Football is the most common popular sport in Norway, and Longyearbyen has three football pitches; 1 "ballbinge", an enclosed area for children's football, and 2 small football pitches for plays and training, one larger than the other. They are all located behind the Longyearbyen school. They play during winters on a good snow cover and during summers when the ground has dried up after the snow melt. If you are stuck (plane delay, ship), waiting for a new job or want to work up a sweat, bring a ball and try kicking around here.
Football training and tournaments are organised by Svalbard Turn. Longyearbyen has a supporter club for English football, and the Longyearbyen plays against Barentsburg 4 times a year. The Longyearbyen tournament between local company also runs somewhat irregularily.
Having experienced Antarctic kayaking several years ago, I decided to splurge for kayaking on the Artic cruise. The scenery was not quite as spectacular as Antartica and there were just too many opportunities for wildlife viewing to spend my time kayaking. Save the $350 and fund a kayak trip to a more spectacular place rather than the Artic .
As almost everything else in Spitsbergen, this marathon has the attribute of being the northernmost marathon of the world! It is usually held in June and only the toughest people (men and women) run it! So, if you are out for superlatives, this is your thing!
When we were there we watched them run both marathon and half marathon and boy, did I admire them! Not only the distance, but also the temperature is difficult for those athletes. There was a participant who was almost 80 years old - it took him about 8 hours or even more to do it . We met him when everybody else was already celebrating! BUT HE DID IT!
The fastest runner needed 3:13 h!!
There is a ski lift just across the road from the longyearbyen school. Operating times are uncertain. Closes when there is avalanche danger (frequently). Randonee skiing may be more adviceable, plenty of slopes here.
There is a small alpine skiing run close to the Longyearbyen school, but I didn't see it in operation of late. Avalanche danger may have put it out of action.
Cross-country skiing doesn't seem very popular, the explanation may perhaps be that there isn't that much snow, and it certainly isn't stable - it blows away very quickly. Very cold snow is also not good for gliding, so all this may add up? I don't know for sure - I brought my own skis, enjoyed it and did meet some hardy skiers on day trips over the glaciers in the peripheriy of Longyearbyen, some French and Swiss plastic-clad hard-core randonee downhill skiers and kids playing in the pedestrian road in town with their skis on.
Equipment: You can buy some stuff, but call beforehand to shops to esnure thay will have what you need.
Didn't find any ski rentals.
The sports hall just up from the downtown area has a swimming pool and ball courts for a variety of indoor sports. Much used during the dark season, it is mainly set up for locals, but both short- and long term visitors amy also make use of the facilities. Enquire in your hotel reception.
Svalbardhallen is the new big sportshall located in Longyearbyen. Also with squash-, spinning- and fitnessroom. And Swimming pool and sauna. Entrance cost NOK 50.
P.O. Box 500, Longyearbyen, 9170, Norway
Good for: Families
The SAS hotel has a very central location only 100 m from the main shopping area. It has 95 rooms...more
P.O. Box 500, Longyearbyen, I 9171, Norway
Good for: Business