Nature & Environment Oct 29, 2015

Running Across Iceland – 27 Days, 828 Miles

Young marathon runner David Chong ran his way around Iceland.

There’s nothing better than a brisk run in a beautiful place — and Iceland definitely supplies the beauty. But what about a run that lasts 27 entire days, crossing Iceland in its entirety? Running In Iceland recently featured 28-year-old David Chong, who ran the Icelandic Ring Road this past summer, an 828 mile path. That’s with no support team, no special equipment — just David in his weather gear and running shoes, pushing a stroller filled with his personal effects as he transversed the path.

David says he decided to take the journey because, as a runner with 13 marathons to his name, Iceland had been “on [his] radar for awhile now.” He credits the strong link that his hometown, Seattle, has with the music scene in Iceland for putting Iceland in his main view. Though he originally planned to take a normal vacation, he decided to combine vacation with one of his passions, running, for a truly unique trip.

David took on almost 31 miles a day, despite the sometimes harsh weather conditions. He admits that many times it was tempting to give up and take a bus – but he never did. With the trusty stroller he nicknamed “Bob” by his side, he ran through the rain, wind, cold and leg injuries he developed. He had to be on the road for 10-12 hours per day, the longest day being from Vík to Kirkjubæjarklaustur at 45 miles and the shortest being from Skókar to Vík at 20 miles; on top of that, he often couldn’t find hostels or campgrounds and camped on the side of the road. But he said it was worth it to see the beautiful scenery, like the days of eastern fjords, which he says were “days of sunshine, and the views are fantastic! It was very beautiful out there!” Along the way he made friends of bikers, runners and campers, and says it was at times a bit isolating; but overall, an incredible journey towards self-discovery.

David doesn’t know if he’ll cross countries again, but he definitely plans to keep on running! Would you run across Iceland? Let us know in the comments!