This past week, the Faroe Islands welcomed adventure-seekers from all over the world to participate in its first ever mountain-based trail marathon (42.2 km) and ultra-marathon (65 km): Útilív Adventure Festival, held from 7-9 September.
At the inaugural Útilív Adventure Festival, around 200 participants from across the world and 20 locals took on the rugged rocky terrain, unforgiving waves and hidden surf breaks in a weekend of trail running, water sports and hikes, along with inspiring talks, parties and film screenings. Most participants also took part in a clean-up, where they, together with locals, picked up plastic and rubbish in a gorge.
“We’re thrilled with out the festival turned out,” says Theo Larn-Jones, founder and organiser. “People have really enjoyed themselves and the response has been fantastic. It’s been great to see so many people from all over the world gather for a weekend of fun and adventure in these awe-inspiring surroundings.”
High-profile runners participated in the trail marathon, including GB international Tom Owens, Nepalese trail runner and National Geographic Adventurer of the Year 2017, Mira Rai, plus Danish national trail runners Kristina Schou Madsen and Simon Grimstrup. Most participants were from the UK. Other participants came from the Faroe Islands, Germany, Italy, USA, Canada, Denmark, Belgium, France, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore.
In a unique Nordic twist to the event, ultra-marathon and marathon runners were greeted on the way by owners of the iconic Michelin-starred restaurant KOKS, which functioned as a checkpoint for weary runners 2.5 km into their challenge, serving them food and refreshments. This marked the first ever trail race in the world with a Michelin-starred checkpoint.
“We’re so pleased that KOKS wanted to get involved,” says Theo. “It was a great experiences for those runners to be greeted and served by a Michelin-starred restaurant in the mountains. We look forward to organising the festival in 2019 and hope to see as many, if not more, people join us in the Faroe Islands next year.”
The race also included a half-marathon and 13 km option. Registration for the Útilív Adventure Festival 2019 will open soon at www.utilivfestival.com.
This article was originally published on Faroeislands.fo
Words: Levi Hanssen
Pics: David Altabev – @davidaltabev