Hardangervidda Marathon is not a regular marathon where you run on asphalt with a relatively flat racing profile. In Eidfjord we aim for the extreme – running on mountain trails, river crossings, snow, ice, swamp, mud and not least the brutal climb for 2 – 3 kilometers from 0 – 1200 meters starting at the bottom of the Simadalen valley. For many, this climb is experienced as a race within the race, a brutal hillrace in the midst of a full range cross country race.
Along the way you pass both the Hardangerjøkulen glacier and Vøringsfossen waterfall as well as the descent through the narrow and spectacular Hjølmodalen valley which is one of the real gems in Hardanger. The runners can expect a hard, brutal and beautiful race with the Hardangervidda mountain plateau as a backdrop.
We advice all participants to book accommodation in Eidfjord from Friday August 31st to Sunday September 2nd. For an overview of the various accommodation possibilities, take a look here. During registration Friday night or Saturday morning you’ll receive a bag with your startnumber. The bag is a special needs bag, you can fill it with changing shoes, favorite drink or food you particularly like, or simply whatever you want. You’ll have access to the special needs bag at the food station at Fossli or at Hjølmaberget before the descend.
The full distance marathon starts in Eidfjord at 10 am. The half marathon starts by Måbø museum in the Måbødalen valley at 12 noon. The start from Eidfjord is easy with 9 km of flat tarmac. There’s a drink station before you start on the brutal uphill. It takes you 1200 vertical meters above the fjord and sea level. The terrain is steep and muddy. As you approach to the top of this hill you will see the Hardangerjøkulen glacier on your left hand side. At the plateau, the terrain is swampy and there’s a trail. After a few kilometers on the plateau, you will pass a small and nice mountain farm.
The terrain towards Fossli/Vøringsfossen is quite easy but very slippery. Take it easy in this section. Full distance runners have a food station at Fosstromme where you have access to your “special needs bag”. You will meet friendly crew and this is a great place to fill your backpack with food and fresh water. After a short section of asphalt, a long hard climb waits for you. The half marathon runners will enter this track at this point after their brutal start up the hill called Måbøgaldane, there’s also a drink station here. This section is experienced by many previous participants as the heaviest part of this race. This terrain absorbs power from your legs and life will again feel meaningful. Save your energy and motivation for this section.
After a few kilometers in the swamp, the terrain will progressively become easier, the last few kilometers towards the food station at Hjølmaberget (34 km) is flat. The downhill-run in Hjølmodalen will increase your knowledge about anatomy, if you are not aware that there are muscles on the front of the thigh, you will be very aware after this leg.
After 6 km of downhill running you will be back on asphalt for the sprint to the finishline in Øvre Eidfjord. (small village).
Due to poor coverage during the steep climb up the Simadal mountain and down the Hjølmo valley, the GPS might not detect/register in these areas, so it might not show exact distance correctly.