Iceland hosts three trail races where runners can earn points to qualify for the famous Ultra-trail Du Mont-Blance (UTMB). These trail races take place in June and July. http://ultratrailmb.com/en/
Laugavegur Ultra Marathon
The Laugavegur Ultra Marathon is clearly the best know ultra trail race in Iceland. It is a 55km trail run along one of the most beautiful and popular hiking trail in Iceland. It starts in the lava at Landmannalaugar and goes up and down hills and mountains, across rivers, past glaciers, over the sands and into the woods. The landscape could not be more varied. The race is held in mid-July and had 361 finishers 2015.
The Laugavegur Ultra Marathon gives 1 UTMB point to runners who finish the race.
The Hengill Ultra trail run takes its name from the Hengill volcano, which last erupted about 2000 years ago. The race offers three distances: 81km, 50km and 24km. The 81km race is the longest ultra marathon held in Iceland. All distances begin and end in Hveragerði, a small village famous for its hot springs, 40 km from Reykjavik. Running paths are variant, some narrow and steep reaching mountain Skeggi (810 m) as the highest point. The race is held at the end of July and had 5 finishers in 2015.
The 81km run gives 4 points in qualifying for UTMB.
Mt. Esja Ultra
Distance : 77 km, 42.2 km and 14 km.
UTMB points : 2 for 77 km, 1 for 42.2 km.
Mt. Esja is the mountain watching over Reykjavik and it is a great place for a hike or a run with clearly marked paths. The Esja mountain range is located just 25 minutes away from Reykjavik by car.
In the middle of June the Mt. Esja Ultra race takes place, offering three distances: 14 km, 42.2 km and 77 km. Participants in the 77 km race run a 7 km loop 11 times, with total elevation gain of 6,600m. Racers have to run the 7 km loop twice for the 14km. Total elevation gain in the Mt. Esja marathon is 3,500m and it is has the only mountain marathon held in Iceland. The marathon had 13 finishers in 2015 and the 77km ultra race had 5 finishers.
Mt. Esja marathon gives 1 UTMB point and the Mt. Esja Ultra gives 2 UTMB points.