Northwest Passage Marathon

mid July
Somerset Island, Nunavut

North America’s northernmost marathon, the Northwest Passage Marathon is a rough, wilderness trail for only the truly enthusiastic marathon runner.

The Northwest Passage Marathon is known as one of the world’s toughest marathons.

Held beneath the disorienting 24-hour arctic sun, the 50 kilometer ultra marathon, marathon, and a half marathon are held against the backdrop of the magnificent Northwest Passage on Somerset Island.

There are no roads, but a grueling trail marked with Inukshuks and flags across a terrain of pebble sized rocks. This really is the ultimate in wilderness marathons, in which runners have to wade through knee deep rivers and shallow creek crossings and share their space under the midnight sun with beluga whales, seals, muskox and polar bears.

If taking part in the marathon, be sure to be prepared for all weathers, specifically for winter conditions, as temperatures can range from several degrees below freezing to as much as 12 °C, and parts of the course can be very windy.

Be aware too that there are dramatic increases in elevation at various parts of the course.

Just as there are no roads on the marathon route, so there are no roads to Nunavut so visitors must arrive by scheduled air services from Ottawa, Ontario; Montréal, Québec; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Churchill, Manitoba; Edmonton, Alberta; and Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. Airlines flying to Nunavut from southern Canada include First Air, Canadian North, Air Canada Jazz, Air Inuit, Calm Air , and Kivalliq Air.

For more information about the Northwest Passage Marathon visit the Nunavut Tourism web site at

Top events and festivals in Nunavut

• Northwest Passage Marathon

• Nunavut Arts Festival

• Toonik Tyme Festival

All Territories

• Northwest Territories
• Nunavut
• Yukon


• Alberta
• British Columbia
• Manitoba
• New Brunswick
• Newfoundland & Labrador
• Nova Scotia
• Ontario
• Prince Edward Island
• Quebec
• Saskatchewan


Top Events Canada News Blog

Click here to check out our blog where we update our pages regularly to bring you the latest in event news across Canada

Nominate an Event

Click here to nominate a new event or festival if you think there is something important Top Events Canada has missed.