In June 2015, I will run across Iceland from the south coast along the Atlantic Ocean to the north coast on the Arctic Ocean to bring attention to the responsibility of outdoor enthusiasts—runners, climbers, skiers, mountain bikers, cyclists—all of us—to serve as role models and as stewards of our planet in the face of our current climate crisis.
Over more than two decades as a teacher, writer, and runner, I have taught many hundreds of students, written books, raised animals, grown my own food, traveled, run among countless mountains, climbed crags and frozen waterfalls, competed in ultra marathons across the U.S., and shared a rich and intentionally adventurous life with my wife and son. But something is still missing—how can all that I do be of use to the larger world in this era of climate change.
As I said in a recent conversation with one of my students, this time we have is not to prepare for the next thing—this is it. This is life, right now. What are you doing with it?
The route I’ve chosen makes a sweeping 275-kilometer arc across the Kjölur Plateau in the Icelandic highlands. Planned as a 3-day semi-supported run, the route follows an ancient Viking path along both trails and roads among rivers, waterfalls, glaciers, thermal springs, and through a high desert.
I have chosen Iceland for this project because the Arctic is among the places on earth where climate change is most apparent and most pronounced. Recent years have seen open water at the North Pole, melting permafrost in Siberia and Alaska, polar bears losing their habitat, and coastal villages imperiled across the Arctic. Iceland itself has seen some glaciers retreat nearly 1000 meters over the past twenty years.
The project depends upon the support of the outdoor adventure community. Please stop by the website and make a donation. Thanks!