Extreme runner from Gdynia becomes double record breaker after running across Iceland
An extreme runner has broken two records after becoming the fastest man to run across Iceland.
Przemysław Szapar, 42 from Gdynia, broke the records after going from the east coast to the west coast in both the ‘EW traverse’ which took 12 days and ‘The Great Traverse of Iceland’, which took him from the farthest point on the east coast to the farthest point on the west coast, a feat he accomplished in 17 days.
Setting out on June 30th he first drove along his route strategically placing packages of supplies that he could pick up along his 17 day trek.
Despite Iceland’s position south of the Artic ocean, Szapar was running every day in temperatures of around 30 degrees Celsius.
The centre of the country is largely untouched by civilisation and has few roads or routes making the trek across difficult terrain as much of a mental battle as a physical one.
Szapar told his local paper Dziennik Bałtycki: “I think if I was 35, I wouldn't have done it. Back then, I took up very demanding physical challenges, now the mental aspect was very important.”
The distance across Iceland from Cape Gerpir and Cape Bjargtangar was just over 1,000 km and Szapar travelled an average of 61 km per day. Each day he was carrying a backpack that weighed about 14 kg.
He began his trek along an old fishing trail at the farthest reachable point of Cape Gerpir, reaching the mountain huts of Dreki in less than five days.
Writing on ‘fastestknowntime.com’ Szapar said: “Then I had two options, either on the F910 trail, the road through the desert, marked with posts, or along the old trail, also marked with posts, to the largest glacier in Europe, Ventajókull.
“I chose the southern variant because there I could meet the snow that I needed to drink. Trail F910 from Dreka, passes rivers but considering the unprecedented heat 35 C, these rivers were not there.”
After running through the centre of the country, which he described as the most picturesque part of his journey, he returned to some seldom used roads to reach the west coast in 12 days.
Szapar then continued on to the western most point of the country ending his journey at the lighthouse at Cape Bjargtangar.
He said: “I want to explore the mystery of the world, get to the heart of humanity, find the answer to the most important questions ... I will probably chase this bunny for a long time.”