The race begins at midday with a 5km prologue through the small town of Hveragerdi, 28 miles east of Reykjavik. It’s a hive of geothermal activity. Pillars of steam rise from hot springs.
There is one runner who qualifies for the top prize. Englishman Jon Albon will become a millionaire overnight if he wins the race and reaches 100 miles in the process. If rival Ryan Atkins does it instead, the Canadian will pocket at least $100,000.
Albon and Atkins are professional athletes from obstacle course racing (OCR). They have dominated this growing sport since 2010. Albon is a five-time world champion over 15km while Atkins is a five-time winner of the World’s Toughest Mudder event (WTM).