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Icelandic Roots Fitness Challenge

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

Family, Fitness, Fun, Community: The IR Fitness Challenge opens for 2023!

Icelandic Roots is pleased to announce that registration for the fourth annual Fitness Challenge will open on June 5th, 2023. This eight-week event runs from June 17th, Iceland’s National Day, to August 12th (the weekend after the Deuce of August and Íslendingadagurinn).

Every year we have one focus for our only fundraiser. In 2021, it was the Ring Road of Iceland and the Golden Circle. 2022 saw us travel the Westfjords/Vestfirðir and Snæfellnes Peninsula.

This year, we shift away from Iceland and examine the emigration journey of the Icelanders to North America. Why did they leave Iceland, and how did they emigrate to North America?

As you progress on the mission, virtual postcards will be emailed to you. There are 30 different mileposts with a photograph and information about the places our ancestors settled, the interesting emigrants, and other important events that occurred then and now. In addition, check out your virtual surroundings at any point using Google Street View.

You do not need to be an athlete to participate!


Anyone can register — young, old, neighbors, friends, and family. This activity is open to the public; you do not have to be Icelandic or a member of Icelandic Roots to participate.

The cost of each mission is $25 USD.

Fundraising and Donations

The Fitness Challenge is our only fundraiser of the year. We use these funds to support Icelandic Roots’ charitable activities, including the Snorri program, Icelandic scholarships, local heritage grants, supporting and hosting cultural and educational events, and much more. There is also a link to donate whether you are or are not a registered participant.

Prizes To celebrate our nine years of Icelandic Roots, we will hold a random drawing of prizes for nine lucky participants at the end of the challenge.

Activities that count

Using the "My Virtual Mission" platform, this is a virtual challenge. All your daily activities during the eight weeks can be counted towards your distance. Some examples for thirty minutes of activity include:

Activity Miles(mi) Kilometres (km)

Yoga 0.6 mi 1.2 km

Gardening 1.2 mi 1.8 km

Housework 1.2 mi 1.8 km

Golfing 1.65 mi 2.64 km

Swim/Bike* 2.7 mi 4.2 km

Tennis/Running* 3.0 mi 4.8 km

* activity pace is at a moderate speed


Participants will have the choice between two routes:

  • North American Experience - This route will be the same distance as the Ring Road in Iceland, approximately 830 miles/1,336 kilometers. It begins in Shawano County, Wisconsin (Ljósavatn) and finishes in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

  • New Iceland - This route begins in Gimli, Manitoba and finishes on Hecla Island and is approximately the same distance as the Golden Circle route, 56 miles/90 kilometers.

You can choose to do either route or both as an individual or form a team.

The New Iceland route is perfect for an individual since you would only need to average 1 mi/1.6 km per day to complete the mission.

To complete the North American route in 56 days, you must average almost 15 mi/ 24 km per day. This is an excellent route for a team but can be completed by an individual.

There are many benefits to joining the Icelandic Roots Fitness Challenge 2023: Support Icelandic Roots’ charitable causes, build/maintain your fitness level and have fun with your family and friends while learning about our ancestor's emigration.

So start forming your teams and look for the registration link on our homepage, beginning June 5th!


Email us your questions or join the conversation on our Facebook Group.

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