Arctic Council Active launches ‘Anniversary Relay Race’

22 September 2021
Learn more about the Arctic Council while logging kilometers in a joint effort to move with our Arctic fox through the Council’s history

Are you ready to lace up those running shoes, strap on the bike helmet, or prepare the activity that gets you moving? Arctic Council Active is calling all active Arctic inhabitants and enthusiasts to join as we launch goal #2 of the initiative – the Arctic Council Anniversary Relay Race. This time, we send the Arctic fox, prominently featured in the Arctic Council logo, on a journey through the history of the Arctic Council.

The Anniversary Relay Race will begin on 22 September, during the month the Arctic Council celebrates its 25th anniversary. The first leg of the relay begins in Ottawa, the city the Council’s funding document was signed. From there, the fox will run across the Arctic from one place that has been important in the history of the Arctic Council to the next. Each time Arctic Council Active participants cover the distance from one location to the next, the fox will stop to learn more about why this specific location has played a role in the Council’s development, and meet Arctic Council Active ambassadors along the way.

Who can participate?

We encourage anyone living in an Arctic State or those who are enthusiastic about the Arctic to participate.

How can I participate?

Track your exercise as normal, and log it in our Arctic Council Active tracker. Here you will see our progress towards each leg of the relay. Your information will not be shared publicly.

We encourage you to share your activities on social media using #ArcticCouncilActive. Pictures and any facts or information about the area you exercise in are also greatly encouraged. Whether it is a walk around the neighborhood on a sunny day, a run that pushed you to your limit or a rewarding hiking trip – we look forward to learning about your activities.

Relay itinerary

1. Ottawa – The establishment of the Council

The starting place for the anniversary relay is in Ottawa, the city the Arctic Council was born in on 19 September 1996. Here the fox will learn about the origins of the Council.

First leg: Ottawa to Utqiagvik 4917 km

2. Utqiagvik – New Permanent Participant organizations

From Ottawa, the fox runs to Utqiagvik (Barrow), where two new Indigenous Permanent Participant organizations were accepted at the second Arctic Council Ministerial meeting: Arctic Athabaskan Council and Gwich’in Council International, bringing the number of Permanent Participants in the Arctic Council up to six.

Leg two: Utqiagvik to Rovaniemi 4676 km

3. Rovaniemi – The launch of UArctic

From Utqiagvik the fox takes on a long journey towards Rovaniemi. Here, the University of the Arctic was officially launched in 2001. The fox will learn about UArctic and celebrate its 20th anniversary.

Leg three: Rovaniemi to Reykjavik 2165 km

4. Reykjavik – Milestone Working Group assessments

The next destination for the fox is Reykjavik. Some of the most influential reports – Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, Arctic Marine Strategic Plan, Arctic Human Development Report – were released at the Reykjavik Ministerial meeting in 2004. The fox will learn about the role of the Working Groups and their influence to bring Arctic issues on the global agenda.

Leg four: Reykjavik to Nuuk 1427 km

5. Nuuk – The first legally binding agreement

The fox continues to Nuuk. Here she will learn about how the Council is gaining more and more strength as high-level representatives, such as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attended the Ministerial meeting in Nuuk and Ministers for the first time sign an international agreement that was negotiated under the auspices of the Arctic Council.

Leg five: Nuuk to Kiruna 3080 km

6. Kiruna - Observers

From Nuuk, the journey continues to Kiruna where the fox learns about how the Kiruna Ministerial is today known for accepting many new Observers to the Council.

Leg six: Kiruna to Tromsø 171 km

7. Tromsø – The Arctic Council Secretariat

The next stop is Tromsø, where the Council’s Secretariat has been located since 2013. The fox will learn about how the Secretariat was established and what work it conducts today.

Leg seven: Tromsø to Moscow 1807 km

8. Moscow – Celebration and outlook

The journey ends in Moscow, where the fox will meet the current Chairmanship team of the Arctic Council and get to know more about the Russian Chairmanship plans.

Total distance anniversary relay race: 18,243

Join the Arctic Council Active community using #ArcticCouncilActive