Here is the gear I wore during the 2015 Polar Circle Marathon & Half Marathon. I found a lot of tips from this link here: http://trailandultrarunning.com/5-unlikely-tips-for-winter-running/
For the marathon, I wore a running beanie made by Nike, and a Buff neck warmer (until it froze solid and I was forced to drop it off). The Buff neck warmer kept my neck warm, and should have pulled up over my face comfortably. The high winds kept blowing it down and it ended up becoming so frozen due to my breath and sweat, that it was stuck halfway around my face. Once I was off the glacier, the combination of my jacket hood and the running beanie were enough to keep my head, ears, and neck warm. I wore a pair of running glasses made by Boston Bill to keep the wind and snow out of my eyes, but this backfired as they kept fogging up instantly. If there is icy wind, I would recommend researching a better solution.
Half marathon – I switched things up after what had happened to my neck warmer the day prior. I went with a full head hood made by Nike that was fitted nicely onto my face, and could be easily pulled down around my chin. A thin dri-fit running beanie was worn on top of my head over the hood, to add warmth and keep everything in place. No wind gave me any issues at all with keeping my head gear in place and I never felt uncomfortable. I wish I had gone with this set up for the marathon. I did not wear any glasses during the half marathon.
This was probably the best combination I could have come up with. I never felt “cold” during either of these runs, even with the insanity that happened on the glacier during the first race. The Hyperwarm top that I had on under my jacket fits comfortably while still allowing me to move my arms in the repeated running motions just fine. The Shieldrunner jacket cuts through every gust of wind that was thrown at it, including the 30+ mph that I encountered in the Faroe Islands before I was in Greenland. If it is a sunny day without much wind, you might need to shed the Hyperwarm top to something thinner at one of the drop stations.
I was satisfied with what I wore on my legs, although the training pants I wore over my compression tights were a bit bulky for my likes. Having anything that isn’t tight to my skin just seems a bit foreign. I never got cold and I don’t feel like my pants impeded my running so I guess there isn’t much I would have changed, except I believe I could have shed the training pants and just stayed in my compression tights after the halfway point. You just get so warm running that as long as you keep moving and the conditions are not brutal, you should be fine without being over dressed. The difference between being on the glacier, and then just the road back to town made this feel like two completely different races in one.
I wore gaiters for the first time ever, and was satisfied with them. They didn’t feel cumbersome, and kept snow out of my shoes while on the glacier. The Yaktrax definitely did their jobs, as I only fell once while wearing them and that was because I went downhill on solid ice way too fast. The rest of the time wearing them, I felt like I could run on ice and snow as fast as I wanted to, just like I was running down a regular road. The Injinji trail socks were also great, no blisters and my toes never got cold. I think the combination of the socks and Yaktrax made it so wind was not blowing through my shoes and freezing my toes.
I wore two pairs of gloves. First, I put on a lightweight pair of running gloves, then I put a heavier thermal fleece pair over them. I also had a pair of those hand warmer packets that you can put inside your gloves and these were good for about ten hours. Whenever I felt my fingers start to get cold, I wiggled them out of my gloves and put them against the hand warmers. It was annoying to have to do this every so often while running, but it was better than having pain in my fingers, which usually bothers me a lot in cold weather.