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Have any plans for December 13th, 2020? If not, you might consider signing up for The Antarctic Ice Marathon – the southernmost marathon in the world! If by any chance you’ve run a marathon on each of the other 6 continents, you might be one of few to join the ‘7 Continents Marathon Club’.

A formidable physical challenge and incredibly unique opportunity, the Antarctic marathon (42.2 km) occurs at the base of the Ellsworth mountains by Union Glacier, Antarctica. It is comprised of conditions including ice, snow, strong winds and an average temperature (with windchill) of -20ºC. The event occurs at an altitude of 700 metres. To get to the site, runners are flown into Union Glacier Camp from Punta Arenas, Chile. The camp is only accessible by air.

 

The scenery is no doubt indescribable – here’s a photo taken on a recent trip to the Antarctic Peninsula

 

So what kind of gear do you need for a challenge of this magnitude? Layered clothing, ski goggles, a facemask and trail runners are highly recommended along with feet/hand warmers. To prepare, some experience running on ice is recommended. This might be doable if you live in a country like Canada, but those who live in temperate climates have been known to train in giant industrial freezers! Other methods for preparation include running on a sandy beach (likely a welcome environment before heading to a place like Antarctica).

And of course, here at Altitude Athletic we can help you prepare for any challenge, on any continent. Our endurance classes are ideal for goals involving challenging environments and variable conditions. Read more about our classes here.

 

Gentoo penguins on the Antarctic Peninsula.

 

Sadly, there are no penguins there to cheer you on as no penguins live that far south. This is a shame given their undeniable cuteness!

The event record for men was set at the 2019 marathon by William Hafferty of the United States, who ran the race in an impressive 3:34:12! Meanwhile, Lenka Frycova of the Czech Republic dominated the female race with a time of 4:40:38. Last year, competitors came from all over the world, including Canada, France Denmark, China and Japan.

To learn more visit their site at: https://www.icemarathon.com

 

About the Author:

Jessica Miller is an avid adventurer and scientist. Having been to all 7 continents, she’s no stranger to traveling and is always looking for new expeditions to embark on.