Thirty-six athletes coming from 17 countries around the entire world braved severe conditions, sub-zero to be exact, to compete in a 26-mile marathon at the bottom of the world. Many might call the race foolish, but regardless the start line was the Union Glacier Antarctic base camp near the southern Ellsworth Mountains which is located around 60 miles from the South Pole.
Each person taking part had to be properly protected, as the harsh temperature would not look after anyone who would be struggling and would definitely not be welcoming to the weak. Each competitor had to have their skin full protected from the sub-zero temperatures, any exposed skin would be frozen in a matter of seconds.
Some of the clothing included a full balaclava, used in this situation for its intended purpose instead of some crime. Moreover, the racers had goggles to protect their eyes, gloves and mittens, long johns, waterproof running trousers and they also had to have many layers of thermal clothing.
However, for some of the athletes the plunging temperatures and generally harsh conditions was part of the appeal of the marathon. These athletes are after the extreme experience, very similar to those jumping of plans and buildings looking to push their bodies to the extreme.
Many of the athletes run on mountains, jungles and even deserts and this is just completing the complete set of experiences for them. Luckily, the competitors were blessed with favourable weather which in turn produced the running conditions as the marathon got started.
With the energy that the racers would lose throughout the race, many were making sure that they were able to just finish. Not taking the risk of pushing too hard and letting themselves wither later when the harsh conditions get the better of them.
Yvonne Brown of London
The winner for the male competitors was Clement Thevenet from France, who took the lead as soon as the race got underway. The private banker was never under pressure from any of the other racers and dug deep do go on and set a Ice Marathon record time of 3 hours 47 minutes, this was around half an hour faster than his closest rival.
The women’s title went to Yvonne Brown of London who set a time of 4 hours 26 minutes. Surprisingly both winners were not from nation’s that get too cold, and the wins must have been down to supreme physicality and stamina but careful preparation.