2010 Antarctic Ice Marathon took place today way down south on the frozen continent. Reportedly there were 40 competitors from 19 different countries taking part in the event, which saw them running a full 26.2 miles near the Union Glacier base. In preparation for the run, large trucks smoothed out a course, and competitors ran two laps on that course, which was mostly made up of hard packed snow.
The official website for the race has posted the results with Bernardo Fonseca of Brazil claiming the overall win with a time of 4 hours, 20 minutes, 31 seconds. Marc de Keyser of Belgium was second in the men's category, four minutes back, and Steve Hibbs of the U.S. was third, 26 minutes off the pace. In the Women's group the win went to Clare Apps of the UK, with a time of 4 hours, 47 minutes and 37 seconds. Catherine Due of Denmark was second at 5:34:38 and American Sarah Oliphant was third, crossing the finish line with a time of 6:32:48.
The fun isn't over just yet however, as tomorrow will be the 100km (62.1 mile) Ultra-marathon, which has a smaller field of competitors who are willing to endure the Antarctic cold for hours on end, just to run an ultra on that continent. As the race website says, this opens up the opportunity for a "Seven Continents Club" of ultra-runners who have completed an epic race on every continent.
Seems like a great event for cold weather competitors. Not sure I'd like to go all the way down south just to run a marathon, let alone an ultra, but seems like as good an excuse as any to visit Antarctica. But really, I don't need an excuse. I just want to go. :)