Tom Aaker (USA) - Standard Charterd Bank
Juan Antonio Alegre (Spain)
Sportsman who specialises in very long distance endeavours. Thirty-six year old Juan has walked the entire distance of the Great Wall of China (5,000 km); cycled over 20 mountain passes of 5,000 metres+ in the Andes and Himalayan mountains; and cycled across Asia and Europe (from Macao to Lisbon). During the latter journey, he had to cross the Gobi, Baluchistán and Taklamakan deserts, as well as the mythical Silk Road and Karakorum Highway. He has additionally run various mountain races in Spain, Europe, America and Australia.
Peter Bell (Northern Ireland)
Enjoyed a running career consisting mainly of middle distance, road and cross country events. During the past ten years, however, Peter has concentrated on fell running (competing in mountain events at all distances) and marathons. He is also currently competing in an adventure racing series in Ireland. Now 52 years of age, Peter's goal is to complete the events necessary to achieve the marathon grand slam, hopefully within a five-year period.
Liubov Bleykh (Russia)
Completed 95 marathons and three ultra marathons since her first event in 1989. Liubov has raced in a variety of locations, including New York, Paris, Slovakia, Hamburg, South Africa, Antarctica (King George Island), Praha, Tiberia, Seville, Barcelona, Bangkok, Los Angeles, Alaska, Tromso, Havana, Xiamen, Lake Myvatn, Auckland, Bermuda and Athens - as well numerous marathons in Russia, Ukraine and Byelorussia. Know affectionately as the “walrus”, she ran her King George Island marathon in Antarctica in t-shirt and shorts. A 60-year old, she has four children and three grandchildren.
Bobby Bostic (USA)
Five-time ironman finisher who has also completed more than 50 marathons and ultramarathons, taking second place in the 1999 Death Valley Badwater Marathon. Bobby won a trip to the North Pole Marathon via a competition held by YourRunning.com and he'll use it for his annual fund-raising drive to benefit Challenged Athletes. As the winner of the competition, Bobby will write a blog about training for the polar race, which will appear on YourRunning.com. He'll also be posting audio reports to his blog, and plans to shoot some fun-spirited videos of his training. He has plans for training in an institutional freezer. Bobby's Running Blog can be found at: http://www.yourrunning.com/blog/baselbutt.
Steve Boswell (Great Britain / Wales) - Slalom Globetrotters Team
A keen sportsman whose first accolade in sport came at age twelve when named as Great Britain’s youngest black belt in Kyokushinkai karate. Since then, Steve has been actively involved in rugby, orienteering and cross-country running, and has twice completed the London Marathon. In recent years, he has become passionate about rock climbing and snowboarding, travelling through Europe and Canada to pursue these activities. In 2003, Steve successfully completed the Marathon des Sables, hailed as the “Toughest Footrace on Earth”, running 151 miles in 6 days across the thankless Sahara Desert and raising some £10,000 for charity. A lifetime’s physical exertion led to Steve having bilateral hip resurfacing operations in 2005-2006, from which he is now recovering. The 39-year-old joined the British Army aged 16 and has had a varied career serving in the UK, Germany, Canada, Kenya, Belize and Bosnia. He qualified as a Physical Training Instructor in 1989, and in 1999 he specialised as a Remedial Instructor, providing Exercise Rehabilitation at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Unit, Headley Court, for 5 years. Steve is currently based at the Army Training Regiment, Lichfield, where he is the Warrant Officer Class II overseeing physical training for new recruits to the Royal Signals and Royal Engineers. Having managed the world’s hottest, Steve is ready to undertake “The World’s Coolest Marathon”. He is keen to “test” the new metal hips, and where better to do so than the 2007 North Pole marathon? See www.keepmeactive.com for his diary.
Miguel Caselles (Spain)
Completed marathons on all seven continents (Antartica Marathon 03, Ultramaratón de los Cañones 03, Maratón Alpino Galarleiz 03, Great Tibetan Marathon 03, K42 Villa La Angostura 03, Sahara Marathon 04, Six Foot Track Marathon 04) and won the Copper Canyon Marathon in Mexico as well finishing the Fuji Mountain Race, Japan. Miguel has participated in more than forty expeditions, some to mountains of 8,000 metres. He additionally completed the first race inside underground tunnels (Madrid, 40km) and made the first crossing by skates of Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia (the world's largest salt flat and 3,650 metres high). Miguel has made press trips all around the globe and won several awards for his articles. He also produced the film documentary “MARATONAUTAS”. His intention is to run the NPM slowly using a small camera to film the race.
Sean Cornwell (Great Britain & Italy)
Completed only one previous marathon - the London Marathon - in a respectable 3:30 eight years ago. He was a student at the time with way too much time on his hands and Sean confesses that the odd jog has been all that he's managed since then. However, he's always looking to add to the 94 countries he has visited (the mythical ton is not far off!) and he started thinking that marathons in strange locations might be a challenging way to do so. When he recently went to the annual World Press Photo Exhibition and came across photos of runners at the Sahara Marathon, he was inspired to combine it with the North Pole Marathon and raise money to combat global warming under the banner 'fire and ice'. He's very glad (and relieved) that he has a few friends from his his time at Insead Business School joining him in this absurdly ludicrous endeavour. Sean is 31, half-Italian, half-English, and works in marketing for Google. Outside of work and his new number one hobby of marathon running in extreme locations, he dabbles in photography, has his own Internet company, and enjoys watching football (switching allegiance to Italy at opportune moments).
Miles Cudmore (Great Britain / England)
Completed Venice, Berlin, Rome, London (x 2), Shakespeare, Neolithic, New Hampshire and Abingdon Marathons since 2002 when he first caught the marathon bug. Miles has a love of travel and the outdoors, and lived in Venezuela and Kuwait before returning to the UK in 2001. He is 41 years old, married to a keen folk singer (no link to spending hours out of the house running!) and is a technical manager for an oil company. He is more familiar with deserts than the cold, and is relishing the opportunity to run in the Arctic. He will be running for CARE International UK. After travelling, living and working in many countries, he is keen to raise money for a cause that addresses long-term health and welfare improvements in the poorest parts of the world. His efforts for charity can be supported via http://www.justgiving.com/miles_north_pole.
Marianne DeMarco (USA)
A 33-year-old New Yorker who was surprised to discover how tough it was to start running again after 15 years absence from the sport. Moreover, after running the Boston Marathon at age 18 years, Marianne stopped running altogether and decided to take it up again only after learning about the North Pole Marathon. She will run the Marathon to raise money for Inwood House, the 175-year-old non-profit organization where she works. Inwood House (www.inwoodhouse.com) provides a place for pregnant teenage girls to live who are otherwise homeless or in foster care. Marianne will specifically raise money for the maternity residence via a "gamblers choice": donors will wager the amount they'll give based on Marianne's finishing time. If she doesn't manage to finish the race, then all bets are returned and she loses all the money. When not working or training she plays accordion with the world's only 18 piece all-female accordion ensemble, the Main Squeeze Orchestra (www.mainsqueezeorchestra.com).
Katy Disley (Great Britain / England) - Standard Chartered Bank Team
Francesco Galanzino (Italy)
An accomplished ultramarathon runner and free climbing teacher who has finished in top positions in many adventure races around the globe. In 2006, Francesco finished second in both the Sahara Race (Egypt) and the Gobi March (China) as well as third in the Atacama Crossing (Chile). All three events are 250km self-sufficent stage races. He previously finished third in the Raid Tenerè Passion (Niger), fourth in the Verdon Trail Adventure (France), seventh in the Raid Sahara (Mauritania), forty-sixth in the Marathon des Sables and first in the 2005 International Night Raid (France). In Alpinism , he has covered in excess of 100 rock climbing routes TD+/ED in the Italian and French Alps and more than 50 ice-climbing routes TD+. His mountainering expeditions include Parinacote 6,350 meters and Huayna Potosì 6,088 metres (Bolivia, 2003); Spantik Peak 7.021 metres attempt (Pakistan, 2001) and Gorges de Todra, Pilier Cochon (Morocco). Francesco is raising money for the Children of Tibetan Refugees via his particpation in the North Pole Marathon.
Nick Gibbins (Great Britain / England)
A 32-year old surgeon who spent his youth playing rugby and trying to find the position which involved the least amount of running. Nevertheless, Nick says he was convinced to take up triathlons and "promptly took to them like a brick to water", but persevered and has now competed in Ironman races and raced in the European championships in 2006. Nick believes that endurance events actually hurt a lot less than the ‘sprint’ distances. Having completed only one ‘stand alone’ marathon with an injury, it was with trepidation that he teamed up with Phil Stapleton to complete the Extreme Feat challenge – four of the most extreme marathons in the world – to raise money for CHASE children’s hospice. Due to Nick's job and the time of year the North Pole Marathon is scheduled, training is done at interesting times of the day and he is looking forward to running in the daylight. To learn more about his challenge, visit http://www.chasecare.org.uk/how-can-i-help/extreme_feat.html.
Alison Gill (Great Britain / England)
Triple Olympian at rowing - 1988, 92 and 96 Olympic games - and currently a Business Psychologist and Entrepreneur by profession. Alison retired from Olympic sport to start her own business. She has a passion for people and in understanding the mechanics of how they develop themselves to be the best they can be. Sport is currently Alison's relaxation therapy and yet helps to push her out of her comfort zone. Alison acknowledges that every time she undertakes a challenge she learns something new about herself. Challenges outside of rowing are new to her however. In 2005 Alison climbed Mont Blanc, in 2006 she completed an Ironman traithlon, and, in 2007 she will run three marathons - one on skis, one in snowshoes and one in trainers. She has never run a stand alone marathon: being a rower, she feels she is not built for marathon running. So why the North Pole Marathon for a debut? Despite hating the cold, she has simply always wanted to go to the North Pole. Two weeks later, Alison will run the London Marathon and she ponders which of the two will be fastest, most exhilarating, most difficult and most enjoyable?
Paul Gray (Northern Ireland)
Completed four marathons since his debut at the distance in London in 2005. Paul started recreational jogging in 1999 as a replacement for gym-based activities and built up his weekly mileage slowly. After joining local club, Pegasus AC, he was talked into doing a local 5-mile race in May 2002 (the same week his youngest daughter Anna was born). It wasn't long before he moved up in distance to regularly compete in half-marathons. Paul enjoys the focus involved in training for a marathon, but the idea of completing one at the North Pole is beyond his wildest dreams. In fact, Paul won a Runner's World (UK) photography competition to gain a free place on the trip and he now hopes to raise funds for the NSPCC though his involvement in the race. An electrician with the local health trust, Paul is married to Lynda and has three children - Jessie (8), Harry (6) and Anna (4) - all of whom are behind him.
Robert Greaves (Great Britain / England) - Slalom Globetrotters Team
Avid sportsperson who competed for Great Britain at the Junior World Biathlon Championships, Finland, in 1990. Now aged 36, he has since competed in many marathons and ultra distance events, including four Karrimor mountain marathons, two Harz mountain marathons, the Biel 100km road race, the Cyprus Walk-a-Bout mountain race and two team events through Death Valley, USA. Robert joined the British Army aged sixteen and became a Physical Training Instructor three years later. He served with various regiments and units in this role, before undertaking further training in Rehabilitation and Exercise Therapy. He now leads the Rehabilitation of injured Service Personnel at his current unit in Cardiff, as well as those based in the surrounding area. In order to further enhance his knowledge in this area, Robert is completing a BSc (Hons) in Sports and Injury Rehabilitation at Surrey University. He currently participates in orienteering and squash competitions and enjoys climbing, skiing, canoeing, cycling, mountaineering and general fitness. Other interests include DIY, dog walking, travelling, eating out, following football and rugby teams and collecting Army memorabilia.
Sean Greaves (Great Britain / England) - Slalom Globetrotters Team
A fan of fitness and adventure who has climbed Mount Kenya, Mount Kinanbalu, completed the Inca Trail and finished charity runs along the Florida Keys and on the Island of St Kitts. Sean competes at cross country and alpine skiing each year and has attended training camps in Norway for the last two years. Closer to home, he completed the London Marathon in 2001 for charity but found it a touch busy amongst 25 000 competitors. He now wishes to compete in a more selective marathon which involves his favourite surroundings, plenty of snow. When not training and keeping fit, Sean enjoys travelling, reading, gardening (due to its necessity) and pondering whether he will ever get his slowly rusting classic car through an MOT after being off the road for 11 years. Sean joined the Royal Navy aged sixteen as an apprentice and gained a HNC in Electronics on the completion of his training. During his career he served on board HMS Intrepid, HMS Birmingham and HMS Somerset and left the Royal Navy in 1996 after 11 years service. He then enrolled at Birmingham University to study Dentistry and graduated in 2001. Finding himself at a loose end and still trying to satisfy his adventurous side, he decided to join his brother in the British Army as a Dental Officer. Having not completely given up on education altogether, Sean gained Membership of the Faculty of General Dental Practice (Royal College of Surgeons) in 2005.
Susan Holliday (Great Britain / England)
A school administration officer and firefighter who has completed the London Marathon (3:40) and the Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert. Having lived in Calgary for two years, Sue is not a stranger to inclement weather even through she does most her training indoors on a treadmill. She is immensely looking forward to experiencing the beauty of the North Pole having read a feature article about the event in Runner's World magazine.
David Horsley (Great Britain / England) - Team Raw Feet
Completed an extreme marathon on each of the seven continents in the past six years, with the North Pole Marathon completing his ‘Grand Slam’. Dave is collaborating on the production of his first book, Extreme Running – a profile of 25 of the best foot races on the planet, which will be published later this year. He ran cross-country as a schoolboy, and for his college, before graduating to the marathon. The South Downs Way was his first introduction to the pleasure of ultra racing after which he has never looked back. He has a taste for adventure and has completed many of the classic ultras including Comrades, Marathon Des Sables and the Dead Sea Ultra.
Kapil Johri (Great Britain / England) - Standard Chartered Bank Team
Myung Joon (“MJ”) Kim (South Korea & USA)
The oldest, and, most recent person to complete the Seven Summits, which are the highest peaks on each continent. When MJ's not climbing the likes of Mount Everest or Carstensz Pyramid, he likes to run marathons and has completed 20 marathons so far including two Boston Marathons. The 64-year-old father of four from Los Angeles is a long-standing member of both the Korean American Running Team (KART) and the Korean American Alpine Club (KAAC). He came to the United States from Korea in the early 1970s. A founder/director of Saehan Bank, he is also the CEO of Prime Business Credit and the owner of Fiesta Fashion. MJ's latest physical goal is to join the Grand Slam Club by completing a marathon on each continent plus the North Pole. He will be accompanied by his son-in-law, Jeff Rutherford.
Juergen Kuhlmey (Germany)
Completed an amazing 280 marathons all over the world. Juergen tries to run a a marathon or ultra event every weekend "to avoid training" which he does not like. He completed marathons on all continents in 1997 and is a Director of the 100 Marathon Club of Germany. Juergen has run for 20 years and his favourite marathons have been: Antactica, Mount Everest, Mongolia, Inca Trail, Nanisivik and the Eis-Marathon over the Baikal-Lake.
Roberto Liano (Mexico)
Succesfully completed eleven marathons to date, including four Mexico City Marathons, three New York City Marathons, one Boston Marathon and one Chicago Marathon. Roberto has alo run the Antarctica Marathon and the Great Wall Marathon (China). In addition, he has climbed four of the highest mountains in Mexico as well as Kilimanjaro (Africa). Although he has not run a marathon for the past two years, Roberto has been training for several months to get ready for the North Pole Marathon.
Thomas Maguire (Ireland)
Irish international ultra athlete and record holder at 100km (62.1 miles) with a best time of 7:05:06. Thomas competed at both the 2006 European and World 100km Championships, finishing in the top 12 at global level. Following the North Pole Marathon, Thomas will captain Ireland's 100km team at the 2007 Anglo Celtic Plate in Edinburgh and the 2007 European & World 100km Championships in Holland.
Kym McConnell (New Zealand) - Team Raw Feet
Competitor in extreme events for nearly twenty years, including numerous mountain marathons and ultramarathons. Kym has run an extreme marathon on every continent including ultra-distance races in the Himalayas, Amazon, Antarctica and Sahara. He has has also competed in various multi-disciplinary competitions including a 39th placing in the World Multisport Championships (a 243km run/cycle/kayak race which traverses the Southern Alps of New Zealand). Kym recently published his first book 'Tibet Overland', written following a 2000km mountain bike crossing of Tibet, for which the Dalai Lama kindly wrote the foreword. His second book, Extreme Running, which profiles 25 of the best foot races on the planet, will be published later this year.
Karen Michelsen (Canada)
Completed twenty-five marathons and two ultra marathons in thirteen countries. During the 2003 SARS crisis in Toronto, Karen decided she wanted to run several marathons in different countries if allowed to travel again. At the time, she was working in the Intensive Care Unit at St. Michael's Hospital caring for the most critically ill patients who had SARS. During these subsequent running adventures, Karen has had the opportunity to climb mountains and bridges, participate in triathlons, bike, and kayak races, and experience the unique customs of different cultures. She has written several running articles for the Running Room magazine, done a variety of volunteer work at racing events and been a pacer both in Canada and the USA. The North Pole is a place she has always wanted to visit and Karen is looking forward to this unique experience.
Finbarr Murphy (Ireland)
A 36-year-old university lecturer from Limerick who has completed three marathons to date. With a background in running and triathlons, Finbarr admits to absolutely no snow / ice running experience and believes his best preparation is to run races in mud during the Irish cross-country season. His latest marathon was Dublin in October 2006 where he posted a time of 3:03. Finbarr is raising money for the Irish Cancer Society though his participation in the North Pole Marathon.
Andrew Murray (Great Britain / Scotland)
A 26-year-old medical doctor who has run several marathons, including Everest and Kilimanjaro. He recently finished sixth in the New Zealand 24-Hour Championships and climbed the three highest peaks in Africa. Taking time off work to go backpacking ths year, Andrew intends to run the Marathon des Sables immediately prior to the North Pole Marathon and is also set to climb the highest peaks in South America, North America and Europe. He enjoys any sport or outdoor activity whatsoever and also recently learnt to surf and scuba dive in Australia.
Seow Kong Ng (Malaysia)
Completed 36 marathons so far in more than 15 countries, including New York, Chicago, Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Honolulu, Prague, Helsinki, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Macau, Malaysia and Singapore. On the adenture side, Seow Kong ran the Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon in Nepal in May 2006 (starting from the base camp at 5,300 metres altitude) in around 7 hours. He also finished the Great Wall Marathon in China in May 2005 in exactly 6 hours and a mountain marathon in Hangzhou, China in 8 hours. Seow Kong's goal is to run at least 50 marathons, including the top 10 road marathons in the world (he only has Boston and London left now), and also run marathons in the Sahara Desert, North Pole and Antarctica. His best marathon time is 3:32.
Paul Richer (Great Britain / England)
Completed marathons in London (twice), New York, Reykjavik and The Midnight Sun in Tromso, Norway. Paul aims to use the North Pole Marathon as a basis for eventually joining the Marathon Grand Slam Club. He runs a business travel company based out of Shepperton Film Studios and loves to travel, especially liking the concept of building a trip around competing in a marathon. Marrakech, Cape Town, The Dead Sea and Sydney marathons head his lengthy 'to do' list. Paul went to the South Pole in December 2004 and will now complete a lifelong ambition to go to both Poles before he starts to tackle the 7 summits. Having summitted Kilimanjaro in February 2004, he still has six to go! Paul is also competing in the London marathon this year and admit to being a little apprehensive at the prospect of doing 2 marathons in 2 weeks. He is raising funds for Whizz Kidz, who provide motorised wheelchairs for disabled children. For Paul, going to the extremes of the Earth is just a reminder of the beauty of our planet and a means of meeting a group of inspirational people.
Raphael Rottgen (Germany) - Team Raw Feet
A frequent marathon runner who has run road races such as the New York City Marathon and San Francisco Marathon in addition to off-road events such as the 54-mile Caledonian Challenge in the Scottish Highlands. Raphael is a 34-year old hedge fund manager based in London.
Nick Rowe (Great Britain / England) - Standard Chartered Bank Team
Jeff Rutherford (USA)
A 39-year-old criminal defence lawyer from Los Angeles, California. Jeff is an avid runner and has completed four marathons, including the Boston Marathon, but hasn’t run a marathon in 15 years. This is Jeff’s first attempt to complete an “extreme” race. and he is running the North Pole Marathon to celebrate his 40th birthday. He is married, and he will be accompanied by his father-in-law, MJ Kim.
Richard Singer (Czech Republic)
Completed the Polar Circle Adventure Marathon (Greenland) in 2005 and the Great Wall Marathon (China) in 2006. Richard believes the North Pole is the right place for him in 2007!
Frank Staples (Great Britain / England)
Completed 33 marathons on six continents to date. Frank, a retired insurance broker, hopes to complete a marthon on his one remaining continent (Africa) later in 2007. In doing so, he would complete the Grand Slam of marathons by running one on all seven continents and at the North Pole. Among his marathons so far, Frank has run nine London Marathons as well as New York, Boston, Sydney, Moscow, Phuket, Antarctica, Fin del Mundo and Hawaii.
Phillip Stapleton (Great Britain / England)
Recently attracted to the world of running and quickly found enjoyment in triathlons and marathons: preferring endurance and longevity. Phil has always enjoyed an active/outdoor life, however, and has travelled extensively. He spent most of his informative years playing rugby and involved with theatre before graduating from Durham University and entering teaching. The North Pole Marathon will be the second marathon of four extreme marathon challenges he will undertake for charity. EXTREME FEAT, as the challenge has been named, runs from April 13 2007 for one year. During this period, friends Nick Gibbins and Phil will attempt to complete the coldest, hottest, lowest and highest marathons on the planet and raise funds for CHASE children’s hospice. The support of his friends has been unbelievable, particularly Julie, his wife, who is expecting their first child three days after the third marathon! As a Housemaster at Charterhouse school, he has limited time for training but the school is very supportive of the cause and Phil has managed to squeeze 40+ miles a week into his busy teaching schedule. To find out more about the challenge, visit http://www.chasecare.org.uk/how-can-i-help/extreme_feat.html.
Ed Stumpf (South Africa)
Decided on impulse to run the 2007 Sahara and North Pole marathons despite having no previous marathon running experience. Ed and Sean Cornwell (a fellow alumni friend from INSEAD business school in France) are using these two events to highlight the problems of desertification and melting polar ice in a campaign which encourages supporters to make personal commitments against global warming. Ed is a keen adventure sports enthusiast. In 2006 he climbed Cotopaxi and Chimborazo volcanoes in Ecuador, and prior to that he has climbed, dived and snowboarded in a wide variety of countries around the world. Ed is a Corporate Treasury Manager at Standard Chartered Bank. Currently living in London, he plans to get married in May 2007 – soon after completion of the race.
William Tan (Singapore)
Paralympic athlete who will use the landing runway section of the course to become the first person in a wheelchair to complete a marathon at the North Pole. William, a neuroscientist and medical doctor, contracted polio at the age of two which resulted in his paralysis from the waist down. He has designed a special wheelchair that he will bring to the North Pole, which has a longer and wider chair for greater stability and bigger wheels and tyres (fitted with spikes) for better grip in the snow. The North Pole Marathon is part of a remakable global marathon effort, which will see William also attempt a marathon on all seven continents. Through his efforts, he hopes to raise about $2 million for the Global Flying Hospitals, the Humanitarian ‘Medical’ organisation which flies refurbished jet aircrafts operating as high-tech, fully functioning surgical hospitals to developing countries around the world. William, who has raised over $10 million for chairites via previous endeavours, sets high standards for himself, in his life as an athlete, as an educator, as a professional healer and researcher, and as a person who believes in making a difference in the lives of others.
Onu Tareq Mahmud (Bangladesh)
A 24-year old studying in Finland who has never run a marathon before. Onu and his friend Enam hope to be the first people from Bangladesh to set foot at the North Pole. He is looking forward to completing his debut marathon in the process. Onu likes travelling, reading, hiking, bird-watching and movies.
Enam Ul Haque (Bangladesh)
A trekker who has slogged several Himalayan trails in the past five years (Everest Base Camp, Mera peak and Island peak) and toured the Antarctic Peninsula ten year before. The North Pole Marathon is Enam's gift to himself on turning 60 years of age. Being a birdwatcher, nature-photographer and an outdoor person, he is involved in a number of nature conservation initiatives of his country. Enam works as an editor of the encyclopedia of plants and animals of Bangladesh.
Jukka Viljanen (Finland)
An employee of the Finnish running magazine 'Juoksija' (Runner) where he works in both marketing and editorial capacities. Jukka, a 43-year-old, has run numerous ultramarathons to date and his wife is also a runner. After the North Pole, both are planning to run the Gore Tex Trans-Alpine Marathon together, a 250km stage race over eight days from Germany to Italy. Jukka will write for Juoksija about his experiences at the North Pole: the magazine has a good position in the market with 84,000 readers and ten editions per annum. He also hopes to raise funds for a donkey sanctuary though his participation in the race.
Patrick Waller (Great Britain / England)
Ran his first marathon in London in 2002 at the age of 44. Patrick subsequently ran the London and Paris marathons back to back in 2004, followed by Rome, Berlin and New York in 2005. He has also just completed a marathon hatrick over 9 weeks in 2006 comprising New Forest, Venice and Monaco. A PB happened in there somewhere…Although he believes he is firmly in the “plodder” category, Patrick has a reputation amongst fellow runners that he will always get there in the end. The proudest moment of his life was crossing the finish line in the Berlin marathon in 2005 having run every step of the way with his 18-year-old daughter Charlotte in 3:53. Patrick is also scheduled to run the Comrades Ultra Marathon in 2007.
John Waerner (Sweden)
Completed several long distance races such as the Stockholm Marathon and Lidingö loppet (Sweden) as well as the Sylvester race (Brazil). The 62-year-old has also competed in some long distance ski races like Vasaloppet, Öppet spaar 90 km (Sweden) and Martcialonga 70 km (Italy). John, a retired Funeral Director, has taken care of funerals at the Royal Court of Sweden and now gives some lectures on the subject. He is also an ice hockey coach. Some of “his boys” have been drafted to the NHL. Every year John works for one month for the Swedish Youth Hostel Organisation, Svenska Turistföreningen, STF. His job is to take care of some remote cottages / cabins north of the polar circle and the “guests” that may pass. His friends are the Lapps, the reindeer, some wolverines and the northern lights. In the company of his son, he likes to hike in the Swedish mountain area and both have made a trip around Mont Blanc as well. “I like to run the North Pole Marathon while there still is some ice at the Pole. I like the challenge and am not afraid of a good day's work. Furthermore, it will be interesting to meet some other special people.” says John. He is happily married and has two wonderful kids.
Richard Williams (Great Britain / Wales)
Sporting background includes some skiing, cycling and a couple of half-marathons. Richard is now trying to convince himself that he's undaunted at the prospect of the North Pole Marathon being his first ever attempt at the distance. He currently resides in Melbourne, Australia where he work as a helicopter pilot.