Thirty-Seven Below at North Pole Marathon
The world’s coolest marathon, the North Pole Marathon, lived up to its billing when competitors endured temperatures of -37C at the North Pole.
Thirty-eight participants from 14 countries and 6 continents started the 26.2-mile race on Wednesday April 7th at 15:30 GMT. Operated at a drifting Russian ice base at the Geographic North Pole, the event is quite literally run ‘on’ water: the frozen Arctic sea ice. Contestants must negotiate energy sapping soft snow and small ice pressure ridges to complete the race.
Race director, Richard Donovan of Ireland, said the event was operated without a hitch, taking place in brilliant sunshine and spectacular scenery.
Evgeniy Gorkov, a vastly experienced Russian extreme athlete, took the lead from the outset to win in a time of 4:27:05. A close battle for second position ensued before France’s Renaud Michel eventually prevailed over Willy Roberts of New Zealand. Michel was one of four brothers who all finished in the top 8 places.
Six women took part in the women’s competition. Pushpa Chandra of Canada edged out Great Britain’s Daniela Spiridigliozzi in the closing stages to win in a time of 7:27:31. Sarah Ames of Germany finished third.
Seven of the competitors completed the Grand Slam of marathons, having run one on all seven continents and at the North Pole. The race also featured its youngest ever finisher in Stefanie Petterrson of Brazil. The sixteen year-old was accompanied by her father on the course. Sixty-eight year old Dan Hamner (USA) became the oldest finisher in the seven year history of the race.
For more details, see www.npmarathon.com.