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Extreme Marathon

Surely this must be the most extreme marathon on earth – and the use of the word ‘earth’ is meant in the sense that earth is a planet. For understand that this marathon is not run on terra firma – no it is run on between 6 and 12 feet of ice aabove 12,000 feet of Arctic Ocean.

The 2009 North Pole Marathon will be held in early April – runners will rendez vous at Spitzbergen in northern Norway on April 6th and then be flown to the North Pole for the race which is somewhat weather dependent, in terms of the actual start time, but is scheduled for April 7th to 9th.

Competitors are then flown back to Spitbergen – and the cost for this extreme experience – a cool 11,900 euros. The race is organised by Richard Donovan and is recognised by the Association of International Marathons and Road races and has in the past attracted such luminaries as Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

The 2008 men’s race was won by a Korean – Byeung Sik Ahn in a time of 4:02:37 and the ladies race was won dy Cathrine Due from Denmark in a time of 5:37:14.

So if you want to do something incredibly extreme, something you could talk about at many a party to come, and you like running (note in snow shoes) then get on down to and fill out the entry form. At this stage there are 15 nations represented in the 2009 race – there is also a team competition.

Below is a video of the 2007 event from polarmarathon – it will give you a good idea of what the race is about even if you cannot not feel the -30 degree celsius temperatures!

Unique Attributes of the Race

  • Certified 26.2 mile marathon distance (Association of International Marathons and Distance Races)
  • Only certified marathon that is run entirely ‘on’ water, the frozen water of the Arctic Ocean
  • Recognised by Guinness World Records as the Northernmost Marathon on Earth
  • Participants are eligible to join the exclusive North Pole Marathon Grand Slam Club by finishing a marathon on each of the seven continents and this race on the Arctic Ocean.


April 5Arrive at Spitsbergen (Norway)
April 6Fly to North Pole Camp & 90N
April 7 2009 North Pole Marathon
April 8 Return to Spitsbergen (Norway)
April 9Return to Homeland

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