Athletes brave cold and snow in Arctic Marathon.
NORTH POLE (APRIL 6, 2012) (HUTC) -Forty athletes gathered at the North Pole on Friday (April 6) to run a full marathon distance of 42.195 kms (26 miles 385 yards) in temperatures of -26 degrees Celsius.
"It's a once In a lifetime experience for most people," said race director Richard Donovan. "They do other races maybe in deserts and in jungles and you know the North Pole and running on the Arctic Ocean is one of those things that's a must in the running calendar."
The athletes ran around a research station at the pole and had to remain in plain view of observers to make sure they did not fall or freeze. The course was marked out on the ice with flags.
Faces had to be protected from the cold with masks.
Refreshment stops were frequent with runners taking on hot drinks. Toilet breaks were also taken indoors because of the difficulty of removing layers of warm clothing.
Andrew Murray of Great Britain was first home in an impressive 4:17.08 hrs with Luis Alonso Marcos of Spain just 2.30 minutes behind. Demelza Farr of Australia won the women's event in a time of 6:06.36 hrs.
Murray said he was delighted.
"It's absolutely magnificent out there," he said. "It's amazing and actually for being in the North Pole the conditions are almost perfect, I think it's minus 25 (- 25) with minimal winds and as advertised and that's cold enough right?, but fantastic!"
Leading results from North Pole marathon:
1. Andrew Murray (GBR) 4.17.08 Bib No. 25
2. Luis Alonso Marcos (ESP) 4.19.38 Bib No. 22
3. James Matthews (GBR) 4.41.01 Bib No. 24
4. Hirofumi Ono (JPN) 5.07.05 Bib No. 29
5. Greg Swan (AUS) 5.13.39 Bib No. 38
6. Ian Ayling (GBR) 5.52.04 Bib No. 2
7. Cees Hardeman (NED) 5.56.05 Bib No. 8
8. James Alderson (AUS) 6.06.38 Bib No. 1
9. Vlado Staresinic (CRO) 6.11.22 Bib No. 39
10. Lars Samo Tobiassen (GRL) 6.20.28 Bib No. 14
11. Thorak Skifte Nielsen (GRL) 6:18:22 Bib No. 28
12. Georges Laplanche (FRA) 6.26.13 Bib No. 18
13. Bob Sheard (GBR) 6.26.16 Bib No. 36
14. Iurii Vavulov (RUS) 6.28.50 Bib No. 41
15. Akannguaq Lennert (GRL) 6.28.50 Bib No. 20
Complete women's results
1. Demelza Farr (AUS) 6.06.36 Bib No. 5
2. Rebecca Newman (GBR) 6.11.39 Bib No. 26
3. Julie Brailsford (GBR) 6.14.40 Bib No. 3
4. Marianna Melanie Zaikova (FIN) 7.03.36 Bib No. 27
5. Rhoda Jones (USA) 11.41.26 Bib No. 13