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Seventeen Runners Brave Antarctic Marathon

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Jan. 31, 2011

Most of the runners were scientists or support staff stationed at a nearby base.

Just seventeen runners and six skiers took part in the 13th annual McMurdo Marathon on January 16. Were the race anywhere else other than Antarctica, the race director’s job would probably be in jeopardy for that kind of turnout.

Though it sounds like an unusually cold marathon, the temperatures at the start were a balmy 28 degrees Fahrenheit.

At 69 years of age, Roger John was the race’s oldest participant. “Looks like a perfect day for running in Antarctica,” he said. John currently lives in Antarctica part time. He is a retired director of the public housing authority in Peoria, Illinois, and works in the vehicle maintenance department at a scientific base not far from the race’s start.

“This is one of the few places in the world the average person can’t come to,” he said.

The race kicked off at 9:40 a.m. Jamie Brock, the McMurdo Marathon’s race director, asked the participants not to urinate on the ground, but to use special bottles instead.

“We’re here to protect Mother Nature,” he exclaimed.

For More: New York Times

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at Competitor.com and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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