Twenty-Six Runners Brave The North Pole Marathon

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Apr. 7, 2011
Twenty-six runners brave this year's North Pole Marathon. Photo: The Globe and Mail

Twenty-six runners brave this year's North Pole Marathon. Photo: The Globe and Mail

It’s definitely not for the faint of heart.

Forget about porta potties and race directors revving up the crowd; none of that is going on at the start line of the North Pole Marathon. Instead, a giant Russian cargo plane is dropping a tractor where the 26 brave runners will begin their 26.2-mile frigid run. The tractor is required to plow out a runway so that the plane carrying the participants can land.

Richard Donovan is the president of the company that organizes the marathon, Polar Running Adventures. “It’s the type of event that anybody with a sense of adventure will take on,” he said.

Donovan certainly has his hands full with race-day logistics, but he jokes that traffic isn’t one of them.

Donovan got the idea for the North Pole Marathon after he won the inaugural 2002 South Pole Marathon. “Nobody had ever run a marathon at the North Pole, so it just seemed logical to turn around and go up there,” he said.

More than 180 runners from 33 countries have completed the race since its inception in 2003.

For More: The Globe and Mail

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at 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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