Antarctica, als dat niet cool is!
So, you’ve decided to run a Antarctica Marathon. Or at least you’re looking into it. All your non-running friends are asking, “Wait! There’s a marathon in Antarctica?
Well, yes! And not only that, but there are actually several organized marathons on the continent! In fact, there are at least four different Antarctica Marathons and each race is organized by a different tour group:
- Antarctica Marathon and Half-Marathon by Marathon Tours and Travel
- Antarctic Ice Marathon and 100k by Polar Running Adventures
- White Continent 50k, Marathon & Half Marathon by Marathon Adventures
- Race the Jet Marathon by White Desert
Which Antarctica Marathon should you do?
Every one of these Antarctica races has its pros and cons. A few things to consider are your budget, your goals and ambitions for the marathon (for example, do you want to get a great time?), the exact location of the race, and your trip to Antarctica in general.
I had the pleasure of completing the Antarctica Marathon with Marathon Tours and Travel. I even made history as the first Ultramarathon runner from The Netherlands to run The Antarctica Marathon.
If you are thinking about doing this once in a lifetime race in Antarctica, I thought it would be helpful for you to read some up-to-date information about the Antarctica Marathon.
Keep in mind that each of the aforementioned races is different, and this post covers the classic Antarctica Marathon and Half-Marathon by Marathon Tours and Travel.
But even if you’re not doing that one, much of the information here will be helpful to you.
What to wear for the Antarctica Marathon?
This is probably the most common question I get.
Antarctica’s weather and temperature are very unpredictable, and conditions can change rapidly.
On our trip, we faced extremely windy conditions with 45mph gusts. The organizers considered canceling the race altogether.
Fortunately, the wind subsided a bit, and the postponed race started 3 hours late. But it was still windy, snowy, and cold.
Layer your clothing
If you already live in a colder climate, layering is probably familiar to you. A layering system is easy to adjust. You can always take off layers and put them back on as necessary.
You need to layer for the Antarctica Marathon.
Because you will be running in loops, you can shed those layers at designated water stations. And you are on your own. You won’t be able to depend on others for help.
This is how I layered for the race:
- Long-sleeved tech shirt
- Light running jacket
- Light windbreaker
Note: You’ll want to get photos, so if you’re going to buy gear, think about picking vivid colors for your outer layer so they will contrast nicely with the snow (or dirt).
Runners should wear a running hat or headband, and simple running sunglasses should be sufficient. There is no need to invest in ski goggles, though this may be different if you run a different marathon in Antarctica, such as the White Continent Marathon.
Consider getting a neck and face gaiter, which will protect your neck from wind.
And a pair of running gloves is also a must!
Socks and shoes for the Antarctica Marathon?
Basically, any good, sturdy trail running shoe will do.
One of the most popular trail running shoe brands that runners wore during our run was the Salomon Speedcross series, which I highly recommend.
Ideally, you will wear something waterproof on your feet. My recommendation is to wear two pairs of socks – your usual running socks, and a waterproof pair on the outside to keep your feet dry.
Look into a good sock, like Showers Pass Crosspoint Waterproof Wool Crew Socks – recommended by Runner’s World.
There are many different brands. Some cheaper. Some more expensive.
Antarctica Marathon Route
The marathon in Antarctica follows a unique route every year, it really depends on the conditions at the time.
If you know someone who has run the race before, there is no guarantee that you will follow the same course.
And to the extreme, in 2001, they had to cancel the landing and conducted the race on the deck of the ship!
Generally speaking, the Antarctica Marathon starts and finishes at the Bellingshausen Russian base on King George Island. The route could include a loop to several other surrounding scientific bases, such as the famous Chilean Base Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva and Chinese Great Wall Station.
Each is roughly 2 miles (3.5 km) from Bellingshausen Russia Base.
You will run this loop 3 times to complete the full 26.2-mile (42 km) route.
Should you run the Antarctica Marathon?
Without hesitation, my answer is an unequivocal YES!
The Antarctica Marathon was the culmination of many years of running for me and the realization of a dream.
I highly recommend running the race with Marathon Tours and Travel. They meticulously planned this trip to maximize the amount of fun we had.
Thom, Jeff, and the staff of Marathon Tours and Travel have been doing the Antarctica Marathon longer than anyone else.
The groundwork they did over 20 years is actually the reason other groups can come here to run.
So absolutely book your trip with them, run the marathon or half-marathon, and take pride in an accomplishment that few others have done.
And enjoy a celebratory drink on the ship when you’re done!
How to register for the Antarctica Marathon
Registering for the Antarctica Marathon and Half Marathon is easy.
Simply go to the Marathon Tours and Travel Race Calendar and scroll down to find the Antarctica Marathon.