The North Pole Marathon ® is run over the classic 42.195km (26.2 miles ) marathon distance. The race encompasses an individual competition, with male and female divisions, and a team competition for teams of three or more. There is also an option to run a half marathon.

summary facts about the north pole marathon

  • Full member of the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS).
  • Only certified marathon that is run entirely 'on' water, the frozen water of the Arctic Ocean.
  • Recognized by Guinness World Records as the Northernmost Marathon on Earth.
  • Dubbed the 'World's Coolest Marathon' ® by Runner's World magazine in 2004.
  • The first North Pole Marathon occurred on 5th April 2002 when Richard Donovan (IRL) ran the distance alone, thus becoming the first marathoner at both the North and South Poles.
  • There have been 16 North Pole Marathons to date. The 2022 race will be the 17th event.
  • Five-hundred-and-fifty-two people from 55 countries have successfully completed the event (535 have completed the marathon).
  • It's impossible to predict winning times because weather conditions and terrain are variable from one year to the next.
  • The men's record of 3:36:10 was set by Thomas Maguire (IRL) in 2007.
  • The women's record of 4:52:45 was set by Anne-Marie Flammersfeld (GER) in 2014.
  • Three guided blind athletes, Mark Pollock (IRL), Jamie Cuthbertson (GBR) and Siu Wai Leung (HKG), completed the race in 2004, 2010 and 2018, respectively.
  • In 2007, William Tan - a wheelchair competitor - completed a marathon distance on the aircraft runway.
  • Paul Grealish (IRL) has run six North Pole Marathons (2004, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018), the most completed by one person.
  • The oldest woman to complete the North Pole Marathon is Kenwynne Barber (GBR), who was 66 years old in 2006 when she ran the event.
  • The oldest man to complete the North Pole Marathon is Michel Ribet (FRA / USA), who was 78 years old in 2016 when he ran the event.
  • Participants are eligible to join the exclusive Marathon Grand Slam Club by finishing a marathon on each of the seven continents and the North Pole Marathon.


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