Forty-five competitors from twenty-two countries and five continents are scheduled to take part in the UVU North Pole Marathon on 9th April 2015.
The countries represented in the 2015 event are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China / Hong Kong, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan and the USA.
Participants will be joined by friends, support crew and media to make up the maximum 60-person group that can travel to the Geographic North Pole for the annual 42.2km (26.2 mile race) race.
Among those taking part this year is the Czech Republic's Petr Vabrousek, the 2011 ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Cup winner and a veteran of 150+ Ironman triathlons. Vabrousek won the North Pole Marathon's sister race, the Antarctic Ice Marathon, in a record time of 3:34:47 hrs in 2013. Slovakia's Daniel Palko, who finished third in the 2013 Antarctic Ice Marathon and Douglas Wilson, who finished third in the 2012 Antarctic Ice Marathon, will also be among the thirty-four male competitors challenging for the title.
Ireland's Tony Mangan, who circumnavigated the world in a 50,000 km run between 2010-2014, will also take part.
In the female race, Finland's Marianna Zaikova, who became the first woman to run 7 Marathon on 7 continents in 7 days at the World Marathon Challenge in January, will be in action for the second time at the Pole. She will be joined by nine other female contestants, including Scotland's Audrey McIntosh who won the Antarctic 100k in 2013.
Meanwhile, Rob de Castella, Australia's former World Marathon Champion, Commonwealth Games Champion and World Record Holder, will be in attendance to support Adrian Dobson-Shaw. Adrian hopes to become the first Aboriginal person to both run the marathon, known as 'the world's coolest marathon' and to stand at 90N latitude, the exact North Pole.
Several of the runners are members of The 7 Continents Marathon Club and will be hoping to join the Marathon Grand Slam Club by completing marathons on all seven continents AND at the North Pole on the Arctic Ocean.
The competitors will assemble at Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago, before departing by specialist Russian cargo plane for the Arctic ice floes on 8th April. A temporary ice camp and runway will have been established, which will float about the North Pole with the drift of the Ocean.
During the marathon, athletes will experience extreme sub-zero temperatures that could be as low as -40C and only a few feet of ice will separate them from the Arctic Ocean below. The conditions will be energy sapping, with soft snow and small ice hillocks to negotiate, but there will be constant daylight at this time of year as the sun won't set for several months. The orgnisers will provide armed polar bear guards to protect the runners, as well as medical personnel with expertise in cold weather injuries such as frostbite and hypothermia. The marathon route will be a multi-loop course to avoid 'leads', or breaks in the ice.
The list of competitors is available on the event website at www.npmarathon.com.
For further details: Contact Race Director, Richard Donovan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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