On Saturday 8 April, Irish novelist Michael Collins led home a record 54-person international race field to win the 2006 North Pole Marathon.
The certified 26.2-mile (42km) event, dubbed the world’s coolest marathon, took place at a temporary Russian North Pole camp in the high Arctic Ocean at the Geographic North Pole. Despite extremely challenging underfoot conditions, comprising soft snow and hillocks of ice, as well as temperatures that dipped to –23C, all fifty-four participants successfully completed the event.
In the men’s division, Collins and Carsten Kolle (Germany) forced the pace at the outset, crunching through the hushed indomitable surroundings and matching each other stride for stride over the initial 10km. A polar bear was spotted but fortunately it was one of the other competitors donning a costume for 2km. Despite the scare, Collins was relentless in his efforts and went on to win by a comfortable margin in a time of 4.28.35 on the toughest ever terrain for the race.
Meanwhile, in a perfectly judged effort, Marcel Kasumovich (Canada) overhauled the German for second place with France’s Philippe Moreau and Herve Taquet finishing together in 4th position.
The women’s race saw Alison Hamlett (England) set a new world record for the event, finishing ahead of 2006 Antarctic Ice Marathon winner, Wendy MacKinnon (Scotland), with Ireland’s Caitriona Strain in third place. Hamlett’s time of 5.52.56 was good enough for sixth place overall.
This amazing race – operated at the top of the world and run on the ice floes that overlay 12,000 feet of Arctic Ocean - attracts a diverse range of participants each year. While some were attempting to join the Marathon Grand Slam club by running a marathon on all seven continents and the North Pole, others were making their marathon debut. Hundreds of thousands of euro were also raised for various charities through participants’ heroic efforts in completing the race.
To find out more about the North Pole marathon, or to register for next year’s event, log on to www.npmarathon.com. Places are limited due to aircraft capacity constraints.
The biggest field in the sixteen-year history of the race took part in 2018 FWD North Pole Marathon, the world's coolest marathon.
The race started at 2230 hrs (Norwegian time) on April 8th under sunny skies and a temperature of -31 degs Celsius.
Dorn Wenninger (USA) and Gulzhamal DeFelice (RUS/USA) won the men's and women's titles, respectively, at the 2016 North Pole Marathon. Russian Paratroopers took the team title.
The annual North Pole Marathon is scheduled to occur on April 9th when a record 56 competitors from 21 countries will take part in the 2016 race.
Czech runner Petr Vabrousek kept his composure to clinch one of the world’s most gruelling sporting challenges, the North Pole Marathon.
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 2014 UVU North Pole Marathon was recently awarded 'Carbon Free' status from CarbonFund.org.