The North Pole Marathon, which is scheduled to take place on April 8th, will see a record field of 54 competitors from across the globe.
Forty-four men and ten women will contest the certified 26.2 mile marathon event, the world's most northerly marathon, and BBC will be on location to film the race. Kobold expedition watches will be on offer to both male and female winners.
Among the favourites for the men's division is Michael Collins of Ireland who won the Sahara half-marathon in the run-up to this event. An award-winning novelist, Collins beat former world marathon champion Abel Anton in the process. The Irishman has previously run a 2.33 marathon on an island off the Antarctic peninsula.
Meanwhile, the women's division will see recent Antarctic Ice Marathon winner, Wendy MacKinnon of Scotland take on Alison Hamlett of England who finished fourth in the Mardi Gras Marathon in New Orleans.
Brent Weigner (USA) will contest his third North Pole Marathon and seven others in the race field will seek to join him as members of the global Marathon Grand Slam Club. The Grand Slam Club consists of athletes who have completed a marathon on all seven continents and at the North Pole. Among them, twenty-five year old Mark Sinclair of England is recognised by Guinness World Records as the youngest person to run the distance on all seven continents while Kimi Puntillo (USA) is acknowledged as the first woman to achieve this feat.
The diverse race field will additionally include a father-son duo, a sixty-six year old grandmother, a ten-person corporate team and people making their marathon debut. They can expect wind chill temperatures of -25C or below in addition to 24 hours of daylight at this time of year. Six to twelve feet of ice will separate them from the 12,000 feet of Arctic Ocean below.
Subject to Mother Nature being kind, the race is scheduled to get underway in the early hours of April 8th at the drifting Russian ice base at the North Pole. Competitors will depart from Spitsbergen (Norway) on the previous day and will hope to return within 48 hours. They have the opportunity to not only run the marathon, but to stand at the precise Geographic North Pole in the course of the trip. Mike King, a UK Sports Photographer of the Year recipient, will photograph proceedings.
For more information, including profiles of the participants, see www.npmarathon.com.
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.