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.

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 was held on April 17, 2003, organized by Global Expedition Adventures; Curtis Lieber served as the Expedition Director, with Brent Weigner and Richard Donovan as co-race directors.
  • The inaugural Summer North Pole Marathon, organized by Oliver Wang and his Runbuk team, took place on August 16, 2023. Patrick Charlebois from Canada and Melissa Kullander from the USA made history as the first male and female marathoners, respectively, to complete the North Pole Marathon during the summer season.
  • To date, there have been 16 North Pole Marathons. The upcoming summer race in 2024 will mark the 17th event.
  • Five-hundred-and-fifty-nine (559) people from 54 countries have successfully completed the event (534 have completed the marathon, including 430 male runners, and 104 female runners).
  • 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.
  • 14 people have completed the event more than once; 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.