GPS tracks of the marathon ... drifting on top of the world

[Home][Training][Equipment][Radio][The Race]

The North Pole Marathon is run on the Arctic ice cap which is continually moving.  During the race, I tracked our course using a Garmin 205 GPS to understand the drift during the event.


The basic course route is shown here.  Each lap was 4.2 km long, and we ran 10 laps to cover the full marathon distance of 42 km / 26 miles.

The start and finish point do not align due to the drift of the ice.  This was taken from my final lap when the rate of ice drift had slowed.

The route included the runway so we could join William Tan on his attempt to be the first person to complete a marathon at the North Pole in a wheelchair.  After 21 hours, he succeeded.


The tracks of each lap clearly show the drift of the ice during the race.  Note that this makes no difference to the distance run was we were following a circuit.

My first laps took about 28 minutes and last laps about 35 minutes, yet the tracks become closer towards the end.  This shows that the rate of drift changed during the race.  The direction of drift also moved.  

These are very powerful forces at work, and explains why the ice is so broken up as far as the eye can see in all directions.