North Pole Marathon - Race Pictures

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Initial pictures of arriving at the North Pole and the course.  I could take no pictures during the run, and hope to get some in due course to share here.

Arrival at the North Pole, 00:30

Antonov AN-74 jet, split cargo and passenger

Pre race meal, 01:00

Nourishing soup in the mess tent

Miles ready to run, 03:20

The smile belies the rush to get ready on time

Pensive Patrick, 03:20

Recovering from injury, this was an uncertain time for him

The course .... hard surface

Areas of windswept hard ice gave good grip.  The temperature at the start was -20 deg C. With windchill, the temperature was -25 deg C.

The course ... soft surface

Deep soft snow, a tricky surface.  You cannot tell which is hard snow, and which soft.  When it came trampled, the bottom of the path was still uneven.  Falls were common.

Ice step

The route had a number of "lumpy bits" to step over

A spectacular route !

Small pressure ridges flank a flatter ice sheet

The route stretching onward

The 26 miles was broken into 10 laps

Stunning vistas

The views of the ice continually change with the light

Ice mound

These are scattered as far as the eye can see in all directions

A tired and happy finisher, 09:15

I ran the last lap with my Union Jack, a wonderful way to end this most amazing race which took me 5 hr 29 min.

Miles changing post run

Straight after the finish, changing time.  The North Pole is no place to hang about in wet gear. Note the solid ice which was locked into all my clothing.  Trying to change quickly into dry clothes in a tent at -5 deg C while chilling fast was not at all enjoyable, it took a while to warm up

A delighted Patrick

Finishing in an amazing 5:35, Patrick was beaming.  He ran without snowshoes from lap 5 onwards, finding it much easier, but was still had back pain for much of the way and took pain killers.  His balaclava is frozen solid from perspiration and water in his breath.

History in the making

William Tan, the paralympic athlete from Singapore created history by being the first person to complete a marathon in a wheelchair at the North Pole.  He used the runway as the course, which also formed part of the running route.

Completed !

The snow and ice meant the chair did not "run" between pushes, making it an incredible feat of endurance, William completed to 26.2 miles in 21 hours, taking regular breaks to warm up and have some food.