FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Thom Gilligan
Marathon Tours and Travel
Malloy Marketing Group
ANTARCTICA MARATHON REGISTRATION HEATS UP
British Explorers' Multi-Marathon Feat Results in a Wave of Interest
BOSTON (December 3, 2003) - Antarctica has never been hotter. Interest in
running on the darkest, windiest and most remote continent on earth has
snowballed in recent months, causing the Antarctica Marathon and Half
Marathon organizers to charter a second expedition ship to meet the
burgeoning demand. The next competition is scheduled for February 26, 2005.
Travelers have been warming up to the idea of visiting the world's coldest
destination for a variety of reasons. Industry analysts attribute the
improved economy, pent-up demand and a more stable aviation climate for
stimulating the travel marketplace.
"There is an air of optimism in the travel trade that I have not seen in a
while," said Andrew Prossin, manager of polar programs for Peregrine
Adventures, a Melbourne, Australia-based international adventure travel
operator. "Antarctica travel in particular has benefited due to increased
media attention to the region."
Most recently, global news reports concerning two British explorers who ran
seven marathons in seven days on six continents catapulted the concept of
worldwide marathon running into the limelight. The explorers, Sir Ranulph
Fiennes, a 59-year-old heart transplant recipient and his associate, Dr.
Michael Stroud, originally set a goal to run seven marathons on all seven
continents. However, harsh weather and problems with their aircraft caused
the men to abandon the Antarctic leg of their journey. The duo opted
instead to run on the Falkland Islands off the coast of South America.
Although the Britons failed to run on Antarctica, their amazing exploit
seemed to inspire others. "We had a flood of inquiries about the Antarctica
Marathon after the men wrapped up their weeklong marathon of marathons,"
said Thom Gilligan, president of Boston-based Marathon Tours and Travel and
the Antarctica Marathon expedition leader.
"Many of the runners who have signed up for the Antarctica Marathon have a
goal of running a marathon on all seven continents and they were motivated
by the men's extraordinary feat," said Gilligan, whose company hosts a
Seven Continents Club for runners who achieve this marathon milestone.
The Antarctica Marathon has been on fire ever since. "Our first expedition
ship is now completely booked. We added a second ship to the convoy when
our wait list exceeded 40 runners," said Gilligan. Given the total absence
of hotels on the Continent, entrants in the 2005 Antarctica Marathon and
Half Marathon will call two Russian ice-rated ships, the Akademik Loffe and
the Akademik Vavilov, home for their 10-day voyage. The event's field size
is limited to the number of ship berths.
The Antarctica Marathon and Half Marathon competitions have been held in
1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002 and 2003. The event is now held every other
year due to the complexities of staging a marathon in such a remote land
and the possibility of volatile weather conditions.
"About the only prediction you can make about Antarctica weather is that it
will be cold," said Gilligan who is also quick to point out that the race
is always held during Antarctica's late summer when temperatures are
typically in the 20s Fahrenheit. "It's a doable climate to run in for the
Located on King George Island off the Antarctic Peninsula, the Antarctica
Marathon two-loop course transverses up and down Collins Glacier and
through the Russian, Chinese, Uruguayan and Chilean research bases. The
course can change from year to year due to glacial shifts.
Complete race tour packages start at $4,499 USD and include membership in
the Antarctica Athletic Federation. For more information call Marathon
Tours and Travel (617-242-7845) or log on to www.marathontour.com.
Marathon Tours and Travel, the leading marathon tour operator in the U.S.,
offers comprehensive travel packages to marathons worldwide including the
Safaricom Marathon in Kenya, the only marathon run entirely within a game
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