FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Thom Gilligan
Marathon Tours and Travel
Malloy Marketing Group
RECORD FIELD FINISHES 7TH ANTARCTICA MARATHON IN RECORD "HEAT"
KING GEORGE ISLAND, Antarctica (March 10, 2005) - Blame it on global
warming. A record field of 179 marathoners from 15 countries completed the
7th Antarctica Marathon on King George Island, Antarctica, amid rare above
freezing-temperatures and light breezes. The Antarctica Marathon and Half
Marathon was held February 26, 2005, in the Antarctic summertime.
The race start temperature was estimated to be 39 degrees but dipped to 28
degrees at times. "It was the warmest weather we have ever had for the
event," said Thom Gilligan, race director and expedition leader. The race
is normally known for its bone-chilling cold, drifting snow and gale-force
winds. "This is the first time since 2001 we had runners tackle the course
in running shorts." Two runners braved the day's "heat" sporting shorts.
The tepid temperatures caused the course to thaw in parts and transform
into thick mud, creating a mucky hazard that sucked the shoes off more than
one participant. "I should have packed duck tape to help secure my shoes,"
said one competitor.
Darryn Zawith of Gibsonia, PA, led all finishers in a time of 3:49:19 while
Alyn Park, 54, of Denver, Colorado, was first for the women in 4:33:28.
Park was the oldest winner in the event’s history.
In order to abide by the International Association of Antarctica Tour
Operators (IAATO) restrictions prohibiting groups of 100 or more to be in
one place at the same time, two separate race starts were enacted. All
women, all half marathoners and all men over sixty started the race three
minutes before all male marathoners.
The biennial event started at the Russian research base, Bellingshausen, on
King George Island, the largest of the South Shetland Islands just off the
Antarctica Peninsula. The ½-mile ascent of Collins Glacier at mile 3 was
the most demanding section of the two-loop course. Most runners were slowed
to a walk up the 17-degree slope. The course also wove through Russian,
Chilean, Uruguayan and Chinese research bases.
Dr. William Tan of Singapore, the first wheelchair competitor to attempt
the grueling course, did complete the half-marathon held in conjunction
with the marathon in 5:40:41. Despite customized mountain bike tires
adapted to his racing chair, the unusually wet and muddy conditions
prevented him from completing the full 26.2 miles.
The half-marathon was won by Jane Serues of Springtown, PA in 2:13:08. She
was followed by a field of 36 runners. Staff from both the Russian and
Chilean bases participated in the only sporting event held in Antarctica.
Complete results are available at www.marathontours.com/antarctica.
The next Antarctica Marathon is scheduled for February 24, 2007. For more
information call (617) 242-7845, visit www.marathontours.com
or write to
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