2005/2006 Antarctic Season. Race occured in January 2006
Stephen Cushing (Great Britain / England)
Steve is a 55 year old doctor whose previous marathons include a PB of 3.18 at London. However, he had run no marathons since a horse fell on him and cracked his pelvis in four places about fifteen years ago. Steve admits to no logical reason for deciding to run a marathon in Antarctica except he saw details in Runner's World magazine, looked at the race website and got hooked by the idea. He has raised £10k+ for Cancer Research UK via his participation in the event.
Richard Donovan (Ireland)
Richard is the race organiser and completed the 100k event in a time of 15:43:55.
Evgeniy Gorkov (Russia)
Evgeniy is a seasoned marathon and ultramarathon athlete who also likes to partake in skydiving. In 2005, he won both the Gobi March 250km self-sufficient desert race (China) and the Silver State Marathon , Nevada (USA). He also completed a seven day race in the Sahara Desert, Egypt. Evgeniy uses marathons and ultras as an excuse to travel. Married, with two daughters, he has previously skydived over the North Pole. Evgeniy won the inaugural Antarctic Ice Marathon in a time of 5.09.38.
Wendy MacKinnon (Great Britain / Scotland)
Wendy had previously run the London and Loch Ness marathons, both in 2004, and usually runs the Inverness Half Marathon each year. She always wanted to travel to Antarctica and promised herself to do something physically challenging if the opportunity arose. With this mind, Wendy learnt how to ski as she assumed she would end up pulling a sledge on the last continent. However, on reading about the inaugural Antarctic Ice Marathon, she knew this was her ideal Antarctic challenge and signed up immediately. She was raising funds for the Make-a-Wish Foundation in memory of Dale MacKenzie who died (age 7) of Neuroblastoma: he was in Wendy’s daughter’s class at school. Wendy's winning time was 6.33.30.
Stevie Matthews (Great Britain / England)
Stevie has completed almost 50 marathons and ultramarathons in Africa, Asia, Europe, North & South America, Oceania and the North Pole. Among them, she has completed the arduous Everest Marathon in Nepal in 2003, the North Pole Marathon in 2004 and the Inca Trail Marathon in 2005. The Antarctic Ice Marathon gave her a Grand Slam of Marathons by finishing the distance on all seven continents and on the Arctic Ocean. Stevie has also been recently included in the 2006 Guinness World Records as the fastest woman to complete the North Pole Marathon. She was raising funds for Plateau Perspectives, a Scottish-based organisation that seeks to improve the life of Tibetan herders and nomadic tribes by building training centres and schools as well as providing teacher training, community health projects and veterinary and nature conservation initiatives.
John O'Regan (Ireland)
John won the Yukon Arctic Ultra 100-Mile race in 2005 and also completed the Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert in 2003. In between, he ran the 2004 North Pole Marathon, guiding blind competitor Mark Pollock along the route. John is a black belt in the Japanese martial art of Ninjutsu and is also trained in Arctic survival techniques. An employee of the Irish Rail Company, he raised funds for The National Children’s Hospital, Tallaght (Dublin) via his participation in the Antarctic Ice Marathon.
Mike Pierce (USA)
Mike, who comes from a triathlon background, trained twice a week in a 58ft x 40ft freezer as part of his preparation for the Antarctic Ice Marathon. Among his training runs, he even ran the full marathon distance by covering 786 laps in 4+ hours. An Antarctic enthusiast, Mike has collected more than 100 books on the continent and its explorers. He plans to write a book called “Antarctic Moments” about the leadership qualities those explorers exhibited. Through donations, he has raised money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) via his participation in the Antarctic race. CAF helps physically challenged athletes participate in athletics through a myriad of programs, including the provision of equipment, coaching and travel expenses to events.
Steven Seaton (Great Britain / England)
Steven’s sporting credentials include finishing the world's biggest adventure race - the Eco Challenge - on two occasions with a British team. He has also run dozens of marathons and ultramarathons around the world in addition to the Raid Gauloises and Southern Traverse in New Zealand. In 2004, he ran the sister race of the Antarctic Ice Marathon - the North Pole Marathon. As well as being a very accomplished adventure racer, Steven is the editor of Europe's largest running publication, Runner's World magazine (UK).
Diarmuid Smyth (Ireland)
Diarmuid successfully completed the 2004 North Pole Marathon and the 2005 Gobi March self-sufficient desert race. The managing director of an international award winning security firm (Sword Event Guard International), Diarmuid is also a martial arts expert trained in Kung Fu, Thai Boxing and Philipino Stick Fighting. He represented Northern Ireland in full contact stick fighting on numerous occasions, fighting in the US, the UK and South East Asia, and reaching the quarter finals of the world championships. Following on the Antarctic Ice Marathon, Diarmuid competed in the 2006 Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert in April 2006.
Mark Tointon (Great Britain / England)
Mark, who was born with a club foot, is undertaking a mammoth challenge for charity of running nine marathons, most in extreme conditions, during a two-year period. These include, sequentially, the New York City Marathon, Antarctic Ice Marathon, North Pole Marathon, London Marathon, Jungle Marathon, Sahara Marathon, Dead Sea Marathon and Everest Marathon. His itinerary sees him cover the current northernmost, southernmost, highest and lowest marathons on earth. In addition, Mark is attempting to complete the Marathon Grand Slam of running marathons on all seven continents and on the Arctic Ocean. The marathons will additionally entail some of the wettest, driest, coldest and windiest races on the planet. But it’s all for a good cause and designed to raise £50,000 for the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children (GOSHCC) where he once had seven operations to help rectify problems with his club foot. Mark has dubbed his mission the 7/11 Challenge as one foot is now four sizes bigger than the other and he consequently wears size 7 and 11 shoes. Furthermore, one leg is 3cm shorter than the other.