How many Antarctic Ice Marathon races have occured?
There have been seventeen Antarctic Ice Marathon races to date.
What date will the Antarctic Ice Marathon take place?
The 2023 Antarctic Ice Marathon / Half Marathon races are scheduled to take place on 13 December 2023. See the Race Schedule section for complete details.
How much does it cost to register?
The fee for the 2023 Antarctic Ice Marathon is $21,500. Please note that places are limited in accordance with aircraft capacity constraints and are allotted on a first come first served basis.
Can I be guaranteed to be in and out of the Antarctic as scheduled?
No. Although the races are often operated in a very timely fashion, you are going to one of the most difficult places to fly to in the world. Days of delay can be normal for Antarctic flights and you should not plan anything important for a minimum of two weeks after your expected return. Allow yourself time to enjoy this unique experience without the stress of time pressures. Of course, every effort will be made to keep to the scheduled departure and return date, but all flights are subject to weather, aircraft serviceability and local conditions. The 2019 event was operated exactly to schedule.
Where is our departure point for Antarctica?
Our departure point for Antarctica is a town called Punta Arenas in Chile, South America. You will arrange round trip flights from your homeland to Punta Arenas. From there, you will be flown to the Union Glacier camp in Antarctica.
How do I get to Punta Arenas, Chile?
You will book your international flight to arrive in Santiago, the capital of Chile. There are regular internal flights from Santiago to Punta Arenas via the Lan Chile airline. Due to the possibility of delays, you should essentially ensure that there is flexibility with your return date.
Where will I stay in Punta Arenas?
The official race hotels are the Diego de Almagro and Almasur Hotel, where preferential rates will be obtained for Ice Marathon participants. However, competitors can choose from a range of other hotels with prices from US$50 - US$300 per night depending on quality and services. When booking a hotel, bear in mind that your budget should cover the possibility of being stuck in Punta Arenas for several days before the jet actually takes off for the Antarctic.
By what means am I transported to Antarctica?
A Boeing 757 passenger airliner will fly you to the Union Glacier camp at the foot of the Ellsworth Mountains in Antarctica. It’s a 4-hour flight that will see you fly over the Strait of Magellan, Tierra del Fuego and the Drake Passage before getting your first glimpse of frozen seas below. At 66 degrees latitude you will cross the Antarctic Circle and continue towards the icy continent. The ice sheet will continue to stretch inland until you see the spectacular Ellsworth Mountains. We will land on an ice runway at the southernmost extension of these mountains - 80 Degrees South.
Does the Antarctic Ice Marathon have a positive environmental ethos?
Yes. The event is is a foot race and naturally promotes fitness and exercise as a substitute to car and vehicle use. Activities in the Antarctic are governed by the Antarctic Treaty and associated agreements, referred to collectively as the Antarctic Treaty System, As part of the system, the Environmental Protocol was adopted in 1991, which applies to government activities, non-government activities, as well as tourism and sports, to ensure that these activities do not have adverse impacts on the Antarctic environment, or on its scientific and aesthetic values. It should also be highlighted, to avoid misconceptions, that the emissions resulting from a 4-hour return flight to the Antarctic are identical to those of a similar flight elsewhere in the world. Moreover, climate change is a global phenomenon and we also encourage others to offset their carbon emissions.
What is the commitment to safety?
The logistics company’s activities are subject to detailed risk management and contingency planning that allow for the remote and harsh Antarctic environment. Preparations include detailed emergency planning and equipment to deal with all eventualities. The team is known for their experience and expertise. The Union Glacier camp has a basic medical clinic staffed by a doctor and medic who specialize in emergency and remote medicine. Support personnel keep a 24-hour watch and are ready to respond at any time in case of emergency. Established procedures and communication protocols and continued investment in equipment and technology all contribute to a safe and enjoyable experience.
Where exactly will the races take place?
The marathon race will be run in the vicinity of the Union Glacier camp, normally on a 10.55km loop that is repeated four times. There will be aid an station every 5km.
What does the race entry fee include?
- Transfers to and from Punta Arenas airport, Chile for Antarctic flight
- Briefing in Punta Arenas one day prior to departure
- Round trip flights from Punta Arenas to Antarctica
- Meals and accommodation while in Antarctica
- A Baggage allowance of up to 55lbs (25kg) on Punta Arenas-Union Glacier flight
- Entry to your race of choice
- Medal, t-shirts, patches and other souvenirs of the race
- Professional photos for personal use (and local publication)
What does the race entry fee NOT include?
- Commercial flights to and from Punta Arenas
- Transfers to and from Punta Arenas airport (except for Antarctic flight)
- Meals and accommodation in Punta Arenas
- Personal equipment and clothing
- Expenses incurred in Punta Arenas due to delays
- Any excess baggage costs over confirmed baggage allowance
- Cost for the use of satellite phone whilst in Antarctica
- Insurance coverage – personal, medical, or otherwise
I have no prior extreme weather experience. Is it ok for me to run in the Antarctic?
Yes. Proper clothing should ensure the cold is not a completely overwhelming problem when running or walking these races. You will be fully advised on what to wear and your clothing will be checked for suitability prior to leaving Punta Arenas. A number of aid checkpoints are available on the course as well as one large heated structure at the half-way point. Some participants will probably never have encountered extremely cold conditions before travelling to the Antarctic, though it is preferable that you would have such experience.
Will it be safe to run?
Yes. Flags will guide athletes around the course and participants should be visible at almost all times. However, it is important to keep your peripherals covered and to be alert to any signs of frost damage.
With little marathon experience, will I be able to finish the Antarctic Ice Marathon?
Yes, it's possible. If you are determined, train properly and can run or walk a distance of 42.2km (26.2 miles) very comfortably, then you should be able to complete the Antarctic Ice Marathon successfully. One of the priorities of the organiser is to have everybody finish the race and the cut-off for the marathon is a generous 10 hours.
Can I call home?
You can make outgoing phone calls from Union Glacier Camp using Iridium satellite phones available at the Camp. Pre-paid phone cards can be purchased at either camp at a cost of circa USD S40 for 20 minutes. Some participants choose to bring their own Iridium satellite phone and charging system. Regular cell phones and other satellite phones (e.g. Globalstar) do not work at these latitudes.
Can I shower or bathe?
It will be possible to have a basic body wash / shower after the event. Many competitors additionally bring pre-moistened towellettes for a daily quick freshen-up. Anti-bacterial hand-gel is also available for hand cleaning.
What is the weather usually like?
The temperature at Union Glacier typically ranges from –10C to –20C at the time of year.
What are the underfoot conditions at Union Glacier?
The course will be groomed before the race and it should comprise a reasonably solid ice surface. However, it can also be comprised of soft and loose snow in places, and both features may be evident on the circuit.
What shoes should I wear when running?
A pair of trail running shoes will work out best.
What clothes should I wear when running?
A layering system is best, which should incorporate the following:
Upper body – thermal layer, fleece layer and outer windproof shell
Legs – thermal layer and windproof pants
Hands – pair of gloves and mittens
Feet – sock liners and woollen socks
Head – balaclava, facemask, hat, neck gaiter, goggles
Please see the Race Gear section of the website.
Will there be media coverage of the race?
Yes. Leading international sports photographers and / or TV have been present at all previous races and the event receives substantial global media coverage.