The 12th edition of the annual Antarctic Ice Marathon, the world's most southerly marathon, took place at Union Glacier, Antarctica on 25th November.
Fifty competitors from 17 countries tackled the 42.2 km race, which is the only official marathon held inside the Antarctic Circle and on the Antarctic continental landmass.
Pre-race favorite Gary Thornton lived up to the expectations with a decisive victory in -20C windchill temperatures. The Irish primary school teacher, an Olympic standard marathoner and previous winner of both the North Pole Marathon and Volcano Marathon, led from the start to finish in a time of 3:37:13 hrs. Great Britain's Michael Taylor took second place in 4:18:06 hrs with Gavin Opperman of South Africa coming through strongly for third position in 4:24:04 hrs.
In the women's race, Laurie Koch of the USA lead though the half-way point only to be overtaken by Poland's Joanna Medras, who went on to win in a time of 6:01:45 hrs. Koch finished second in 6:14:59 hrs with China's Fan Zhang taking third in 6:26:39 hrs.
In addition to the podium finishers, fifteen of the ice marathoners achieved membership of The 7 Continents Marathon Club having successfully competed a marathon distance on all of the earth's continents. These comprised Clive Choate (AUS), Christoph Dankert (GER), Javier Castro Guinea (ESP), Mohan Iyer (USA), Bill Karz (USA), Jesper Floyd Kristiansen (DEN), Gavin Opperman (RSA), Eleanor Pienaar (RSA), Stephen Pienaar (RSA), Rob Plijnaar (NED), Jeff Rosen (CAN), Hideaki Sakata (JPN), Chris Seymour (AUS / USA), Signe Simonsen (DEN) and Xian Song (CHN). See www.sevencontinentsmarathonclub.com for the full list.
Six athletes also completed the half marathon race to make an incredible 100% finish rate in this year's marathon and half marathon events.
The 13th edition of the Antarctic Ice Marathon takes place from 23rd - 26th November, 2017. See www.icemarathon.com and www.facebook.com/AntarcticIceMarathon for details.
Full results of the 2016 Antarctic Ice Marathon are posted below.
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