The 2019 Antarctic Ice Marathon, the world's southernmost marathon, witnessed three new records on December 13th. The amazing Roy Svenningsen (CAN) became the oldest man in history to finish a marathon on the continent of Antarctica at 84 years of age. Susan Ragon (USA) became the oldest woman to complete the Antarctic Ice Marathon at 69 years old and William Hafferty (USA) set a new event record time of 3:34:12, eclipsing the six-year record of Petr Vabrousek by 35 seconds.
It was the fifteenth edition of this annual race and 60 competitors from 19 countries took part representing Australia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Philippines, Poland, Slovakia, South Africa, the USA and Venezuela. Antarctica was also represented by a few competitors stationed at the Union Glacier camp where the race was held.
The feature 42.2km marathon event, a member of the Association of International Marathons & Distance Races (AIMS), had 56 participants (41 men and 15 women) with two others opting to complete a half marathon and two finishing a 10km distance.
Although there were clear blue skies on race day, there was significant wind on parts of the four-loop course in addition to the challenge of running on snow. The windchill temperature was -15C.
In the men's race, an epic battle ensued up front between William Hafferty (USA) and Mauritz Jansen Van Rensburg (RSA) with a mere 10 meters separating them after the first quarter. Hafferty had only a 20 meter advantage at the three-quarters point before pushing on to victory in 3:34:12. Mauritz Jansen Van Rensburg took second place in 3:43:12 with Mark Liebold (USA) ensuring the first three men broke 4 hours when finishing in a time of 3:58:49.
Lenka Frycova (CZE) ran a fantastic race to dominate the women's event in a time of 4:40:38 ahead of Beata Larson (POL/USA) in 5:30:32 and the strong finishing Danielle Nelson (USA) in 5:32:35.
Another record of sorts was set on race day when 19 members of the race field also achieved membership of The 7 Continents Marathon Club for successfully running a marathon distance on all of the earth's continents.
The 16th edition of the Antarctic Ice Marathon takes place from 12th - 14th December, 2020. See www.icemarathon.com and www.facebook.com/AntarcticIceMarathon for details.
Full results of the 2019 Antarctic Ice Marathon are posted below.
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