Twenty-seven runners from around the world recently ran a marathon on one of the most remote and icy places on earth — the North Pole.
On April 8, competitors from around the world met at the North Pole and ran on the frozen ice for six hours, facing temperatures as low as -32° C.
Contestants flew to Norway from countries around the world. Then they all flew together from Norway to the North Pole. The marathon was scheduled for April 7 but it was delayed by one day because of a problem with the airport runway. Several one-metre-wide cracks had opened up on the plane’s runway due to cold weather.
The North Pole Marathon was organized by a man from Ireland named Richard Donovan, who has ran a marathon on every continent in the world. Donovan organized the first North Pole Marathon in 2002. Since then, seven marathons have taken place and 188 people from 33 different countries around the world have taken part. He has also organized a marathon on the South Pole called the Antarctic Ice Marathon.
This year’s race was dedicated to Mari-Simon Cronje, an 11-year-old girl from South Africa who died. Her dad ran for her at the North Pole.
Canada had a runner in the North Pole Marathon. His name is Glenn Harkness and he is the executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Hamilton. He ran the race to raise awareness of, and money for, the organization. (Hamilton’s Boys and Girls Club provides the community’s youth with programs and activities such as swimming lessons, access to the Internet, gym activities and even a skate park.) Glenn Harkness called his fundraising campaign On Top of the World.
Glenn kept in touch with friends and family members back in Hamilton using the social networking site Twitter. Right after finishing the race Glenn wrote, “Marathon is over, very tough conditions, minus 32 weather, difficult running in parts with deep snow. Frost bite on my toes, painful.”
Harkness came 11th place, taking six hours and 18 minutes to run the whole 42 kilometres. The winner of the race was Istvan Toth, from Hungary, who ran it in four hours and 54 minutes.
“Shorts and running shoes were not enough for the 27 runners who recently ran a marathon at the North Pole.”
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