Flights to Antarctica can be booked now so why not let the team at Travelling Fit help by booking your preferred airline on the dates that best suit you. We can arrange your complete holiday package all in the one place to help you save time and money.
The course will start and finish about 200 meters from Bellingshausen, the Russian base and head east toward the Uruguayan, base.
There will be a turnaround point about 2 miles and you run back to the start area. You then run west about 2 miles to the Chinese base.
The final course route is measured and prepared the day before the race. The bases and scientists have the final authority to approve the course. Most of the course will follow dirt roads that have some small but sharp hills connecting the research bases.
Regular training shoes are sufficient to handle these conditions. Parts of the road were very muddy in the previous events. This is subject to change depending on weather conditions.
We have just completed the Berlin Marathon with Travelling Fit. What a wonderful experience! The Movenpick Hotel was a great choice in hotel as the room was comfortable, spacious, quiet, well-equipped and ideal in location to the shops, race start and expo. The hotel has an excellent restaurant and the breakfast variety was perfect. We were impressed with the Traveling Fit organization of the excellent pasta dinner, the after-race party, the superb drive around the city with excellent guides talking about the sights and the A ussie runners that we met were a fun group. Also we have to say we really liked the design and quality of your Travelling Fit t-shirt for the Berlin Marathon as better than the finisher's shirt!
Our Antarctica trip was the trip of a lifetime. I can honestly say it has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Words can't do justice to how incredible this trip is. From the vastness of the white continent, the cuteness of the penguins and their chicks, the whales so close you can smell and touch them, the seals, the blue coloured icebergs - to the cold, fresh air and freezing polar plunge to the warmth and camaraderie of fellow runners and new friends, it was incredible. We went to Antarctica to run a marathon and left in awe of this amazing continent with its stunning, majestic beauty. Thank you to Travelling Fit for organising this magnificent experience. It was a dream come true. We are so fortunate to have visited Antarctica. Put it on your bucket list - it will live in your heart forever.
Just a quick note to say a HUGE thank you for organising our trip, we didn't have a single problem the whole time we were away. Everyone involved in the marathon including the runners were amazing and a joy to spend time with. I have never seen so many hugs and tears shared when we disembarked the ship in Ushuaia. Why you would choose to do one of the other "fly in/fly out" events is beyond me!
You all are the best! I raved about you on the Antarctica trip so hopefully you'll get some more clients out of it. The other tour groups are good but across the board Travelling Fit is sensational. Thanks for all your help and I'm already looking forward to mom and my next trips with you!
Flights and Additional Travel
Travelling Fit is a fully accredited travel agency which offers a full range of services to our clients. This enables us to book your flights and additional touring to help us assist you in creating your perfect holiday experience.
Entries are only applicable in conjunction with a Half Marathon package.
There are no qualifying times required for this event.
The event will commence at around 9am, subject to weather on race day
The Half Marathon has a cut-off of 6 1/2 hours.
Course marshals have the responsibility to disqualify any runner who might endanger themselves through fatigue, hypothermia or dehydration.
Race check-in and briefing with emphasis on the environmental rules and regulations governing this event will be held at the welcome reception in Buenos Aires.
Attendance is mandatory for participation in the race.
Each runner is responsible for their own liquids. You should bring 2 or 3 water bottles for race day.
NOTE: You can purchase drinks in plastic bottles when in Ushuaia which then serve to reuse them on race day.
Also, bring any electrolyte replacement fluids that you commonly use. Only water will be available in Antarctica. Portable toilets will be available at the starting area.
All drink bottles must be marked with your race number. Bring your own sports gels or energy supplements. All energy supplements must be removed from paper packaging and placed in plastic flasks or other containers that will not blow away.
No light plastic bags are allowed on shore.
Personal Refreshments and Clothing
As per above – refer to Aid Stations paragraph
All transport on race day is included in the price of your package.
Finishers T-shirts, Medals and Certificates
All finishers will receive a Certificate and a medal.
In the Half-marathon, the top three men and women will be recognized from each wave.
Times will be merged from each wave (Ioffe and Vavilov Ships).
Temperatures range from -9 to 1 degrees Celsius (15 to 34 degrees Fahrenheit) minus the wind chill which can lower it by about -12C.
Snow is rare but light flurries are common.
Antarctica MarathonMy Story… Eight years ago I decided to get fit. I brought a running machine and started with 2-3 times a week, 2-3km at a time. I then set a goal to run 1500KM on it in a year…Whilst I was ...
Eight years ago I decided to get fit. I brought a running machine and started with 2-3 times a week, 2-3km at a time. I then set a goal to run 1500KM on it in a year…Whilst I was sort happy with that I wanted to do better, so I decided to run a FUN RUN in every capital city in Australia.
I entered and off to Melbourne for my first run. Then Adelaide, Sydney, Hobart, Canberra and Brisbane. It was during this time I ran into Travelling Fit and heard about this crazy run along the Great Wall of China. I liked the sound of that, so entered the 5km run in 2010 and went on a fully packaged tour. I liked the run so much I actually ran the 5km, then the 10km straight after. The great well was magnificent, the run was something I always remember, but it was the comradery that stands out from any running event you attend. On the Great Wall run it was easy to meet people as we had this common interest – RUNNING! The energy amongst the group was so positive and supporting – everyone is always encourage no matter what the challenge is you have set yourself, it is about you competing against yourself, and you have lots of other liked minded people supporting you.
Just after finishing the Great Wall run, I saw this sign, ‘Big 5 Marathon’… I always wanted to go to Africa, maybe doing this with a big bunch of positive people was the way to go. So off I went in 2012 and decided this time I would step up to the half marathon as my next challenge. I completed the half marathon there, however it was an experience you would never forget. Safari’s every day, culture, people and of course the supporters (other runners) were always there to encourage you. I was told South Africa gets into your sole, well that it did, I went back and did that race 5 times, stepping up to the full marathon.
It was in 2014 though that I decided to do my first full marathon. It was also in South Africa doing the Big 5 where I met two special people who encouraged me to look at doing the 7 continents – 7 marathons on 7 continents. There is 7.2B+ people in this world, less than 1,000 have achieved this feat. This would be my new goal. I got back to Australia and immediately got in touch with Travelling Fit, Berlin would be my next run.
Following that I ran a marathon in the United States, Australia, the Temple Run in Bagan and a hot sweaty event in RIO. Six down and here I am in March 2017.
Two days ago, we woke this morning to the news:
“Temperature is 1.5 Celsius – winds 15-25km diminishing in the afternoon”. You could hear the whole ship cheer. It suddenly hit me and I got somewhat emotional in regards what I was about to do, but told myself do not burn energy with emotion, you need it!
Soon, we headed across to the Russian base and then we were on our way. The last marathon, Antarctica!
What the forecast didn’t tell us was that little wind had like a -10 Celsius wind chill factor… no problems, had all the gear, all good… target first 3 laps in 50min each and the last 3 in 1hr each ie. 5:30 finish target. The terrain was rocky, pebbles, stones, mud, lots of mud, some water to jump, snow on the side and undulating hills. It was simply in one way, grueling in another.
So the first two laps were good – 40min each, 3rd lap 45min – It was slower because it started to snow! Yes, the winds had dropped back, but it started snowing for lap 3 and 4 and it was freezing! There was small lake next to the track, the winds off that where pure ice.
The snow stopped and the chilly wind came back for lap 5 – it was awful as it was a nothing lap – a lot of pain and going nowhere, but still doing good time. Charlotte (my daughter) had finished the half and was shuttled back to the ship so at the last turn I spent 5mins ruffling around in the bag and finally found the camera, then headed off for the last lap… had plenty of time up my sleeve so stopped and took a lot of photos. I really did soak it all in on the last lap.
I ran down the last hill, and threw the finish line at 4:37. I was very happy with that.
The non-race days where filled with penguins, whales, seals and icebergs. We were told you come here for the race, but you go away with an experience. Thinking about it now, this is what happened to me, every race, it was an experience if not an adventure. Most places I went, I definitely want to go back to again. I have met so many great people, made many new friends, and got to see things most people would only ever dream.
I had been chasing a dream, and I caught it, less than 700 people have achieved the 7 in 7 and I am in that club!
I would have never achieved this though without so many people supporting me. The hard work pounding the road every week to get ready for such events. My physio and masseur repairing injuries, my Sunday morning breakfast guy, Charlotte running with me and my kids encouragement… but one that has followed my journey and made it happen is the wonderful team at Travelling Fit. I look back at the places I have been and the journeys I have taken – nothing has ever been a problem, everything is organized to the highest detail and whilst it was a tour, they always made it ‘about me’.
I did the run, but Travelling Fit made it an experience. An experience of a lifetime, thank you so so much Mari-Mar, Michael, Craig, Felicity, Ang, Lee, Mitch and Leeca. A very special thanks to Tina who has been extremely close to me on this journey, thank you for your kind words and faith.
Thank you Travelling Fit.
Antarctica MarathonThank you very much for your help in getting us to Antarctica. The whole trip was a great life experience. Qantas managed to lose our luggage between Santiago and Buenos Aires. It arrived ...
Thank you very much for your help in getting us to Antarctica.
The whole trip was a great life experience.
Qantas managed to lose our luggage between Santiago and Buenos Aires. It arrived 36 hours later. Once in the hands of Marathon tours every thing went smoothly. Marathon Tours managed every thing well. The Expedition team aboard the Akademik Vavlov lead by OneOcean Owner Andrew did a fantastic job with plenty of lectures about the cold continent on the way too and from Antarctica . The shore, Zodiac and Sea Kayaking excursions were all smoothly and safely organized.
We had samples of all Antarctic weather apart from a complete white out blizzard on the trip from a Sunny afternoon on the last afternoon in the Antarctic to a 60 knot+ Storm in the Drake passage the day after on the return trip.
The marathon was completely different to last years although it was run on the same course. The course was 3 14.065 km laps on roads between the Russian, Uruguayan, Chilean and Chinese research bases on King George Island. The Start Finish was in the middle at the Russian base. Half the course was over roads that had been cut up by the snow tractors that are used for transport in that area. The recent cold weather had seen the earth freeze and the water across the track freeze as well . This area also had very steep short sharp hills to negotiate. The balance of the course was on a mixture of smoothish roads and roads with large round pebbles on it along side the beach.
The winner, a two hour 40 minute marathoner took 3 hours 29 minutes to complete the course. 23 minutes slower than last year, Staying on your feet and watching your footing was a priority. There were more falls and cases of hypothermia than in previous events. 8 of the 68 marathon entrants were not able to complete the run. It was a tough event. I had hoped for a 5 1/2 hour time and ended with 6h. 50min. and was happy with that. One Canadian lady pulled her back on the way down and wasn’t able to run.
The weather on the day was -5c with a light breeze adding a chill factor. Thom Gilligan described it as a Brutal Marathon.
The days after the marathon were filled with variety in weather, Zodiac cruises, shore cruises and Sea Kayaking and interacting with the wild life of the area. The high light being an hour with a mother Hump Back Whale and her calf with support from a group of Minkie whales on the last day. All left Antarctica with an increased respect for mother nature and more aware of the damage humans are doing and wanting to reduce our impact on the environment.
I hope that this gives you an insight into this years Antarctica Marathon.
I have now run a Marathon on 6 continents.
I need to return to South America to do my 7th. Can you please put Diane and me down as starters for next years Easter Island Marathon.
Antarctica MarathonWe had a 6am wake up message on the boat, and a reminder of the 6:15 breakfast. A shower, more agonising over layers, wondering about the weather report of 0 degrees and 20 knot (50 km/hr) winds ...
We had a 6am wake up message on the boat, and a reminder of the 6:15 breakfast. A shower, more agonising over layers, wondering about the weather report of 0 degrees and 20 knot (50 km/hr) winds instead of the 10 knots promised us last night! Cornflakes with sugar and a banana and an apple juice – the breakky of champions! Actually, it seems to have worked pretty well for me, every race I have done since Steph Gaskell suggested it, I have run trouble free, tummy wise, and with enough juice in the tank each time.
I decided on two merino tops – my I/O hoodie and my older pink Kathmandu merino, with my ‘Tory’ t shirt over the top and my new shell over the top. The hood, an I/O merino neck gaiter, a NY marathon wool and fleece beanie, my 2XU thermal compression tights, wool socks and asics goretex trail shoes, merino gloves and waterproof gloves to start with. 4 sachets of endura citrus goop in one container, 3 sachets of GU raspberry chocolate in the other, 2 water bottles for the two water drops and two small water bottles for back up at the base camp.
We boarded about the third zodiac with extra gear on – fleece pants, fleece neck gaiter, big parka, extra socks, wet skins and boots for the trip to shore, and got there just in time for Thom to finish talking with the Russian base commander who had apparently changed his mind about where we could set up. The start was therefore moved about 200m towards ‘Uruguay’. The course was set up with a very hilly 3.5km run out to Uruguay from the Russian and Chilean bases and back and then a flatter 3.5km trip out to the Chinese ‘Great Wall’ base and back. This 14km loop was then done three times, with the half marathoners only needing one trip to China and two to Uruguay.
We waited in the cold, I was mostly waiting until I could see signs of the toilet tent being set up again as I didn’t see the point in getting undressed too early, and timing changing with the trip to the loo seemed sensible. By the time we got to 8:30, however, I figured it was time to start disrobing and changing shoes. Off with the boots, the wet skin pants and the fleece pants, off with the second pair of socks, and on with the running shoes and the tutu. Off with the jacket, on with the running belt, add the gu in the hammer squeeze bottles borrowed from Paul, spare one in the jacket pocket, adjust the headwear and we’re sorted. By now, the loo tent was nearly ready for the last minute pitstop (that’s mandatory, isn’t it?), and then it was time for the final briefing. Because the start had had to be moved, the loops were no longer exactly even (and in fact, the half marathon was probably a few hundred metres short), but it wasn’t really going to matter.
I started towards the front of the assembled pack of 98 runners, and settled quickly into about 10th position heading up the first steep muddy hill. I was the leading female for the whole of that first 3.5km, up and down lots of muddy and icy slopes, leaping over freezing rocky creeks, getting blasted by the wind across little lakes and marvelling at how much some of the scenery looked like Iceland did when we were there a few years ago. Soon after the turn around at ‘Uruguay’ (tail wind!), another girl passed me, Jen. She ran well and was quickly 50m or so ahead of me. I was ok with that – I had been hoping for a top 3 finish, not knowing anything about the calibre of the other runners, but hoping in a small field that I could have a chance.
Once back at base camp (‘Russia’), I dropped off my jacket which was now around my waist as well as my waterproof gloves as it was a much flatter trip out to China. The tailwind wasn’t noticeable in this direction, the road often very rocky /pebbley and at times was tricky going, without being technical per se. There were fewer creeks to leap this way and fewer quagmires to negotiate and Jen tore ahead of me. After the turn around, the 50km/hr wind was brutal. It was very difficult going, slogging into this wind, on a road that was only steep enough to walk up in a couple of places, so it was just a slow trudging run into the wind. It was chilly, but I was ok at this point. I had a drink bottle that I’d collected at base, ready to drop at about the halfway point of the leg, so handed that to Amanda at the drink stop on my way through
As I went past base again, the 14km point, Jen was hundreds of metres ahead of me – it was only the fact that her top was fluoro yellow that allowed me to keep track of her at all. I thought that was almost going to be the last I saw of her as she was so strong on the flatter roads. The headwind continued all the way back to Uruguay, but I had more fun in this section. The hills were short and sharp, so I hiked up them well, and really enjoyed running down them fast. My shoes were sticking really well, I don’t think I felt them slip once, so I trusted my footing more than I ever usually do and really opened up. I liked that the surfaces, whilst very muddy or icy had no loose bits on them, unlike most of the trails at home, and it helped my confidence enormously. I don’t know how many other people felt the same as I did, because by the turn around, Jen was only 200m or so ahead of me. I soon realised that I was able to gain a lot of ground on those downhills, and within 2k I had caught up. I thought that would be the first of many passes with her, given we were nearly out of technical track and back on the flatter road, but it didn’t turn out that way. We were also only number 11 and 12 overall after passing a couple of fast starting Chinese base employees.
I tried hard to run my race rather than getting sucked along into competing too early in tough conditions, but did push a bit to try to stay ahead, opening up on the downhills and hiking strongly up. I also tried to be mindful of not just ‘plodding’ along on the flat bits as I can tend to do on the trails. By the time I was back at the base, I realised I was about 10th overall after a couple of guys pulled in to finish the half marathon (one of them just in shorts and a long sleeved t shirt!). I looked behind me as I left Russia and could hardly see Jen behind, so she was already several hundred metres back. I kept pushing along this flatter section, running alone but there were some people still on their return journey coming the other way (around 10k completed, where I was up to 22/23), offering some cheers and high fives.
After turning around again at China, the wind was reaching new lows of cold and rainy and uncomfortable. I may well have said a few times as I passed people coming towards me that ‘this wind is a bitch’, as they seemed to be just cruising in the tailwind (that I had not noticed myself), but, boy, that wind was fierce! It was a miserable run. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I managed to collect my drink bottle as I ran past. I was not meant to do that until the last lap. When I got back to base, I handed it to Charlie (no recollection at all!), and looked for my orange jacket. I couldn’t see it anywhere. The benches I had left it on had been moved, and I couldn’t seeing it anywhere. ‘Where’s my orange jacket?’, I called out a few times.
Boris (one of the One Ocean expedition leaders) said he had picked it up as it was blowing around and it was in the green bag. ‘What green bag? Where?’ There were two green bags, so he came over and opened it for me. I scrambled for the jacket, found the pocket, dropped my empty citrus goo container and collected my chocolate one, then realised I couldn’t leave my empty container is this bag that wasn’t mine, so rummaged for it to give to Charlie. Finally I found it, and set back on my way. I wasn’t polite to Boris and I felt bad. I didn’t swear at him or anything, but I was not gracious. I haven’t yet seen him to thank him and to apologise. Hopefully tomorrow.
I was cold. I was feeling ok heading out at that 28km mark and was looking forward to this more technical ground that I seemed to be handling well, but by now, I really wanted to win. By the 24.5k turn at China, I counted that I was 9th, but Kelly was now the next girl behind me. It was tricky to work out how far, and I was getting a little muddled. I had some calories, drank a bit on the uphills, and kept pushing. It was in this section that I lapped a lot of people (thus I was 14km ahead), many of whom I knew were meant to be doing the full marathon, but who had to have missed the cut off. We were meant to be at halfway by 3:20, but if they were still 5km or so from there, they were going to run out of time.
I hadn’t realised in my own frantic stop, but a few of the guys ahead of me had also stopped a bit at base as we went through the 28km mark, so as I approached the turn at Uruguay, I counted that I was now 6th overall. I wondered if I had missed some people, as there were half marathoners in particular about to finish in this section. By the time I turned, I was glad that 31 km were done in 3:31, but worked out that meant I had over an hour to go. I really just wanted it to be over. My legs were cold, especially up the top of my thighs (why are the fatter bits colder?), I was wet, I was cold, I was hungry. I had some chocolate gu and kept running. I collected my bottle from the lonely drop and kept running. About 1km from base, Charlie was waiting on a hill, taking pictures. He joined me for most of this section, running alongside, stomping through creeks, letting me go ahead on the icy descents. I waved as a sped on downhill to base and collected my jacket, tying it around my waist again.
As I left base for the last time, Alex from Switzerland was just coming up the hill to finish in a bit under 4 hrs. He had run very strongly all day and had led from the very start. Somewhere here, either when I was running with Charlie or when I tied my jacket around my waist, I lost my chocolate gu – it must have bounced out of my bumbag. I figured someone would find it – it’s a squeezey plastic and I had it named – and I’d get it back at the end. I was looking forward to my water at the drink stop and was baffled when I couldn’t seeing it. I wondered who could have taken it, certain I hadn’t. Then I wondered if I was confused, so quickly told myself the date and realised that I wouldn’t be able to diagnose if I was really confused anyway.
I was annoyed. I was cold and tired and not looking forward to the headwind home. The 2.18 miles they had talked about was confusing me (I couldn’t work out that it was 3.5km for each leg; that’s only been since I finished), and I was really concerned about Kelly catching up to me. I didn’t like my chances of out running her side by side. I had really counted on still getting some water and sugar into me in this section, but now I had to do it without, and I was not confident that I was really 100% with it. I wasn’t nauseous at all, I could see clearly and I think I was running in a straight line. I think. I really didn’t want to mess it up, having led for this long, to now not win was going to dent my pride. I counted only 4 men ahead of me, but David, the closest, was far ahead.
I checked the time as I rounded the last turn around (these weren’t manned each time) – 4:20 – and kept a lookout for Kelly. It was 3:45 minutes later when we crossed paths, so I figured I was seven and a half minutes or so ahead. That felt really close. So I had to keep pushing, running into the cold headwind, jacket zipped up, face huddled into the soaking wet merino neck gaiter, sucking the air through it, tapping my numb finger tips, ignoring my aching feet, and willing myself onward. I walked up the hills here even though they were modest, but running up them into the headwind was more than I could bear. I kept checking behind me, but I could never see anyone coming my way.
As I went past the ATV’s with either Jen or John aboard, they waved or high fived, Christine at the corner in Russia yelled out, and every runner I passed congratulated me for those last few km. I wasn’t really enjoying it just yet – I really just wanted to finish! Around the last bend, and eventually the finish was in sight. I could see Charlie up there, I just had this last hill to climb with streams running down it. I did run all the way, but it was so slow and self conscious. The dozen or so people in the finish area were cheering, a tape had been held across for me to break, and I crossed. I won a running race! My first ever running win. I was the slowest in the class in primary school!
The most amazing thing to see on the course was Hein from South Africa. He is the first blind man to run a marathon in Antarctica. His guide, Nick, only met him for the first time 10 days before the run (indeed, Nick only booked the trip then on a very last minute cancellation. His sister, Lara, has now run a marathon on each of the continents in 11 months after selling her house and car, quitting her corporate job, and is now raising awareness for the orphans in South Africa, setting up an orphanage, which she plans to continue to do for the foreseeable future). They ran so well together, never falling once, in this slippery, rugged terrain. He’s a lovely guy, with a terrific sense of humour. He was given the number 1 bib for he run and did a quick speech before the run and another the night after. He made a joke about having never grabbed so many boobies before in the space of a few days, then talked about a trip he did to India, where he visited a school for deaf and blind kids. He told us a bit about it, then recalled that he was asked which he would prefer – to be blind or deaf. He replied that he didn’t know, but he was sure glad he wasn’t both. He then reminded us all to be grateful for all we have and to relish it. There was much applause to his speech.
There are so many lovely people on board, so many stories. There is the lady who has run over 460 marathons, preferring to run 2 per month. I think she walks most of it, and I don’t know how many she has done under 6 hours, but it is her hobby. Her partner is now up to 46 marathons, he says. He hates running, but he does it for her. They finished the half this week. I met the American president of the magazine group that does Elle and Harpers Bazaar – Michael also ran Kilimanjaro last year, and thinks he remembers the tutu 🙂 He lives on E79th street in NY, so maybe we have somewhere to stay next time we are there? Lots of people have run 7 continents, one guy for the 4th time, many have done the 50 states in the US. I have a long list of runs to do now, all over the world! Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset, inca trail, Patagonia, Galapagos, Easter Island, Himalayan 100 miler – the trail events hold more appeal than the city runs, that’s for sure.
Antarctica ReviewHave you ever run a marathon where; " You have to catch a Zodiac just to get to the start " You peel off a layer of clothes just before the start of the race which still leaves you with ...
Have you ever run a marathon where;
” You have to catch a Zodiac just to get to the start
” You peel off a layer of clothes just before the start of the race which still leaves you with another 3 layers
” You start the race carrying your drink bottles to leave at the drink stations when you pass them (& then collect them on the way back)
” You take up to 90 minutes longer than your slowest ever time & still you’re elated
” You have 2 people change your shoes, your socks & dress you at the end of the race
” After running for 5+ hours in zero degrees, you have to get into a Zodiac, then onto a ship & then onto your knees while you scrub every last bit of dirt off your runners before you can have a shower.
If you answered yes then you’ve run the Antarctica Marathon & you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you answered no then you really need to consider this marathon as it is one experience you will never forget.
The best way to explain this incredible event is that you think it’s about running a marathon on the 7th continent but ends up being more about Antarctica & the run is just one of the day trips. I left Sydney on a flight to Santiago Chile with a connection to Buenos Aires Argentina. A 14 hour flight followed by a 2 hour flight but for us Australians, long haul flights are just part of who we are and this one was pretty easy.
All the runners meet in Buenos Aires for a welcome dinner which is a great way to start the journey. Roughly 200 people who are running either a full or half marathon & just the knowledge & experience in the room on that first night was incredible. One person running their 60th marathon, another running their 7th continent….for the 4th time.
The second day included a half day tour of Buenos Aires with the afternoon left for our own sightseeing. (Tip No.1, if you are ever in Buenos Aires, go to a Parrilla (charcoal grill) as Argentina is famous for their steaks)
The next day is an early flight to Ushuaia (pronounced U-shway-a) which is the southern-most city in the world. After a few hours shopping, we boarded the Akademik Sergey Vavilov (Tip No.2, buy blocks of Cadbury chocolate from the local supermarket. You will be the most popular person on the ship).
The Vavilov is a Russian research vessel but is manned by One Ocean Expeditions who were our host for the next 10 days. The ship was really well appointed and I must say has the best bar in the world. Where else can you sit on a bar stool drinking Frozen Martinis (it is a Russian vessel after all) and look out one window & watch icebergs go past & look out another window & watch humpback whales jumping out the water. Then there’s the seals, whales, penguins, whales, glaciers oh & did I mention whales?
On the 3rd day we arrived in Antarctica and immediately we were on the Zodiacs over to land to start our Antarctica experience. (Tip No.3, sea sickness tablets. Not sure I would have needed them but better safe than sorry. Three metre waves crossing the Drake Passage throws even a large ship around).
The thing about going ashore is that the only way to get there is via Zodiacs. You sit on the side, you get wet, it’s freezing, you don’t stop smiling, you don’t hesitate doing it again & again & again. There is simply no way to describe what you see & experience. On one of the excursions I was standing in the middle of approximately 3,000 infant penguins. No that’s not a typo, three thousand penguins.
So on Day 5 it was marathon day. An early breakfast (don’t get me started on the food, three meals a day & each one had three courses – including breakfast… plus morning & afternoon tea. The only marathon I’ve done where I’ve finished weighing more than I was the week before) then it was on the Zodiacs for a short trip over to shore. The good thing about this marathon is that everyone is coming from the same place so as soon as everyone is on shore we start. The course is a challenge, that is probably an understatement. Mud, ice, melting snow running across the track, hills then add cold, wind & on the day we had snow for the last few hours.
That doesn’t sound like fun but it was great. You know you can’t run a fast time so you relax & enjoy it more. I mean how many marathons do you start in Russia, run to Uruguay, then back to Russia, then to China, then back to Russia. You do that three times & next thing you know you’ve run a marathon in Antarctica (Sure Mawson discovered the Magnetic South Pole but did he run it?? I don’t think so)
There were 168 people that started the marathon & 130 finished so yes it was tough because it’s not like the 30 that didn’t finished were doing their first marathon. Just to put the challenge out there, we also had the first blind person to run a marathon in Antarctica finish in just under 6 hours.
So after my two helpers dressed me (why can’t I have that at every marathon??) it was back on the Zodiacs, back to the Vavilov, clean all traces of Antarctica off my mud covered runners & then into the best shower you are ever likely to experience.
You know when you finish a marathon & you are telling your better half or friends and family about the experience & they look at you & nod but don’t really understand because they think you’re mad for running 42km anyway? Imagine sitting in a bar with a hundred or so people that know exactly what you have just experienced because they have just done the same thing. It was a great way to spend the afternoon (I must admit the enthusiasm to run outside whenever there was a whale sighting wasn’t as popular as other days)
After that it was a five day holiday in and around the most amazing continent you are ever likely to see. The landscape is spectacular and the wildlife is amazing and that doesn’t count the 20 odd runners that decided to do a Polar Plunge in zero degree water.
The whole trip was really well organised & the Travelling Fit/One Ocean team were fantastic. For those wanting to run all seven continents this one is a must but even if you want a unique experience this is a great way to do it.
Speaking from experience, the look on people’s faces when you say you are going to Antarctica is great but the next expression, when you add that you are going to run a marathon, is absolutely priceless.
The Antarctica Tour Package begins with three-nights in Buenos Aires for time to meet your running peers, participate in a few training runs, and attend the mandatory race briefing and welcome dinner. You will then be flown to Ushuaia, which is located at the southern tip of Argentina. It is here where you will start your journey to Antarctica aboard the Akademik Vavilov Ship. Over the course of several days you will sail through the Beagle Channel across the Drake Passage, through the Shetland Islands and along the Antarctic Peninsula until reaching King George’s Island – the location of the Marathon and Half-Marathon!
During your travels you will explore the most pristine corner of the planet, coming face-to-face with Antarctic gems such as glaciers, icebergs, penguins, seals and whales. Historians and scientists will provide lectures on board your ship and you will experience wildlife excursions during landings in remote areas, such as seal colonies and penguin rookeries as well as the research bases. We guarantee that you will experience a most challenging running experience as well as an experience of a lifetime.
Great care is taken to leave behind zero impact on the environment in this sensitive ecosystem. As part of this, we are restricted to having a maximum of 100 passengers ashore for the event at any one time.
Travelling Fit is an accredited travel agency which offers a full range of services to our clients. This enables us to book your flights and additional touring to help us assist you in creating your perfect holiday experience.
* IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Single occupancy on ships is not available. All cabins are shared. If you are traveling alone, we will match you with another runner of the same gender.
Booking as a single will mean you will have a single hotel room in Buenos Aires. The cost is included in the price of the single package
- Guaranteed Race Entry to the Marathon or Half Marathon (runners only)
- 3 Nights Accommodation at Alvear Icon Hotel, Buenos Aires:
Check in: 10 Mar - Check out: 13 Mar 2019
- 10 Nights on board the Akademik Vavilov:
Check in: 13 Mar - Check out: 23 Mar 2019
- Arrival transfers in Buenos Aires on 10 March 2019
- Return flights from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia
- Return Airport Transfers in Ushuaia
- Full breakfast each morning at Alvear Icon Hotel, Buenos Aires
- Welcome Reception and Dinner in Buenos Aires
- Buenos Aires Half Day City Tour
- Lecture Program on board the ship
- Zodiac and wildlife excursions
- Kayaking with whales (optional - US$ 125 additional cost per person)
- Three meals daily on board the ship
- Personalised Travelling Fit Running Top
exclusive to Travelling Fit clients
- Invite to Travelling Fit Antarctica Marathon Closed Facebook Group
exclusive to Travelling Fit clients
- Offical race event T-shirt
- Representative services during the entire tour dates
- All hotel taxes
Deposit: $3950 per runner and per supporter,
2nd Installment: $3950 due Mon 18 Jun 2018 per runner and per supporter.
Balance Due: Mon 17 September 2018