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.