Facts about the North Pole Marathon

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Is there any land at the North Pole?

No. The North Pole is not situated on land, but on the Arctic Ocean. Athletes will therefore be running ‘on’ water…frozen water! I will be running on an ice sheet some 6 – 12 feet thick above 12,000 feet of Arctic Ocean on the top of the world.

Information on the North Pole Camp

Barneo Ice Camp is the name of the temporary base camp that is put in place for the North Pole Marathon. It is a unique complex on a drifting ice floe in the Arctic Ocean in the immediate proximity of The North Pole.  The complex includes a runway and a tent camp constructed for a period of three weeks each April, where it also caters for scientists and explorers.

Barneo Ice Camp owes its exotic name to the first radio operator who broadcasted ‘Barneo’ as their call sign in April 1993. Every year the construction of the ice camp starts with a search for a suitable ice floe in the area between latitudes 88.5 and 89.5 degrees North and longitudes 80 and 130 degrees East. A suitable ice floe must be a combination of a one-year-old ice field about 1.2 to 1.5 metres thick, to construct the runway and an older ice flow over 2metres in thickness for the ice camp to be built on. Fuel and all major equipment, including a tractor for building a runway, are then delivered by air drops.

  • The FWD North Pole Marathon® is run over the classic 42.195km (26.2 miles ) marathon distance
  • The North Pole Marathon is the only certified marathon that is run entirely ‘on’ water, the frozen water of the Arctic Ocean.
  • The race is recognised by Guinness World Records as the Northernmost Marathon on Earth.
  • The first North Pole Marathon took place on 5th April 2002 when Richard Donovan (IRL) ran the distance alone.
  • There have been 15 North Pole Marathons to date. The 2021 race will be the 16th event.
  • Only Four-hundred-and-twenty-six people on the planet have successfully completed the North Pole Marathon.
  • It’s impossible to predict the winning times because weather conditions and terrain is variable from one year to the next.