Friday, November 27, 2009

You Are Crazy!

I thought it would be good to answer some of the questions people have been asking me about running a marathon in Antarctica. The first comment I usually get from people is 'you are crazy'. Well at least I have 19 other crazy people to join me in my adventure in Antarctica!

What are you going to wear on your feet?
Yodgee have generously donated my running shoes for Antarctica a pair of Merrell Trail running shoes with good tread and goretex to keep my feet warm.
What are you going to wear running?
With the generous gear support from Anaconda I will be wearing lots of layers. Base Layer: merino thermals which will whisk moisture away from the skin, Mid Layer: fleece layer to provide insulation and trap body warmth, Outer Layer: wind barrier to prevent wind from blowing away body warmth. Also a Balaclava and snow goggles and mittens - they keep the hands warmer than gloves.
What are you going to do about hydration while running?
I plan on wearing a camelbak which holds 1.5l water. This will have go under my Outer layer to make sure the water doesn't freeze. Remember water freezes at 0C and I will be running in temperatures of -12C or less! There will also be aid stations every 8-10km with water.
What are you going to do about toilet breaks?
There are toilet facilities at the half-way (21km) mark.
Will the course be marked?
The course is very well marked with little orange flags - it is impossible to get lost!
How are they going to keep track of the runners?
Runners are marked down at every aid station they pass and there will be snowmobiles on the course.
Will there be penguins?
Patriot Hills where the marathon will be run is too far inland (~800km from the coast) for any animal or bird life - so no penguins, seals or birds. Also no polar bears - they only live in the North Pole - with Santa Claus!
Will you be able to use your Garmin GPS? (used while running to provide distance travelled and pace)
I have been assured that Garmin will work - nothing to block the satellites!
Is there a cut-off time for the marathon?
There will be no cut-off times, no need to worry about road closures or darkness (Antarctica will have 24 hours of day light at that time of year)
What is the time difference from Australia?
Patriot Hills Campsite is set to the same time as Puntas Arenas, Chile which is 14 hours behind Australia.
What is the accommodation like?
Patriot Hills is a summer camp -so NO permanent buildings only tents. I will be sleeping in a two-man, double lined tent, constructed of a high-tech nylon covering. Heat is maintained with zippered doors and a plywood floor.
What will the temperature be?
At this time of year the temperature ranges from -10C to -20C with highs of about -4C!!! Winds generally blow at a steady 18-37 km/hr from a southerly direction, creating a 'wind chill' and lowering the apparent temperature by some 10 to 20 degrees.


  1. I'm sure my first comment was "how exciting!" Can you even sleep with the excitement?

  2. I am very excited but still able to sleep (only 5 more sleeps till I leave)but I have to admit I am starting to have some strange dreams about snow and ice!