Twenty athletes from all over the world are waiting in Punta Arenas, extreme south of Chile, to fly to Antarctica for this year's edition of the Antarctic Ice Marathon & 100k, a charity competition.
Adverse weather conditions retained the international competitors including a woman, who will be running in below zero conditions the 42 kilometers and 196 meters of the marathon in the Patriot Hills area. The competition is sponsored by the Polar Running Adventures, which also organizes a similar event in the North Pole and has the support from the Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions (former Adventure Network International). This year is the third edition of the competition which has brought together long distance athletes from United, States, Belgium, France, Australia, Sweden, Malaysia, Japan, India, Ireland, Austria, Brazil, Great Britain and Singapore. Brent Weigner, 58, geography professor acts as coordinator of the original event and has competed in over 150 marathons. This will be his sixth time in Antarctica where he already has run marathon distances. He has also competed in the North Pole and trains all year round: he lives in the Wyoming Mountains, 2.000 meters high. Another US competitor is Don Kern, 51, a computer engineer who is after a Guinness record: marathons in seven continents in 25 days (current record is 30 days). "Ironman" as he's also known has been visiting Antarctica since 2002 and last summer completed the seven continents marathons in 35 days. The dean of marathon runners is Henri Girault, one of three French nationals, who begun competing at the age of 43 and has since run in 560 marathons of a hundred kilometers. Another exceptional effort is that of Singapore doctor and neuroscientist William Tan who at the age of 50 will attempt to become the first competitor in a wheel chair to complete the seven continents' marathons. The only woman in the competition is British. The list includes: Susan Holliday (UK); Don Kern (US); Mike Ketchmark (US); Gavin Melgaard (Australia); Fredrik Nerbrand (Sweden), Seow Kong Ng (Malaysia); Toshio Ohmori (Japan); Raj Patel (India); Mark Scanlon (Irlanda); Christian Schiester (Austria): Adriano Seabra (Brazil); Neil Standring (UK); William Tan (Singapore); Brent Weigner (US); Mark Andresen (US); Peter Bell (Ireland): Marc de Keyser (Belgium); Bernardo Fonseca (Brazil), Henri Girault (France) and James Heddle (UK). According to the original schedule the competition should be over by December 18th. More info: Ice Marathon & 100K