The FWD North Pole Marathon ® is run over the classic 42.195km (26.2 miles ) marathon distance. The race encompasses an individual competiton, with male and female divisions, and a team competition for teams of three or more. There is also an option to run a half marathon.
SUMMARY FACTS ABOUT THE FWD NORTH POLE MARATHON
- Full member of the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races
- Only certified marathon that is run entirely 'on' water, the frozen water of the Arctic Ocean
- Recognised by Guinness World Records as the Northernmost Marathon on Earth
- Dubbed the 'World's Coolest Marathon' ® by Runner's World magazine in 2004
- The first North Pole Marathon occured on 5th April 2002 when Richard Donovan (IRL) ran the distance alone
- There have been 14 North Pole Marathons to date. The 2017 race will be the 15th event.
- Four-hundred-and-twenty-six people from almost 50 nations have sucessfully completed the event
- It's impossible to predict winning times because weather conditions and terrain are variable from one year to the next
- The men's record of 3:36:10 was set by Thomas Maguire (IRL) in 2007
- The women's record of 4:52:45 was set by Anne-Marie Flammersfeld (GER) in 2014
- Two guided blind athletes, Mark Pollock and Jamie Cuthbertson, completed the race in 2004 and 2010, respectively
- In 2007, William Tan - a wheelchair competitor - completed a marathon distance on the aircraft runway
- Paul Grealish (IRL) has run five North Pole Marathons (2004, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), the most completed by one person
- The oldest woman to complete the North Pole Marathon is Kenwynne Barber (GBR), who was 66 years old in 2006 when she ran the event.
- The oldest man to complete the North Pole Marathon is Michel Ribet (FRA / USA), who was 78 years old in 2016 when he ran the event.
- Participants are eligible to join the exclusive Marathon Grand Slam Club by finishing a marathon on each of the seven continents and the North Pole Marathon
5 April, 2002
The first ever North Pole Marathon was a 'solo' run by Richard Donovan. Richard won the First Ever South Pole Marathon ten weeks previously and became the first marathoner at both poles by completing the North Pole Marathon.
Richard Donovan (Ireland) 3:48:12
17 April, 2003
This first exploratory competitive race was jointly operated by several entities and had 10 competitors in action. Martin Tighe (GBR) was the winner in temperatures of -29C and difficult snow conditions throughout much of the course.
1. Martin Tighe (GBR) 5:02:10 2. Richard Donovan (IRL) 3. Dave Kanners (USA) 4. Brent Weigner (USA) 5. Helmut Linzbichler (AUT) =5. Wolfgang Schwarzaeugl (AUT) =5. Hans van Heerden (RSA) 8. Mary Ritz (USA) - Female 9. Andrey Chirkov (RUS) 10. Don Kern (USA) *Paul Ruesch (USA) also ran a marathon at the North Pole, although not participating in the race with the rest of the entrants due to a delayed arrival by him.
10 April, 2004
Following the 2003 North Pole Marathon, the business known as Polar Running Adventures was established by Richard Donovan to operate future marathons at the pole. The 2004 race proved a popular success with explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes included among the fifteen participants.
1. Sean Burch (USA) 3:43:17 2. Ranulph Fiennes (GBR) 3. Timothy Mitchell-Smith (GBR) 4. Brent Weigner (USA) 5. Steven Seaton (GBR) 6. Noel Bresland (GBR) 7. Diarmuid Smyth (IRL) 8. Paul Grealish (IRL) =8. Fearghal Murphy (IRL) 10. John O'Regan (IRL) =10. Mark Pollock (IRL) 12. Pearse Allen (IRL) 13. Maurice Boland (IRL) 14. Stevie Matthews (GBR) - Female 15. John Lally (IRL)
13 April, 2005
With one plane chartered for the 2005 North Pole Marathon, a capacity race field of 25 competitors was easily reached. However, like other North Pole expeditions in 2005, the North Pole Marathon was cancelled due to a dispute between French and Russian logistics operators. All participants were refunded their money or given a free trip the following year.
NORTH POLE MARATHONS 2006-2016
The results of all North Pole Marathons between 2006 and 2016 are included in the Results Section of this website. In 2007, there was also an experimental mountain bike marathon, with 14 competitors, operated just after the foot race. See https://youtu.be/bgYMJGS5e6A for video footage of the bike event - the first ever conducted at the North Pole. In 2013, there was a pilot x-country ski event that may be operated again in the future.