Antarctic Ice Marathon

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FAQs

How many Antarctic Ice Marathon & 100k races have occured?

There have been nine Antarctic Ice Marathon & 100k races to date. The 2014 race is the 10th edition of the event.

Can I enter the 2014 Antarctic Ice Marathon & 100k?

Sorry, the 2014 Antarctic Ice Marathon & 100k is full and it is no longer possible to enter the events. There are two separate trips in 2015 - one trip for the Antarctic 100k race in January 2015 and the other for the Antarctic Ice Marathon / Half Marathon in November 2015. registration has now opened for these races and available places will be allotted on a first come first served basis.

What date will the 2015 Antarctic 100k take place?

The 2015 Antarctic Ice Marathon is scheduled to take place on 15 January 2015. See the Race Schedule section for complete details.

What date will the 2015 Antarctic Ice Marathon take place?

The 2015 Antarctic Ice Marathon / Half Marathon is scheduled to take place on 19 November 2015. See the Race Schedule section for complete details. 

How much does it cost to register?

The fee for the 2015 Antarctic Ice Marathon and the 2015 Antarctic 100k is €10,800, which can be paid in three installments of €3,600. The first installment secures your place in the race field. Please note that places are limited in accordance with aircraft capacity constraints.

Can I be guaranteed to be in and out of the Antarctic as scheduled?

No. Although the races are often operated in a very timely fashion, you are going to one of the most difficult places to fly to in the world. Days of delay can be normal for Antarctic flights and you should not plan anything important for a minimum of two weeks after your expected return. Allow yourself time to enjoy this unique experience without the stress of time pressures. Of course, every effort will be made to keep to the scheduled departure and return date, but all flights are subject to weather, aircraft serviceability and local conditions.

Where is our departure point for Antarctica?

Our departure point for Antarctica is a town called Punta Arenas in Chile, South America. You will arrange round trip flights from your homeland to Punta Arenas. From there, you will be flown to the Union Glacier camp in Antarctica.

How do I get to Punta Arenas, Chile?

You will book your international flight to arrive in Santiago, the capital of Chile. There are regular internal flights from Santiago to Punta Arenas via the Lan Chile airline. Due to the possibility of delays, you should essentially ensure that there is flexibility with your return date.

Where will I stay in Punta Arenas?

The official race hotel is the Diego de Almagro where preferential rates will be obtained for Ice Marathon participants. However, competitors can choose from a range of other hotels with prices from US$50 - US$300 per night depending on quality and services. When booking a hotel, bear in mind that your budget should cover the possibility of being stuck in Punta Arenas for several days before the jet actually takes off for the Antarctic.

By what means am I transported to the Antarctic?

An Ilyushin-76 (IL-76) plane will fly you to the Union Glacier camp at the foot of the Ellsworth Mountains in Antarctica. It’s a 4.5-hour flight that will see you fly over Tierra del Fuego and the Drake Passage before getting your first glimpse of frozen seas below. At 66 degrees latitude you will cross the Antarctic Circle and continue towards the icy continent. The ice sheet will continue to stretch inland until you see the spectacular Ellsworth Mountains. We will land on an ice runway at the southernmost extension of these mountains - 80 Degrees South.

What is the commitment to safety?

The logistics company’s activities are subject to detailed risk management and contingency planning that allow for the remote and harsh Antarctic environment. Preparations include detailed emergency planning and equipment to deal with all eventualities. The team is known for their experience and expertise. The Union Glacier camp has a basic medical clinic staffed by a doctor and medic who specialize in emergency and remote medicine. Support personnel keep a 24-hour watch and are ready to respond at any time in case of emergency. Established procedures and communication protocols and continued investment in equipment and technology all contribute to a safe and enjoyable experience.

Where exactly will the races take place?

The marathon race will be run in the vicinity of the Union Glacier camp on a 21.1km loop that is repeated twice. There will be aid stations every 8km approximately. The 100km race will encompass four laps of a 25km circuit or 10 laps of a 10km circuit.   

What does the race entry fee include?

  • Transfers to and from Punta Arenas airport, Chile for Antarctic flight
  • Briefing with refreshments in Punta Arenas one day prior to departure
  • Round trip flights from Punta Arenas to Antarctica
  • Meals and accommodation while in Antarctica
  • A Baggage allowance of up to 55lbs (25kg) on Punta Arenas-Union Glacier flight
  • Entry to your race of choice
  • Medal, t-shirts, patches, certificate and other souvenirs of the race
  • Professional photos for personal use (and local publication)
  • A short film of the event for download (personal use)

What does the race entry fee NOT include?

  • Commercial flights to and from Punta Arenas
  • Transfers to and from Punta Arenas airport (except for Antarctic flight)
  • Meals and accommodation in Punta Arenas
  • Personal equipment and clothing
  • Expenses incurred in Punta Arenas due to delays
  • Any excess baggage costs over confirmed baggage allowance
  • Cost for the use of satellite phone whilst in Antarctica
  • Insurance coverage – personal, medical, or otherwise

I have no prior extreme weather experience. Is it ok for me to run in the Antarctic?

Yes. Proper clothing should ensure the cold is not a completely overwhelming problem when running or walking these races. You will be fully advised on what to wear and your clothing will be checked for suitability prior to leaving Punta Arenas. A number of aid checkpoints are available on the course as well as one large heated structure at the half-way point. Some participants will probably never have encountered extremely cold conditions before travelling to the Antarctic, though it is preferable that you would have such experience.

Will it be safe to run?

Yes. Flags will guide athletes around the course and participants should be visible at almost all times. However, it is important to keep your peripherals covered and to be alert to any signs of frost damage.

With little marathon experience, will I be able to finish the Antarctic Ice Marathon?

Yes, it's possible. If you are determined, train properly and can run or walk a distance of 42.2km (26.2 miles) very comfortably, then you should be able to complete the Antarctic Ice Marathon successfully. One of the priorities of the organiser is to have everybody finish the race and the cut-off for the marathon is a generous 10 hours. Only experienced ultramarathon and endurance athletes should attempt the 100k race, where the cut-off is 24 hours.

Can I call home?

You can make outgoing phone calls from Union Glacier Camp using Iridium satellite phones available at the Camp. Pre-paid phone cards can be purchased at either camp at a cost of USD S40 for 20 minutes . Some participants choose to bring their own Iridium satellite phone and charging system. Regular cell phones and other satellite phones (e.g. Globalstar) do not work at these latitudes.

Can I shower or bathe?

It will be possible to have a basic body wash / shower after the event. Many competitors additionally bring pre-moistened towellettes for a daily quick freshen-up. Anti-bacterial hand-gel is also available for hand cleaning. 

What is the weather usually like?

The temperature at Union Glacier typically ranges from –10C to –20C at the time of year.  

What are the underfoot conditions at Union Glacier?

The course will be groomed before the race and it should comprise a reasonably solid ice surface. However, it can also be comprised of soft and loose snow in places, and both features may be evident on the circuit.

What shoes should I wear when running?

A pair of trail running shoes will work out best.

What clothes should I wear when running?

A layering system is best, which should incorporate the following:

Upper body – thermal layer, fleece layer and outer windproof shell
Legs – thermal layer and windproof pants 
Hands – pair of gloves and mittens
Feet – sock liners and woollen socks
Head – balaclava, facemask, hat, neck gaiter, goggles

Please see the Race Gear section of the website. 

Will there be media coverage of the race?

Yes. A news release will be issued after the event. Leading international sports photographers and / or TV have been present at all previous races.