Roy Jorgen Svenningsen of Canada, who is 84 year old, on Monday became the oldest ever to finish the Antarctic Ice Marathon. Svenningsen started the race on December 13 and took 11 hours, 41 minutes to reach the finish line on December 16.
Roy, a retired oil worker, is from the Canadian city of Edmonton, and he has been running since 1964. He spent a year training for 42-km Antarctic marathon. “At one point, I thought, I don’t think I’m going to do this all the way,” Roy said. “I wanted to finish it, and that was it. I just thought I better get it done.”
The 16th edition of the Antarctic Ice Marathon took place at 80 Degrees South, just a few hundred miles from the South Pole at the foot of the Ellsworth Mountains. William Hafferty of the US was the winner of this year’s race was who set an event record time of 3 hours, 34 minutes and 12 seconds
The race presents a truly formidable and genuine Antarctic challenge with underfoot conditions comprising snow and ice throughout, an average windchill temperature of -20C, and the possibility of strong Katabatic winds to contend with. Furthermore, the event took place at an altitude of 700 metres.
The Antarctic Ice Marathon is run in the interior of Antarctica, not on King George Island outside the Antarctic Circle.
The three-day itinerary saw competitors fly by private jet from Punta Arenas, Chile, on December 12 to the marathon location at Union Glacier, Antarctica. A marked course of 42.2km was been prepared in advance and snowmobile support, aid stations and medical personnel were at hand for the duration of the race. Competitors were scheduled to return to Punta Arenas on 14th December.
The Antarctic Ice Marathon is a unique opportunity to complete a marathon that is worthy of the seventh continent.