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Runners break the ice in South Pole marathon

posted 26 Nov 2012, 07:35 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 26 Nov 2012, 07:36 ]

Runners braved the elements in the ninth Antarctic marathon, with the winner, Scot, Andrew Murray, adding to his victory in the North Pole earlier in 2012.

SOUTH POLE (RECENT) (HOT UNDER THE COLLAR PRODUCTIONS) - They maybe poles apart but this year's North Pole Marathon winner Andrew Murray has triumphed at the Antarctic Ice Marathon, on Wednesday (November 21).

Demelza Farr from Sydney made a double too, winning the women's race to add to her North Pole Marathon victory earlier this year (April 2012)

The eigth Antarctic Ice Marathon took place in perfect conditions.

There were 46 athletes from 15 countries braving the sub-zero temperatures and completed the 42.2km race at the bottom of the world.

The race was a battle between the Spanish runner Luis Marcos and the 2012 North Pole marathon winner, Andrew Murray, from Scotland.

"Amazing conditions actually, it's only -15. Amazing visibility, all the mountains are out. It's not bad under foot. There are soft bits but what an experience. It's amazing, fantastic race.", said Murray.

The lead was constantly changing between the two until Murray pulled away on the 22-mile marker. In the end it was a comfortable win for the Flying Scot in a course record time of 3:41.15 hrs.

Luis came in second some 8 minutes after Murray crossed the line.

Eleven ladies took part in the women's competition. Demelza Farr from SydneyAustralia proved a decisive winner in a time of 5:09:43.

"God I wanted it so bad, I never thought I would do this. My back was in so much pain, I had a bad training run a few weeks ago. I never thought I would do it, I can't believe it," said Farr.

Nancy Moundalexis from the USA and Amanda Barlow from Australia finished second and third, respectively.

Farr's race was the start of her honeymoon with new husband, James Alderson.

Every competitor had to have his or her skin fully protected including a full balaclava, goggles, gloves and mittens, long johns, waterproof running pants and several layers of thermal clothing under a shell.

Hydration for the runners is difficult to manage in the excruciating cold and sweating was one of the biggest issues for all the runners to deal with.

The course was laid out around the Union Glacier camp where markers were positioned in the snow and ice.

The race started at the Antarctic base camp of the Union Glacier, in the southern Ellsworth Mountains, just over 600 miles (100km) from the South Pole at 1000 local time.

Competitors had to complete two laps of the course that was run around the Union Glacier expatiation camp but were able to rehydrate themselves with hot drinks and snacks at one of five aid stations.

Despite the unfavourable terrain, every competitor managed to finish the race, beating the elements to achieve their personal dream.

"It's beautiful, just going out, the scenery, the time, just enjoying it, everybody is out there having fun. Spectacular, loved every minute of it, even the cramps," said Australian runner, Mark Cooper.