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Runners brave snow, ice and cold for Antarctic Ice Marathon


The Antarctic Ice Marathon headquarters at Union Glacier from November 23 to 27, 2016. Photo: Antarctic Ice Marathon
 

Wrapped up warmly with layers of clothing, gloves, hats and goggles, the runners await the blasting siren marking the start of the race before heading off onto the barren track.

Ahead of them, snow, ice and freezing temperatures of -20°C for one of the most unique runs in the world—the Antarctic Ice Marathon.

Some 50 runners from around the world took part in the event last week, taking on a marked course of 42.2 kilometers (26.2 miles) at Union Glacier, Antarctica for what organizers say is "the southernmost marathon on earth."

The Antarctic Ice Marathon headquarters at Union Glacier from November 23 to 27, 2016. Photo: Antarctic Ice Marathon
 
A runner during the Antarctic Ice Marathon. Photo: Antarctic Ice Marathon/Rodolfo Soto
 
Fifty runners from 17 countries took part in the 26-mile race. Photo: Antarctic Ice Marathon/Rodolfo Soto
 
The marathoners ran two laps around the Union Glacier exploration camp, based just 600 miles from the South Pole, amid the most stunning arctic scenery in the world. Photo: Antarctic Ice Marathon/Rodolfo Soto
 

They ran two laps around the Union Glacier exploration camp, based just 600 miles from the South Pole, amid the most stunning arctic scenery in the world.

Conditions for the race were ideal, stunning sunshine with very little wind.

Ireland's Gary Thornton won the men's race with a time of 3:37.13 hours, while Poland's Joanna Medras triumphed amongst the women runners with a time of 6:01.45 hours.

"It was really tough. Well, it shouldn't have been but I don't know why, it just was," Thornton said after the race. "I maybe over-heated a bit on the first lap. But it's good."

All fifty runners finished the race, with seven of them now having run marathons on all seven continents. — Reuters

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