North Pole Marathon Information Meeting

Just had a lazy day, a long, long sleep and nothing crazy like running!! We had a safety/ information meeting at 5pm and the advice included not to take a selfie photo in the nude! We were shown pictures of one such unfortunate man whose feet swelled up and blistered by 80% after just 1 minute exposure! I intend to wrap up well. We fly to the North Pole Marathon base camp at 1am on April 10th. The race is scheduled to start at 14.30 GMT that same day. Expected temperature: between -30/ -40C!! My new friend Adrian Dodson-Shaw the Australian aboriginal runner says even here at a mild -4 he has never experienced such coldness.
BTW there is little or no land at the Pole. The race will be run on a floating ice floe. Russian troops parachuted in with a tractor/digger to construct the landing strip for our special cold weather aircraft to land. Marksmen will patrol the course to protect the runners from hungry polar bears! My tactics are…. 1 To run with a bigger runner smile emoticon Run nice and steady except upon meeting a polar bear!
Upon his arrival the race director Richard Donovan will quickly sort out a safe course and measure it by gps. The course will be laps of just under 5km, At the end of each lap we pass the aid tent where it is recommended to calmly take stock of our situation and to replace any damp clothing, which can accelerate hypothermia. Care will be needed to not spill fluid while drinking which can then freeze. All skin will need to be covered while running. We will be using the layer system with added emphasis not to build up sweat which can freeze and to be aware of vent zippers on our windbreaker jackets .

We will be staying in heated tents, 10 persons to a tent! it will be propane heated, not body heated! My race number is 21. There are 45 competitors from 22 countries. There are four runners  from Ireland: Tanj Donovan, Richards niece, Paul Grealish owner of the Kings The King’s Head Galway bar in Galway who gave me great hospitality when I ran thru on my world run. Gary Seerywhose club Dublin Bay Running Club kindly gave me a special award last December. And myself. Good luck to all runners!

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About Tony

I have always considered myself to be an average runner. In school, I was even bullied for I was a sports wimp. Through hard work, dedication, perseverance, self-belief and a strong mind I succeeded in not only running around the world but breaking four ultra running world records during my competitive career. Having previously cycled around the world I didn't start running until I was almost 30. Then I had a dream of running around the world. For many reasons, I waited for over 20 years. One reason was to establish my pedigree as an endurance athlete. I started and finished my world run as the current World Record-Holder for 48 Hours Indoor Track 426 kilometres (265 miles), a record I have held since 2007. I also broke and still hold the World Record for 48 hours on a Treadmill 405 kilometres (251 miles) in 2008. When I retired from competition, more pleasing than any of my world, European or Irish records I had the respect of my fellow athletes from all over the world - in my opinion, sports greatest reward - an achievement I am most proud of. Then I finally put myself out to pasture, to live my ultimate dream to run around the world! This blog was written on the road while I struggled to find places to sleep and to recover from running an average of 43.3 kilometres or 27 miles per day for 1,165 road days. There were many nights I typed this blog on a smart phone, so fatigued my eyes closed. Many journalists and endurance athletes have referred to my world run as the most difficult endurance challenge ever attempted. During my expedition I rarely had any support vehicles, running mostly with a backpack. In the more desolate areas I pushed my gear, food and water in a cart which I called Nirvana, then I sent her on ahead to run with my backpack once again over altitudes of almost 5,000 metres in the Andes. I stayed in remote villages where many people had never seen a white person before. I literally met the most wonderful people of this world in their own backyard and share many of those amazing experiences in this blog. My run around the world took 4 years. There were no short cuts, I ran every single metre on the road while seeking out the most comprehensive route across 41 countries, 5 continents, I used 50 pair of running shoes and my final footstep of the run was exactly 50,000 kilometres, (almost 31,000 miles) I eventually finished this tongue in cheek named world jog where I started, at the finish line of my city marathon. I started my global run with the Dublin Marathon on October 25th 2010 and finished with the Dublin Marathon on October 27th 2014 at 3 05pm! Thank you for your support, I hope you can share my unique way of seeing the world, the ultimate endurance challenge! Read more...


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