Previous Antarctica Marathon Race Reports

Well, I am 5 weeks away from hopping a plane down to Argentina and heading to the Antarctica marathon. Thought I’d do a bit of searching to see if I could find previous Antarctica Marathon race reports to see what I can learn.

2013 Antarctica Marathon

Temperature: -5 degrees C

Conditions: Icy stretches, frozen terrain

Total ascent: 616.6 meters

Total decent: 619.0 meters


Blisters Cramps & Heaves

Winter Vinecki

Alexandra Stone

Antarctic Turtlerunner

2012 Antarctica Marathon

Temperature: Air temp +3 degrees C with 20 knot winds at beginning, increasing to 45knot winds. Feel feel temp -10 to -15 degrees C

Conditions: Gravel and soft muddy roads

Gear worn:

Base layers: Icebreaker merino wool 200GSM long pant, long sleeve top, running socks
Outer layers: 2XU singlet, Helly Hansen windbreaker, DeSoto tri running tights, Polar buff, Lightweight running gloves
Shoes: Nike Lunar Speedlite shoes
Nutrition: Leppin gels & electrolyte, Clif Bar shot blocks (note of caution, the gels froze solid after 1hr)



2011 Antarctica Marathon

Temperature: 0 to +3 degrees C with wind guts up to 40 knots

Conditions: Sticky mud

Gear worn:

  • Running Shoes: Asics 2160
  • Socks: Wigwam mills ¾ socks
  • Underwear: Thermal underwear
  • Running Tights: Asics running tights
  • Three Layers of jerseys: 1st [light thermal], 2nd [heavy thermal], 3rd [heavy fleece]
  • Marathon Shirt: On top of 3rd layer of jerseys I wore my worldwide marathons shirt
  • Hat: Wigwam Mills Gortex Hat
  • Watch: Garmin
  • Fuel Belt: 4-bottle Road Runner Sports fuel belt
  • Gloves: heavy winter gloves



Bob Rebello

Antarctica Marathon Challenges

Challenge#1 : It’s going to be cold.

Solution: Layer up. Thankfully, since I’ve been into winter sports for a while (snowshoeing, downhill skiing, nordic skiing) I have a collection of wool base layers, fleece mid layers and gortex outer layers. The key will be to bring everything with me, and then decide what to wear on race day.

Challenge #2: I’ve never run in conditions colder than -5 degrees C.

Solution: Well, I’m headed to Montreal on February 7th for the long weekend. Hopefully the temperatures stay nice and low and I can try out my cold weather gear in true cold weather. (Note: It’s currently -17 C in Montreal with real feel of -24 C)

Challenge #3: The ground may be frozen.

Solution: I should pick up a pair of running yak trax to help with traction on frozen surfaces.

Challenge #4: It could be very muddy.

Solution: I could try running with my gortex gaiters. Bonus: the gaiters could keep my calves protected from the wind.

Challenge #5: Race day nutrition – my food might freeze! Also, due to Antarctic Environmental protocols (zero impact policy), no food packaging can be brought on land. Therefore, I’m going to have to carry my gels in a container.

Solution: I’ll have to try out a container to carry my gels in – and find a place to keep them in my hydration pack. Should also look at insulating my water bladder in my hydration pack.

7 Replies to “Previous Antarctica Marathon Race Reports”

  1. Thanks for the pingback… the anticipation builds! You’re in for a fantastic time, no matter what the conditions (as long as you’re dressed for it). The course is tricky, because whereas Yak Trax could be helpful on the limited icy stretches, they may be more unwieldy on the smooth dirt terrain of the second out-and-back. More subtle, all-terrain racing spikes may be your best bet. And rather than gels, have you tried Clif Shot Bloks? Three of those contain the caloric equivalent of one gel, and you can unwrap them and keep them in your pocket for easy and constant access. They also dissolve in your mouth fairly quickly, without too much chewing.

    In any case, sounds like you’ll be well prepared for anything race day may throw at you, and you’ll be there a month earlier than we were last year, so it should be a bit warmer (meaning more mud, less ice). Hope all goes smoothly (though not too smoothly, after all it IS Antarctica), and look forward to reading your own recap when you return!

    1. Thanks for the advice! I haven’t tried Clif Shot Bloks, but I’ve used Honey Stinger chews – although it looks like Clif Shot bloks are more nutritionally dense per packet (200 kcal, 48g carb vs. 160 kcal and 39g carb) so I’ll have to try them out.

  2. I find my hydration pack hose freezes in colder temps so keep that in mind (-8C or colder). Filling your water bladder with hot water might help too and insulating around it is a good idea. When its -10C or colder I have to use a water bottle full of hot water in the pack with a “beer cooler” around it to keep it insulated. Put your gels in a gel flask and mix them with hot water too, that will make them a bit easier to swallow as well as keeping the environment green.

    1. Wow! An ultra! Way to go man! And it was your third time running on King George Island – amazing! You’re so lucky.

      Thanks so much for posting your race report – especially the photos – gives me a great idea of what to expect when I get down there.

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