PRLog - March 18, 2014 - BOSTON -- The Antarctica Marathon, one of the most extreme athletic competitions on Earth, celebrated the finish of the event’s first ever totally blind runner on March 9, announced Marathon Tours & Travel, the Boston-based race and expedition organizer. Thirteen base personnel representing Chile and China joined the field of 187 participants from 22 countries runners.
Hein Wagner and guide Nic Kruiskamp finish the Antarctica Marathon in 5:56:01
Blind since birth, Hein Wagner’s dream of running on the seventh continent was in jeopardy when the runner originally set to guide him could not participate due to a knee injury. Wagner, a South African adventurer and motivational speaker, was able to recruit fellow entrant Nic Kruiskamp to guide him during the race. Kruiskamp, also of South Africa, was tethered to Wagner by a short stick and gave him near constant voice instructions to help Wagner navigate the muddy, brutally hilly course. The two men, who met for the first time less than a week prior, finished the grueling event in 5 hours, 56 minutes, 1 second.
“I do not recommend anyone running this course with their eyes closed,” said Wagner after the duo’s arduous feat. “With each footstep I did not know if I was about to land in snow, mud, water or on a rock. I had to have full concentration so to not fall and injure myself."
“Hein ran very strong and shed many tears at the finish as he hugged Nic,” said Thom Gilligan, president of Marathon Tours & Travel and race director of the Antarctica Marathon & Half Marathon.
The 26.2- and 13.1-mile courses transverse rudimentary gravel roads that connect the research bases of Uruguay, Chile, China and Russia on King George Island, located at the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.. Race day temperatures on March 9 hovered around 35 degrees Fahrenheit with sleet, intermittent rain and winds blowing at 25 miles per hour.
The event was held in two stages, March 9 and March 10, in order to abide by an environmental restriction of allowing a maximum 100 visitors on shore in any single landing area.
The men’s marathon open field was dominated by Bartosz Mazerski of Poland who went to the front early and opened an insurmountable lead before cruising through the last few miles to win in a time of 3:17:55. Stephanie White of New Zealand was victorious in the women’s race, winning in 4:23:03 and placing 9th overall.
Twenty runners completed their goal of finishing marathons or half-marathons on all of the Earth’s seven continents and were inducted into the Seven Continents Club, a travel club founded in 1998 to recognize those who have accomplished this feat. For more information on the Antarctica Marathon, please visit www.marathontours.com. write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1 (617) 242-7845.
Antarctica Marathon Results
1. Bartosz Mazerski 3:17:55 Poland
2. Michael Duffy 3:34:50 USA
3. Nate Orders :36:09 USA
1. Stephanie White 4:23:23 New Zealand
2. Victoria Toogood 4:48:40 Australia
3. Suzy Drolet 4:54:04 Canada
Antarctica Half Marathon Results
1. Juan Baltierri 1:57:17 Chile Frei Base
2. Ricardo Sanchez 2:08:26 Chile Frei Base
3. Claudio Munoz Loaija 2:11:53 Chile Frei Base
1. Kathryn Emick 2:21:52 USA
2. Mindy Montano 2:39:43 USA
3. Christine Cha 2:52:31 USA
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About Marathon Tours & Travel
Marathon Tours & Travel is the leading marathon tour operator in
North America offering comprehensive travel packages to 36 marathons and half marathons on all seven continents, including the Antarctica Marathon, Great Wall Marathon and the Amazing Maasai Marathon in Kenya. For more information, please visit www.marathontours.com.
Marathon Tours & Travel
Marathon Tours & Travel