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World Marathon Challenge

The World Marathon Challenge is a logistical and physical challenge to run 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days. Competitors must run the standard 42.195 km marathon distance in Antarctica, South America, North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia within 168 hours, or 7 days. There is also an option to run a half marathon distance. The clock starts when the first marathon in Antarctica begins on 18 January 2017.

Participants fly to Novo Base, Antarctica, within the Antarctic Circle, to begin their challenge of a lifetime. After the first marathon commences on the 'Frozen Continent', there will be a mere 168 hours left to complete the World Marathon Challenge.

World Marathon Challenge 2016 from Global Running Adventures on Vimeo

During this seven-day time period, competitors will fly by charter plane must run standard 42.2km (26.2 miles) marathon distances at Novolazarevskaya aka Novo (Antarctica), Cape Town (South Africa), Perth (Australia), Dubai (UAE), Madrid (Spain), Barranquilla (Colombia) and Miami (USA). In doing so, they will complete seven marathons on the planet's seven continents: Antarctica, Africa, Australia, Asia, Europe, South America and North America. At each location, local running experts will ensure the marathons are the correct distance on custom courses.

Competitors will undoubtedly suffer from marathon fatigue, jet lag and sleep deprivation as the event progresses. The impact of wide temperature fluctuations will also be a factor in success or failure, with a possible variation of 50 Degrees Celsius. However, the competitors will be in good hands as the logistics of the World Marathon Challenge are organised by Global Running Adventures/Polar Running Adventures, the organisers of the North Pole Marathon, Antarctic Ice Marathon and Volcano Marathon. 

Competitors in the World Marathon Challenge will spend about 59 hours in the air flying 38,000 km from the start point in Antarctica to the finish in Australia

Although running 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days will be the ultimate success, there is also a competition element within the World Marathon Challenge. The fastest combined marathon times for male and female runners will also be recognised for world record purposes.

Join Event Director, Richard Donovan, on this amazing challenge. Places are limited for the World Marathon Challenge. All finishers will be eligible to join both The 7 Continents Marathon Club and the exclusive Intercontinental Marathon Club, reserved for athletes who have run 7 Marathons on 7 Continents within 7 Days.


The World Marathon Challenge will start at Union Glacier (Antarctica) and proceed to Punta Arenas (South America), Miami (North America), Madrid (Europe), Marrakech (Africa), Dubai (Asia) and Sydney (Australia).

Summary Facts about the World Marathon Challenge

  • The World Marathon Challenge is the only event that offers the opportunity to run 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days.
  • The first marathon will occur within the Antarctic Circle on mainland Antarctica and the final marathon will take place in Miami, North America.
  • The global route is Novo (Antarctica), Cape Town (Africa), Perth (Australia), Dubai (Asia), adrid (Europe), Barranquilla (South America) and Miami (North America).
  • Successful participants will be recognised by the 7 Continents Marathon Club, which provides the definitive list of marathoners on all 7 continents.
  • Successful participants will also be recognised by the Intercontinental Marathon Club, which provides the definitive list of marathoners on all 7 continents within 7 days. 
  • There is a competition element within the trip - the fastest combined marathon times for male and female categories will be declared the outright winners.
  • Participants will run 295 km (183 miles) over the seven-day period, spend 45 hours in the air.
  • The Book of Alternative Records will recognise the event for world record purposes, including fastest combined marathon times for 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days.
  • The Guinness Bood of Records also acknowledges the event for record setting purposes. 

Current World Records for Marathons on 7 Continents in 7 Days

  • Fastest Average Time (Men) - Michael Wardian (USA)  2:45:57
  • Fastest Average Time (Women) - Becca Pizzi (USA)  3:55:11
  • Fastest Duration (Men) - Richard Donovan (IRE)  4 days 22 hours 3 minutes
  • Fastest Duration (Women) - Guoping Xie (CHN)  6 days 8 hours 30 minutes

2018 World Marathon Challenge Schedule (Provisional)

28 Jan           Recommended arrival at Cape Town, South Africa

29 Jan           Pre-Departure Briefings for Antarctica

30 Jan           Flight to Marathon location at Novo, Antarctica. Marathon in Antarctica. 

31 Jan           Marathon in Cape Town, fly to Perth

1 Feb            Marathon in Perth and fly to Dubai

2 Feb            Marathon in Dubai and fly to Madrid

3 Feb            Marathon in Madrid and fly to Barranquilla

4 Feb            Marathon in Barranquilla and fly to Miami

5 Feb            Marathon in Miami

6 Feb            Free to fly home

*Every effort will be made to keep to the scheduled departure and return date, but all flights are subject to weather, aircraft serviceability and local conditions.


2018 World Marathon Challenge Entry Details

The entry fee of EUR €36,000* (€35,000 if paid in full upon registration) includes:

  • Flight by specialist jet from Punta Arenas to Novo, Antarctica - the location of the first marathon.
  • Professionally organised marathon events at Novo, Cape Town, Perth, Duai, Madrid, Barranquilla and Miami. 
  • International VIP charter flights to each of the marathon locations.
  • Contingency plans and arrangements to cater for weather delays in Antarctica and guarantee availability on flights to meet a 7-day schedule.
  • Accommodation, where practical and possible at locations during the trip, and one nights' accommodation in Miami at the conclusion. 
  • Medical support during the marathons on each continent.
  • Professional video footage / photos of the World Marathon Challenge.
  • Medals, t-shirts, souvenirs and merchandise related to the World Marathon Challenge.

The entry fee does NOT include flights from your homeland to Cape Town to begin the trip or your return flight home from Miami at the end of the Challenge.

All participants should be in excellent health and capable of completing the World Marathon Challenge. Please consult with your doctor before entering the World Marathon Challenge.

* The entry fee will be converted to AUD upon application at the current rate of exchange

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