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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, Africa, Australia, Asia, Europe, South America and North America 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.

The World Marathon Challenge is the only annual event that offers the opportunity to run 7 Marathons on 7 Continents on 7 Days.

The first marathon takes place within the Antarctic Circle on mainland Antarctica with participants flying to Novo Base. After the first marathon commences on the 'Frozen Continent', there will be a mere 168 hours left to complete the World Marathon Challenge. 

During this seven-day time period, competitors will fly by charter plane and will run standard 42.2km (26.2 miles) marathon distances at Novolazarevskaya aka Novo (Antarctica), Cape Town (South Africa), Perth (Australia), Dubai (Asia), Madrid (Europe), Santiago (South America) and Miami (North America). At each location, local running experts will ensure the marathons are the correct distance on custom courses.

There is a competition in the World Marathon Challenge and the runners with the fastest combined time, for both men and women, are declared the outright winners. 

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. 

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. Successful participants are recognised by the exclusive Intercontinental Marathon Club, which procvides the definitive list of people who have run 7 Marathons on 7 Continents within 7 Days.

Route

The World Marathon Challenge will start at Novo (Antarctica) and proceed to Cape Town (Africa), Perth (Australia), Dubai (Asia), Madrid (Europe), Santiago (South America) and Miami (North America). Runners will spend about 52.5 hours in the air from the start point in Antarctica to the finish line in Miami.

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), Madrid (Europe), Santiago (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) - Susannah Gill (GBR)  3:28:09
  • Fastest Duration (Men) - Richard Donovan (IRE)  4 days 22 hours 3 minutes
  • Fastest Duration (Women) - Becca Pizzi (USA)  6 days 7 hours 58 minutes

Other achievements

  • First Blind Athlete - Sinead Kane (2017 World Marathon Challenge)
  • Oldest Man  - Dan Little (USA), 76 years
  • Oldest Woman - Gloria Lau (SIN), 67 years

2020 World Marathon Challenge Schedule 

3 Feb            Latest arrival at Cape Town, South Africa

4 Feb            Race Director briefing

5 Feb            Pre-Departure Briefings for Antarctica

6 Feb            Flight to Marathon location at Novo, Antarctica. Marathon at 1300hrs. 

7 Feb             Marathon in Cape Town at 0800 hrs, fly to Perth

8 Feb             Marathon in Perth at 2300 hrs, fly to Dubai

9 Feb             Marathon in Dubai at 2100 hrs, fly to Madrid

10 Feb            Marathon in Mardrid at 1800 hrs, fly to Santiago

11 Feb            Marathon in Santiago at 1800 hrs, fly to Miami

12 Feb            Marathon in Miami at 1300hrs

*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.

 

2020 World Marathon Challenge Entry Details

The entry fee of EUR €39,000, which can be paid with three payments of €13,000 or €37,500 if paid in full upon registration, includes:

  • Flight by specialist jet from Cape Town to Novo, Antarctica - the location of the first marathon.
  • Professionally organised marathon events at Novo, Cape Town, Perth, Dubai, Madrid, Santiago 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 in Dubai, mid-way through the trip.
  • Meals provided on charter flights.
  • Aid/Food/Drinks stations at each event as per any stadard marathon.
  • Medical support throughout the trip.
  • Shower facilities at each location.
  • Emergency medical evacuation insurance for Antarctica.
  • Carbo offset for all flights.
  • 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.

You should make sure to book accommodation in the recommended hotel in Cape Town until 8 February. Participants are responsible for their own food, outside of charter flights. 

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.

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