Overall Rating
Overall Rating (13 Reviews)
4.6
(13 Ratings)  (13 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
4.2
SCENERY
4.8
PRODUCTION
3.8
SWAG
3.4
Marathon Tours & Travel has been offering the Antarctica Marathon & Half-Marathon since its inception in 1995. As the proud event organizer and the exclusive tour operator, in conjunction with One Ocean Expeditions, we are excited to bring 200 runners and their supporters to this authentic event this March. The … MORE
Local Weather (Mar 12):
2022 2021 2020 2019 2018
 
H (°C) 1 0 -18 -18 -18
L (°C) -1 -3 -18 -18 -18
Powered by Dark Sky
Find Nearby Lodging (hotel, rental, etc.):

Recent reviews

    Fitbrit REPEAT RUNNER '22

    This was my 2nd Antarctica race. The first time, 9 years ago I completed the full marathon. This year I did the half. A few months before , I fractured … MORE

    This was my 2nd Antarctica race. The first time, 9 years ago I completed the full marathon. This year I did the half.
    A few months before , I fractured my fibula. This is the lower leg bone. I was advised not to go or race.
    I figured I could walk it and I’d be ok.
    Did I forget all those hills? Maybe. I definitely struggle after running about 6.5 miles.
    So without going on and on about my lack of training and misfortune, I still managed to make the most of my circumstances.
    So I put on my thick Parker, grabbed my camera and took photos of the scenery, runners and birds. Something I forgot to do on my first trip.
    I never once looked at my watch and completely lost track of time.
    You can expect lots of hills , in fact the whole course is either up or down and there was 2 short flat areas but they were streams and large bodies of icy water.

    It is a self supported race but there are a couple of staff on the course monitoring the turn around and an ATV out there checking on runners.

    There are time cutoffs but Marathon Tours want you to finish and Jeff Adams and staff stay out there all day ( literally) until the last runner finishes.

    It’s Antarctica, you really should expect the unexpected. The first trip was an icy course and many people fell. Some people didn’t finish. It’s a crazy course but with the right training you can get it done.

    The elevation gain for the half was around 1,700 ft and the full 3,400 ft just to give you a heads up to include hill training before you go.

    Muddy and severe wind was no walk in the park but both races are fun if you let yourself just be in the moment.
    After all isn’t this why you go there?

    I saw Chinstrap penguins, Gentoo penguins, petrels and Kelp gulls during the run.
    I liked splitting the half marathoners to the morning and full marathoners in the afternoon. This gave anyone an opportunity to come back out and cheer your friends on during their race.

    I won’t go into the journey there on the ship.
    In part because we all went during Covid and there were restrictions on board that wasn’t typical.
    If you keep an open mind and stay flexible you should really enjoy this race and trip.
    I wore trail running shoes from Switzerland QC . They were good for keeping me upright but way too stiff and actually bruised my foot.
    Even now 2 months later , my foot hurts.
    Take gloves , hat and a gator . You can always take them off as you run loops and pass your bag often.
    I drank 2 -16 ounce bottles but I should have added a coke or more electrolytes. I didn’t expect to be out there that long.
    I also got hungry and my energy got very low.

    The long sleeve shirts and medals were great. There are additional trophies for age group winners and a 7 Continents medal should you choose to make this race 7 of 7.

    If you haven’t put yourself on the wait list and you are thinking of running this race, I’d sign up right away.

    The ship and the crossing over Drakes passage is a fun trip with opportunities to see whales, birds , penguins & seals if you like wildlife.

    To finish , I didn’t take any motion sickness tablets and I never got sea sickness even during the 55 mph winds we sailed through.
    I did have to grip my feet on either side of the bed that night however.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    A very barebones marathon put on by Marathon Tours, which unfortunately is a pretty disorganized company that is poor at communication. However, the experience of being able to run a … MORE

    A very barebones marathon put on by Marathon Tours, which unfortunately is a pretty disorganized company that is poor at communication.

    However, the experience of being able to run a marathon in Antarctica is unmatched, and I thank the crew of the Ocean Victory and Albatros Expeditions for a great ship and expedition experience.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    2

    Was this review helpful?

    M_Sohaskey Feb 03, 2022 at 9:41pm

    Congrats, Matt! On the race, on the journey, and on notching the toughest continent of them all. Oh, and well done on the sub-4 finish, that's a nice bonus. Glad… MORE

    Congrats, Matt! On the race, on the journey, and on notching the toughest continent of them all. Oh, and well done on the sub-4 finish, that's a nice bonus. Glad you were able to enjoy the surreal experience of being in Antarctica, and I'd love to know how the Drake Passage treated you guys this year. I'm pleasantly surprised you were able to post your review so quickly—when I ran this in 2013, we had no real communication with the outside world until we got back to Argentina! LESS

    Please login to reply to this review.

    This year was perhaps a little more difficult due to a late course change, likely not to be seen again. That said, this is an amazing experience with a magnificent … MORE

    This year was perhaps a little more difficult due to a late course change, likely not to be seen again. That said, this is an amazing experience with a magnificent location. The Marathon Tours and Travel team is fantastic and made it a great run and tour. Highly recommend!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    koteshrao FIRST-TIMER '19

    Weather conditions made it almost not happen. We had cold, hail, wind, hills, mud... it was worst of conditions, it was the best of times! Good logistical support by the … MORE

    Weather conditions made it almost not happen. We had cold, hail, wind, hills, mud… it was worst of conditions, it was the best of times!
    Good logistical support by the race director and support staff and volunteers. The event itself is just one part of a journey of discovery to the bottom pf the world in the company of many accomplished runners.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    tripprunning FIRST-TIMER '18

    This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I loved running this race and this vacation. Well worth it! The temperature was around 20 degrees. I wore only a pair … MORE

    This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I loved running this race and this vacation. Well worth it! The temperature was around 20 degrees. I wore only a pair of running pants and I was totally fine. On top, I wore underarmour cold get shirt, a lightweight pullover with a hood, and a nike down running vest. I actually got a little hot. Smartwool running socks were key. It the wind that is a killer. I would train on rolling hills. My garmin worked and the elevation gained was 1,083 feet for the half so it is very hilly.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    1
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    jacek-staniszewski REPEAT RUNNER '18

    not too many finished it; very limited availability; you will be one of the chosen; penguins and seals as the only spectators; you can await blizzards, rain, wind, hard trail, … MORE

    not too many finished it; very limited availability; you will be one of the chosen; penguins and seals as the only spectators; you can await blizzards, rain, wind, hard trail, creeks

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    DavidNYC REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Getting to the starting line truly is an accomplishment! Watch out for penguin interference! You can run from Russia to China and back, several times in one day. You can … MORE

    Getting to the starting line truly is an accomplishment!

    Watch out for penguin interference!

    You can run from Russia to China and back, several times in one day. You can win a lot of bets with those that don’t believe it possible

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    M_Sohaskey Mar 31, 2018 at 5:56pm

    Congrats on an *amazing* accomplishment David, and thanks for giving other runners a glimpse into this once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Hope you'll share some of your other racing exploits here on RaceRaves… MORE

    Congrats on an *amazing* accomplishment David, and thanks for giving other runners a glimpse into this once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Hope you'll share some of your other racing exploits here on RaceRaves as well! LESS

    Please login to reply to this review.

    CAZALA FIRST-TIMER '13

    The most improbable marathon I ran, and best trip of my life. An unforgettable experience and encounters with runners of all nationalities with special profiles and trajectories. Not to forget … MORE

    The most improbable marathon I ran, and best trip of my life.
    An unforgettable experience and encounters with runners of all nationalities with special profiles and trajectories.
    Not to forget the proximity with unspoiled nature.
    A race and a trip out of time.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    M_Sohaskey FIRST-TIMER '13

    The simplest, most honest way I can think to bottom-line the Antarctica Marathon experience would be “once in a lifetime”. Not only was the race itself unique and surreal, but … MORE

    The simplest, most honest way I can think to bottom-line the Antarctica Marathon experience would be “once in a lifetime”. Not only was the race itself unique and surreal, but my fellow travelers were some of the most passionate and accomplished runners you could ever hope to meet. If you’re a running enthusiast with the time and resources, do whatever you can to get yourself to Antarctica, before climate change transforms it into an exotic island destination devoid of ice and snow. But do so with an open mind… if you’re a compulsive type-A personality who hates surprises, then you might want to skip this race. Sensible expectations will go a long way toward optimizing your Antarctica Marathon experience.

    ITINERARY: The Antarctica Marathon was the brainchild of Thom Gilligan, the founder of Marathon Tours & Travel who produces the race. Our adventure began with a 4-day stay in Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina, followed by a short(er) plane flight to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world at the tip of South America. In Ushuaia we boarded the Akademik Sergey Vavilov, the Russian ship on which we’d be making the voyage to Antarctica, a voyage that would total 11 days – 3 outbound, 5 on the White Continent and 3 inbound. Two of those days in each direction would belong to the Drake Passage, the expanse of ocean between South America and Antarctica that is reputed to be the nastiest and most discombobulating stretch of open water in the world. Luckily both the Transderm Scopolamine patch worn on the outbound voyage and the Dramamine we substituted on the return trip did an admirable job of staving off motion sickness.

    The marathon (and half marathon) were run the day after we sighted land and immediately after we all stepped ashore for the first time in 3-1/2 days. Gentoo penguins frolicked along the shore and joined runners on the course (see videos). But despite being every runner’s central focus, the race itself wasn’t the highlight of the trip – that distinction belonged to the continent. In the three days following the race, we stashed our running shoes and immersed ourselves in Antarctica’s nature porn, in the process earning a face-to-face appreciation for what is arguably the most breathtakingly pristine setting on the planet. I’ve yet to spend time on a space station, but Antarctica certainly feels like the last frontier. Check out the photos and videos on this page and on my blog to get a better sense for the landscape… though when it comes to capturing and conveying the Antarctic experience, nothing compares to being there yourself.

    WEATHER & GEAR: Antarctica is the coldest, highest, driest, darkest and windiest continent on Earth. But despite the cold, it’s that last variable – the unpredictably brutal winds – that are the real wild card, and in this respect our diverse group of 92 runners (plus 8 spectators) lucked out. Yes it was cold (though relatively balmy at -5C/23F), and after the race both the marathon winner and runner-up made brief visits to the Russian medical tent for hypothermia. But the winds were conspicuously subdued on race day, and I found myself able to shed my face protection early in the race. Though I still felt like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man running 26.2 miles in three upper-body layers (wool base layer, synthetic mid-layer, wind- and waterproof outer jacket) and two lower-body layers (fleece-lined tights and lightweight running pants).

    COURSE: This wasn’t the most challenging race I’ve run, but it was certainly challenging enough. The hilly course consisted of two different out-and-backs (past several research bases) that marathoners ran three times each, with the start/finish line separating the two. Footing was precarious, with patches of snow and ice blanketing the course and causing many runners to fall at least once. Preparation-wise it’s important to bear in mind that with its precarious footing, this is a bona fide trail race. Then again, if you want to run in Antarctica it’s not as though you have a slew of choices – you can’t just opt for the road version of the race.

    PRODUCTION: Thom and his crew did a commendable job of orchestrating all aspects of the marathon – their race-day execution, under some of the most challenging weather conditions any race director could face, was nearly flawless. But in the end, the real stars of the show were the highly competent, experienced and entertaining crew of One Ocean Expeditions who, along with the largely unseen Russian crew, ensured our safety and well-being from the moment we stepped aboard the ship to the moment we again set foot in Ushuaia 11 nostalgic days later.

    SWAG: My only real critique of the Antarctica Marathon experience (and it’s a small one) would be that the finisher’s medal should vary from year to year, and should always include the year of the race (or barring that, complementary engraving on the back of the medal that includes name, finish time and year). There’s no excuse for the fact that as of the 2013 edition, the Antarctica Marathon medal had remained the same for at least six straight years (dating back to the image I found online of the same medal from the 2008 race). On the other hand, age-group awards included personally engraved plaques sent to the winners after the trip, so that was a nice and much-appreciated touch. That said, if you’re running a marathon in Antarctica, the swag – as long as it reads “Antarctica” – probably isn’t top priority.

    For a (much) more detailed narrative of the Antarctica experience, check out my blog post at https://blisterscrampsheaves.com/2013/04/28/antarctica-marathon-2013-race-report-act-1/.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    Gruma FIRST-TIMER '13

    Tips: Bring a brightly coloured jacket (top layer). You need to be wearing colour to look good in the race day pictures against the cold white and grey background. Purchase … MORE

    Tips:
    Bring a brightly coloured jacket (top layer). You need to be wearing colour to look good in the race day pictures against the cold white and grey background.

    Purchase reusable containers for your gels (check out: humangear – GoToobs)

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    rfrimmel FIRST-TIMER '13

    This is a tough course with ice and hills. The temperature is not the big issue here. It's cold but not sub zero. Marathon Tours does an excellent job putting … MORE

    This is a tough course with ice and hills. The temperature is not the big issue here. It’s cold but not sub zero. Marathon Tours does an excellent job putting this race on. I was signed up for the full but ended up doing the half because of blister on foot. The trip over to Antarctica and back can be an experience. Checkout the Marathon Tours website for past videos of the trips to get an idea of the trip. This race and the entire trip is well worth it. I’m going back in 2017

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    Donnald69 FIRST-TIMER '13

    A once in a lifetime experience. After a 2 day boat ride across the Drake passage, which might have been the most difficult part of the race, day 3 finds … MORE

    A once in a lifetime experience. After a 2 day boat ride across the Drake passage, which might have been the most difficult part of the race, day 3 finds you landing on King George island, where you are guaranteed to see (during the marathon) the first of many, many penguins. The race is run among the Chilean, Chinese and Russian scientific research stations and a number of their staff also run. The best part of the marathon trip to me was the friendships made. After 10 days on a Russian research vessel, talking about running with other runners, life cannot get much better! After the marathon, you then have another week at sea, exploring the frozen continent where you most certainly will see whales, more penguins and fur seals. A must do run for the adventurous marathoner!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    2

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    MKullander FIRST-TIMER '13

    A trip of a lifetime! The course is not terribly difficult unless there is snow and ice..lots of slipping and sliding. It is a incredible unique location and the hardest … MORE

    A trip of a lifetime! The course is not terribly difficult unless there is snow and ice..lots of slipping and sliding. It is a incredible unique location and the hardest part of the race was getting in/out of the Zodiac and water gear before the race and getting chilled at the end. The scenery and animals (penguins and seal) was incredible!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    1

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

  1. Races
  2. Antarctica Marathon & Half Marathon