Running a marathon on the Antarctic continent impacts all your senses – there is something so beautiful and serene about this world. It feels entirely foreign, yet hauntingly familiar like I’ve lived this before. There is a complete lack of life – certainly no penguins – Union Glacier is not far from the South Pole and the Ice Marathon is the only marathon event within the freezing Antarctic Circle.
Imagine being encapsulated in total silence – except the wind and your own footsteps. Imagine a cold that can be felt throughout every part of your body, from the top of your ice-meshed beanie to your stinging face, soaked torso, and jack-hammered feet.
I completed the Antarctic Ice Marathon on Dec 18, and with that became the 377th person in the world, and the 5th Australian, to run an official marathon (26.1mi / 42.2km) on all seven continents.
I finished 14th out of 44 in the men’s category at 5:18. Certainly my toughest marathon, made so difficult by the 3-5 inch deep fresh powder that felt like running on a beach.
Intrinsically I know that I’ll eventually divide my life into two parts. The first forty years, pre-Antarctica and Seven Continents Marathon Club is part one. And now there’s the rest.
It’s still too early to extract much meaning from this experience as it’s still so recent.
Yet, if there’s one thing I know, it’s that inherited limitations made be believe I was a certain person. I chose to believe that I couldn’t possibly do anything athletic. I’d certainly never be able to run a marathon, or push my body to extreme stress under extreme conditions. It was a mindset that was exactly…well…just a mindset, a boundary, a piece of misinformation that I had told myself, and believed.