Thursday 22 February 2018

Running against polar bears and temperatures of -40C

Gary Seery, with his family, (L toR) Ella, 9, Mollie-Rose 3, Lisa, and Paul, 11
Gary Seery, with his family, (L toR) Ella, 9, Mollie-Rose 3, Lisa, and Paul, 11
Gary Seery as he trains for the UVU North Pole Marathon. Photo: PA

Ed Carty

A team of adventure seekers will dodge the dangers of polar bears and temperatures as low as -40C as they run a marathon at the North Pole this week.

Dubliner Gary Seery is part of a 45-strong team to be flown into a makeshift runway on the polar ice cap, where a 42.2km course has been created for the race.

The UVU North Pole Marathon, now in its 13th year, will see runners slog their way over lethal ice, deep snows and ridges only nine to 12 feet above the Arctic Ocean.

"The North Pole marathon is probably the toughest one you can do," said the father of three, who has been training on a treadmill in a cold storage box.

The race organiser is Galway man Richard Donovan, the first man to run a marathon at both poles.

He said frostbite and cold weather injuries were the biggest danger, apart from polar bears.

"I've been organising the marathon since 2002. I didn't think I'd still be organising it in 2015, not for global warming reasons, but because it's such a surreal concept to be running on an ocean at the North Pole. Who knows in about 10 years' time, I don't," he said.

Mr Donovan, who gave up working as an economist to run and organise adventure races around the world, is planning to run across the US this year and is also aiming to complete a long-term ambition to run across Antarctica, which could happen late this year.

Runners are expected to be at the pole today, with the exact time of the race depending on the weather.

Competitors from 22 countries are taking part.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Life Newsletter

Our digest of the week's juiciest lifestyle titbits.

Promoted Links

Editors Choice

Also in Life