AN IRISH marathon runner has taken his sport to the extreme as the winner of the 100km Antarctic Ice Marathon in temperatures of -30 degrees.
The Antarctic Ice Marathon is the only marathon run in the interior of the Antarctic and is organised by Polar Running Adventures.
In total, 24 athletes from around the world took part in the event, which took place on Thursday.
Keith Whyte (33) from Ennis, Co Clare is no stranger to international success, having won the Anglo Celtic Plate in 2012 he now serves as the Irish record holder for the 100km.
The runner was still recovering from an injury when he was asked to take part in the gruelling Antarctic challenge earlier this month.
But Keith said he didn't hesitate when he was offered the chance to take part in the bitterly cold endurance test.
"I thought the opportunity would never come along again," he told the Herald.
"I only had about 10 days notice, so there was no real way to prepare for that."
Keith said that the conditions in the Antarctic were incredible.
"There was about 24 hours of daylight. When I got there it was about -10 to -15 degrees but the weather changed as the day went on. It could get poor at times," he said.
About 80km into the race, in temperatures of -30 degrees, Keith began to experience the difficulties of Antarctic weather when the wind started to pick up. The runner said he treated it like a normal race by keeping hydrated and watching his pace.
Keith finished the race in nine hours, 26 minutes and two seconds, almost two hours ahead of his nearest competitor, another Irish runner, living in Switzerland, Kevin McGeeney.
"It was actually my slowest time but to be nearly two hours ahead of second place, I was delighted with that," he said.
Keith's next challenge is an attempt to beat his current 100km Irish record in Cork in April, followed by a bid to enter the Irish national team at the world championships in September.