Clear blue skies, sand-type snow conditions, and katabatic wind gusts 
of up to 45 knots greeted competitors in the inaugural Antarctic Ice 
Marathon held on January 7th. The 26.2-mile marathon is the only one 
held within the Antarctic Circle and took place at an altitude of over 
3,000 feet in the scenic foothills of the Ellsworth mountains at 80 
degrees south. 

Running under a sun that nevers sets at this time of year, Evgeniy 
Gorkov (RUS) took a commanding lead over the field from the outset. 
However, John O´Regan (IRL) and Steven Seaton (GBR) worked together 
over the initial half-marathon and O´Regan eventually succeeded in 
narrowing the gap to only 4 minutes with six miles remaining. But 
Gorkov, winner of the Gobi March desert race in 2005, found greater 
strength in the latter stages and pulled further away in the hushed 
indomitable surroundings to win in a time of 5.09.38. O´Regan took the 
runner-up spot with Seaton rounding off the top three. 

Scotland´s Wendy MacKinnon was first lady home in a time of 6:33:30 
followed by Stevie Matthews in second place. 

The marathon race was followed by the frozen continent´s first ever 
100km (62.1-miles) event the following day. Poor visibility for the 
first half gave way to improved conditions and Richard Donovan of 
Ireland completed the run alone in a time of 15:43:55 hrs. Like the 
marathon competitors, Donovan negotiated the difficult terrain in a 
pair of trail running shoes and was covered from head to toe with 
layers of clothing to protect against the elements. The race distance 
represented almost 10% of the distance to the South Pole.

The races were organised by Polar Running Adventures, organisers of 
the annual North Pole Marathon and expertly supported by Antarctic 
Logistics & Expeditions. The overall first place finishers of the 
marathon and 100km were rewarded for their efforts with spectacular 
Polar Surveyor watches from Kobold Watch Co. The second operation of 
the event is already scheduled for December 10th 2006 and details can 
be found at the official race website 

The complete results are:

Evgeniy Gorkov (RUS)        5:09:38 
John O'Regan (IRL)          5:16:31 
Steven Seaton (ENG)         5:39:35 
Mark Tointon (ENG)          5:43:38 
Wendy MacKinnon (SCO)       6:33:30 
Stephen Cushing (ENG)       6:41:06 
Stevie Matthews (ENG)       6:51:04 
Diarmuid Smyth (IRL)        6:54:27 
Mike Pierce (USA)           7:10:50

Richard Donovan (IRL)       15.43.55

Race Website - 
Race Director - Richard Donovan