Ice marathon

The group of four who took on the marathon, Craig George, Johan Mets, Seamus Liston and Gavin Melgaard at the Antarctic Circle. (Photo: Mark Hunt)
The group of four who took on the marathon, Craig George, Johan Mets, Seamus Liston and Gavin Melgaard at the Antarctic Circle. (Photo: Mark Hunt)
And they're off and racing! (Photo: Mark Hunt)Front runners, Craig George and Johan Mets, battle the wind. (Photo: Mark Hunt)Made it!  Gavin Melgaard crossing the finishing line at Casey station. (Photo: Mark Hunt)The group happy to have finished the marathon. (Photo: Mark Hunt)

27th March 2012

A small group of Australian Antarctic expeditioners completed an ice marathon during the weekend, from the Antarctic Circle to Casey station.

Chef Gavin Melgaard and Senior Meteorological Observer Craig George, ran the 45 kilometre course, while Plant Operator Johan Mets skied and Tradesperson Seamus Liston walked a half marathon.

Both Gavin and Craig have completed 16 marathons between them, including several in Antarctica, at Everest base camp and on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Gavin Melgaard said the conditions were perfect for the run.

“The temperature hovered around minus 20 degrees, with a brisk wind for the first half of the route. We were able to run with just a thermal and outer protective layer,” Gavin said.

“It was also difficult mentally because the white expanse of the plateau seemed to go on forever, but it was also very beautiful

“It was actually a very meditative experience, as it’s only you and the crunching sound of ice under foot. All in all it took us about 6 and 7.5 hours to complete the run, and 6.5 hours for the skier.”

The participants followed a caned and graded route from the Antarctic Circle along the plateau down to Casey station.