Korean wins 2008 North Pole Marathon

Posted on April 6, 2008 by


Supplied by Tony Mangan.

Byeung Sik Ahn (Korea) won the 2008 North Pole Marathon which took place at 04:30 GMT on 1st April. The winner of the women’s title was Cathrine Due of Denmark. Constant daylight and -29C temperatures greeted competitors at the top of the world.

The men’s race was a close event over the initial stages before Ahn’s persistent pressure on the frozen ice floes finally began to reap dividends. He developed a widening gap over his opponents during the second half of the race and crossed the line in a winning time of 4:02:37. Meanwhile, the Lithuanian Ignas Staskevicius overhauled Charles Sanders of Great Britain for second position. Ahn will receive a special Kobold expedition watch for being the outright winner.

Cathrine Due and Margit Andersen, the two Danes in the women’s event, battled thoughout. However, Due proved the stronger in the latter stages to take the women’s title. Kirsty Devonport of Great Britain was third.

Unfortunately, unusual logistical delays at the Pole this season impacted the race field. A five-day wait was caused due to delays in establishing the North Pole camp and this led to two competitors having to withdraw before the race began. Furthermore, an effective cut-off time of seven-and-a-half hours was forced upon competitors by the logistics company in order for them to make a return flight to Norway. The original cut-off was anticipated to be a bit longer. (Please see Related Notes for Future Competitors).

Nevertheless, all participants stood at 90 Degrees North, the precise Geographic North Pole. In addition, the few remaining competitors who were agonisingly close to completing the 26.2-mile distance have been invited to attend for free next year. Moreover, the race organisers prefer to have everybody given a much lengthier time to finish the event if necessary. Next year is the Centenary of Man reaching the Pole. To register for the race, which is now expected to occur in early April 2009, see www.npmarathon.com.

The North Pole Marathon is contained in Guinness World Records as the northernmost marathon on earth. It is also a member of the Association of International Marathons & Distance Races.

For further details, contact race director Richard Donovan at rd@npmarathon.com. For hi-res photos of the 2008 race, contact the award-winning race photographer, Mike King, at mike@mikekingphoto.com.

Mens Race

Name Time
1. Byeung Sik Ahn (Korea) 4:02:37 Bib No. 1
2. Ignas Staskevicius (Lithuania) 4:19:05 Bib No. 25
3. Charles Sanders (Great Britain) 4:21:27 Bib No. 23
4. Jurgen Heilbock (Germany) 4:50:01 Bib No. 17
5. Hans-Wilhelm Hamke (Germany) 5:21:07 Bib No. 14
6. Craig Davis (Australia) 5:47:50 Bib No. 8
7. Darius Jurgaitis (Lithuania) 5:54:18 Bib No. 19
8. Peter Ferris (Ireland) 6:12:05 Bib No. 12
9. Steve Bicknell (Great Britain) 6:27:10 Bib No. 6
10. Christer Klingspor (Sweden) 7:01:10 Bib No. 20
11. Wayne Pollock (Ireland) 7:10:22 Bib No.27
12. Hans-Jacob Berntsen (Norway) 7:22:08 Bib No. 5

Womens Race

Name Time
1. Cathrine Due (Denmark) 5:37:14 Bib No. 11
2. Margit Andersen (Denmark) 5:53:10 Bib No. 3
3. Kirsty Devonport(Great Britain) 6:12:05 Bib No. 9
4. Alison Gill (Great Britain) 6:44:08 Bib No. 13
5. Marie-Hamren Larsson (Sweden) 7:04:32 Bib No. 16
Posted in: Antartica, Marathons