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Latvian Evija Reine Sets New Women’s Record for Antarctic Ice Marathon

INTERNATIONAL: Latvia's Evija Reine set a new women's record at the Antarctic Ice Marathon last Friday, despite the trying underfoot conditions of soft snow and temperature lows of -15 degrees. In the southernmost marathon on Earth at the Union Glacier just a few hundred miles from the South Pole, the 30-year-old student doctor’s time of 4:06:11 hours eclipsed the existing event record of 4:20:02 hrs. set by Great Britain’s Fiona Oakes in 2013.

The USA’s Grace Yao took second place, one hour and four minutes behind Reine, and Great Britain’s Julia Hunter came third. In a closely fought battle, Polish endurance athlete Grzegorz Bogunia claimed the men’s title in a time of 3:53:02 hours, just over a minute ahead Julien Cazorla of France. The USA's Derk Cullinan was third.

Bogunia says, "I feel very well because it's my third continent and first time I am a winner. So I'm very happy. So I'm very very tired. But, yes! Today is beautiful weather and beautiful race. Everything beautiful! Thank you. I go drink water."

Among the competitors was British explorer Lou Rudd, who had coincidently arrived in Union Glacier on the day of the race having traversed several hundred miles across the continent. The oldest competitor was 74-year-old Pini Haroz of the United States and Israel who completed the course in 8:26:42 hrs. Jordan Wylie, a former soldier, extreme adventures, bestselling author, and star of ‘Hunted’ and ‘Celebrity Hunted’ completed the race despite a severe Achilles injury.

Wylie says, "That was brutal. That was brutal. It was never going to be easy coming to the coldest, windiest, highest and driest continent on the planet. But as much as it was brutal it's also majestic, so beautiful. Just pristine. What a place. I don't think I've ever been anywhere like this. I've been very fortunate to travel most of the world but this place is special. And I definitely had to earn that then."

A massive storm hit the race location last week, making it impossible for competitors to fly from Chile. But after several days of delay, the race got underway on December 17, three days later than scheduled. Sixty-two people from 18 countries took part in the sixteenth edition of the Antarctic Ice Marathon, and eleven of the athletes joined the 7 Continents Marathon Club, completing a marathon on all seven continents when they finished the race.


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