On April 9th the North Pole marathon started, with Fiona aiming to be the first vegan woman to complete the extremely harsh event.
This marathon has been in existence since 2002 and is the only marathon run only on water, and had been completed by 255 athletes before this year’s event. The finishing tape is at the geographical North Pole. As well as her aim of completing the event, some suspect that Fiona had her eye on the women’s course record of 5 hours 37 minutes and 14 seconds, set in 2008.
Times for the course are heavily dependent on weather conditions, which were described as very harsh. Fiona tackled it with her usual determination and set an incredibly fast pace. The course was mainly run on a 2.6 mile loop, half of which could be run and the other half was covered by snow which was up to waist deep. The temperature was around -28 degrees C at the start.
Early on, Fiona fell and suffered a bad twist to her hand. The face mask froze to her face due to the sweat, making it really hard to remove. She also suffered an extreme pain in her hip, and lost feeling in her toe. The extreme conditions cuased numerous problems including underclothing freezing and Fiona knowing that a change in speed could lose body heat and cause hypothermia – read more about this in her race report (link below).
Fiona finished in 4 hours 53 minutes, winning the women’s race by 55 minutes. In doing so she also smashed the women’s course record by 45 minutes. She also beat almost all the men, with only two of them crossing the line before her.
Congratulations to Fiona for another amazing run under conditions many of us can barely imagine. Incredibly she has not finished yet, and is planning to run at the South Pole later in the year, as part of her plan to complete a marathon in each continent plus the North Pole, which has been achieved by only a small number of athletes.
- A more full race report is on Fiona’s site – click here
- Fiona is still collecting sponsorship and would appreciate your support at this page.
- News item