The world’s “coolest” marathon has been delayed this year. The North Pole Marathon was scheduled for April 9, but still hasn’t taken place. The reason the April 9 race was cancelled was because of a crack in the runway at the Pole. Well, there is no land at the North Pole. People run on a frozen ice sheet (about 6 to 12 feet thick) floating on top of 12,000 feet of water (the Arctic Ocean). The way the participants get to the North Pole is by a flight from Norway. The runway is also a floating ice sheet. Since there was a crack in the runway, another ice sheet was identified as the new runway. A plane brought half the participants to the North Pole. The plane went back to get the rest of the runners, but could not land at the Pole as a crack had developed in the new runway as well. Now half the participants are in Norway and the other half at the Pole. The runway has to be fixed before the plane can land again. The running distance of the race is 42.195 kilometers (26.2 miles). With temperatures around -40 degrees Celsius (-40 degrees Fahrenheit), it is a very difficult race to run. There is continuous daylight at the North Pole in April.
One of the warmest and hardest running races in the world is the Marathon des Sables (MdS), also known as the Marathon of the Sands, and it is ongoing right now. It is held annually in the Sahara Desert in Morocco. It is a six day race that covers a distance of about 250 kilometers (150 miles). Temperatures can be as high as 50 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit). The 2016 race started on April 8, and will end on April 18. Over 1,000 runners from all over the globe are competing in the race.
Did you know?
The Arctic sea ice cover melts and decreases in the summer months, and refreezes and increases in the winter months. Usually, the largest sea ice cover over the Arctic is in the month of March, and the lowest is in the month of September. This winter, the maximum Arctic sea ice cover was at its lowest level ever recorded.
Image Credits: http://www.npmarathon.com for the North Pole pole’s image, http://www.marathondessables.com for the image of the MDS race
Sources: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk, http://www.marathondessables.com/en, https://www.facebook.com/npmarathon, http://www.npmarathon.com, http://www.shanghaidaily.com, http://nsidc.org