Antarctica Marathon’s first ever 50km ultra run hailed “a great success”

Unidentified man running at the Antarctica Marathon / Antarctica Marathon 2024 official marketing image
Peter Nelson II, winner of the first ever Antarctica Marathon 50km Ultra (Image credit: Antarctica Marathon)

The 25th Antartica Marathon, which was held on on King George Island in the South Shetland Islands on Monday March 11th, saw the introduction of a new event, its first ever 50km ultra marathon, and the organizers are hailing the race “a great success”.

The ultra joined the annual event’s usual marathon and half-marathon races, and this inaugural 50km competition, which attracted 10 plucky runners, was won by Ohio-based ultra runner Peter Nelson II with a time of 4:54:12. 

“To run an ultra marathon on such a remote destination was such a privilege,” says Nelson, “as few have even had the opportunity to visit this pristine continent.”

Nelson has also posted a video (featuring his very jolly looking dad) to his Instagram account chronicling his journey to the bleak, chilly island where the event took place.

Organized by Marathon Tours & Travel, the Antarctica Marathon is a bucket list challenge for runners around the world. Founded in 1995, the course changes each year based on event operations as well as road and weather conditions. 

“We were very fortunate this year to use one of our original routes on King George Island, with its permanent research bases and terrain originally carved by the tidewater glaciers of Antarctica. There is nowhere else on Earth where you can literally run between China, Chile, Russia, and Uruguay, all of which have bases that are connected by our course,“ said Jeff Adams, Race Director, and President of MTT.

Michelle and George Marut, first time ultra runners, said in a statement, “We had the best time. The race was an incredible journey that passed in a blink of an eye. We were in the moment every step of the way. This was the furthest we ran, the furthest we traveled for a race, and we did it together. It was an experience of a lifetime.”

Katherine Shank from Harrisburg, Philadelphis won the marathon with a time of 4:07:32, while Guillaume de Remacle won the marathon with a time of 1:55:01.