It is not every day that one ventures to Antarctica nonetheless to run a marathon or half-marathon. Since its inception in 1995, Marathon Tours & Travel takes 200 runners and supporters annually to King George’s Island by ship to experience a once in a lifetime adventure, which just happens to include running. Due to the global pandemic, this annual trip, which had its 20th running in 2019, was cancelled in both 2020 and 2021. As confirmed clients patiently wait to experience Antarctica in person, Marathon Tours & Travel decided to bring Antarctica to them. The first-ever Virtual Antarctica Marathon Experience offers the distance of a Marathon or Half-Marathon, or the challenge to do both. Additionally, a virtual Polar Plunge is an option runners (or non-runners) can join.
The Virtual Antarctica Marathon, Half-Marathon & Polar Plunge are open to past Antarctica Marathon alumni, future confirmed Antarctica clients and anyone who is looking for a unique experience. The virtual race organizers, including Antarctica Marathon Founder and Race Director, Thom Gilligan, have created engaging and entertaining content so all participants can discover more about ‘The Last Continent’. Additionally, for friendly competition there is an option to join a team. Antarctica Alumni can join the year they ran with their fellow shipmates; future confirmed clients team-up with those they will run with ‘in-person’; those who do not have Antarctica on their bucket list (yet), can run on the Stowaway Team. Running Groups, such as Boston Buddies, the National Black Marathoners Association, Chicago Marathon Runners United, Rooted in Hope, Penguin Runners, and more are recruiting runners as well.
Since the race inception, Marathon Tours & Travel along with its’ Antarctica clients have raised more than $200,000 to support Oceanites, a US-based nonprofit environmental and scientific organization focusing on climate change research and related education. Like many charities, they have taken a huge hit with the pandemic. As part of the Virtual Antarctica Experience, registrants can support Oceanites by creating a fundraising page and/or making a donation. To date, generous donations have amounted to more than $7,600.
We are also proud to collaborate with Road Runner Sports. Virtual Antarctica registrants can save $50 off a pair of running shoes, plus a 90-day trial in their VIP Family Rewards Program, which offers additional discounts.