North Pole Marathon 2016 on April 18. (Official photo)
BEIJING, April 20 (Xinhua) -- As running become part of life for more and more people, marathon turns to be a fashion. The North Pole marathon is the coolest marathon race in the world.
Fifty-two courageous souls took part this year with the largest number of female runners in the event's 12 year history.
Severe weather conditions delayed the race for up to a week and armed guards were placed around the circuit to protect the runners from polar bears.
In years to come the North Pole marathon might not be held where the race was held this year as Global warming is now changing how Earth wobbles and the North Pole is on the move.
Following are the 26 interesting facts about the North Pole marathon:
1. The North Pole Marathon is the northernmost marathon on earth.
2. The race is run 'on' water, the frozen ice floes of the Arctic Ocean.
3. The event is known as the 'world's coolest marathon'.
4. The first North Pole Marathon occurred in 2002 when race organiser, Richard Donovan (IRL), ran the 42.195 km distance alone.
5. The 2016 North Pole Marathon is the 14th edition of the race.
6. An exclusive group of 378 people worldwide, comprising 319 men and 59 women, have completed the North Pole Marathon since the first event in 2002.
7. Thomas Maguire (IRL) ran 3:36:10 hrs in 2007 to set the men's record for the North Pole Marathon.
8. Anne-Marie Flammersfeld (GER) ran 4:52:45 hrs in 2014 to set the women's record for the North Pole Marathon.
9. It's impossible to predict winning times each year as the terrain and weather conditions are extremely variable from one year to the next.
10. The oldest man to complete the North Pole Marathon is Juergen Kuhmley (GER), who was 69-years-old in 2007 when he ran the event.
11. The oldest woman to complete the North Pole Marathon is Kenwynne Barber (GBR), who was 66-years-old in 2006 when she ran the event.
12. There is continuous daylight at the North Pole in April, at the time the marathon is run.
13. Paul Grealish (IRL) has run four North Pole Marathons to date (2004, 2012, 2014, 2015) making his tally the most completed by any one person.
14. Paralympic athlete William Tan (SIN) completed a custom marathon course in a wheelchair at the North Pole in 2007.
15. Two guided blind athletes have successfully completed the North Pole Marathon: Mark Pollock (IRL) in 2004 and Jamie Cuthbertson (GBR) in 2010.
16. The entire North Pole Marathon course floats on top of 14,000 ft of Arctic Ocean.
17. The coldest temperature recorded for the North Pole Marathon race was -41C in 2015.
18. In addition to the 378 marathon finishers, a total of 16 people, comprising 8 women and 8 men, have completed a half marathon distance at the North Pole.
19. The race field is strictly limited by plane capacity and available seats are now a sell-out each year between media and competitors.
20. Polar bear guards marshal the route to ensure the safety of runners.
21. Competitors have collectively raised many millions of Euro for charity via their participation in the North Pole Marathon.
22. The course is designed to avoid breaks in the ice, known as 'leads' and is a GPS measured circuit this is repeated several times.
23. The winners of the men's race have come from the Czech Republic, Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Korea, the Netherlands, Russia and the USA.
24. The winners of the women's race have come from Australia , Canada , Denmark , Germany , Britain, Ireland and the USA.
25. The North Pole Marathon is a member of the Association of International Marathons & Distance Races (AIMS).
26. Successful participants are eligible to join the Grand Slam Club by finishing a marathon on each of the seven continents and at the North Pole.