Tag Archives: North Pole Marathon

BAILING ON BARNEO: North Pole Marathon cancelled; other Pole expeditions trying to reach ice base camp uncertain as ‘you can’t trust anything they say’

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(UPDATE: The entire North Pole season is now cancelled.)

A political crisis at the Barneo ice camp that has now delayed all expeditions hoping to reach the North Pole this spring by nearly two weeks has resulted in the cancellation of the North Pole Marathon – by far the largest of this year’s groups with 46 participants plus others affiliated with the race – and is causing increasing frustration and uncertainty among other groups despite camp officials stating the first flights to the camp may occur as soon as Friday night.

NO NORTH POLE SEASON? First-ever cancellation of all expeditions looms as political problems mount, plane to Barneo ice camp abandons Svalbard

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The word for last year’s shortest-ever season at the North Pole was “disaster.” This year the word is rapidly becoming “hopeless.”

Officially there are still flights scheduled to the Barneo Ice Camp for those hoping to reach the top of the world, albeit a week or more later than officially planned. But there is now no plane to transport people there and, even if officials succeed in hasty plans to bring in another plane from Canada or Iran, there is no guarantee the ice runway and various logistical factors will remain stable enough to allow any expedition flights at all.

Crazy for the top of the world: Eclectic community of adventurers and workers again come together to brave a range of bizarre hardships in their shared lure of the North Pole

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Vladimir Putin won’t be facing off in the pope-blessed “Last Ice Hockey Game at the North Pole” until next year due to organizational snafus. A “badass lady” from India is supposedly living up to that rep by skiing from Oslo to the top of the world. And a world-class marathoner from Hong Kong who says his competitive juices aren’t flowing for this year’s icy endurance race at the Pole also hopes to beat the 4.5-hour record time by at least an hour.

Welcome to another season between 89 and 90 degrees latitude north where expedition-of-a-lifetime quests, awareness campaigns, trophy seeking, publicity stunts, outhouses from hell and lots of beer are the hallmarks of a temporary exclusive community inhabited by some of the hardiest workers and well-heeled misfits (and we don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way) on Earth.

Assuming they eventually manage to make it to the starting line at the village, so to speak, which these days is just one more extreme oddity.

Senior moment: Harry Botha, 75, joins seven-continent marathon club as oldest finisher in this year’s North Pole Marathon

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Harry Botha, 75, ran three hours of the Everest Marathon with a broken wrist and jaw. So the possibility of losing some fingers because he took a pee break during this week’s North Pole Marathon was all just a part of another day at the races.

Opening the world’s top ‘resort’: Barneo welcomes first guests to balmy -30C weather and ice-solid camp conditions

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The opening of this year’s Barneo ice camp went so smoothly it might be called dull. Which for those working at and beginning expeditions from the camp is very exciting indeed.