On November 25, Irish athlete Paul Robinson earned his place in history by running the fastest Antarctic mile. However, he didn’t think he was going to make it halfway through.
I was like, Holy f***, I don’t know how I’m going to get to the end. My legs were going to jelly, and I had this drone following me. I was like, I can’t hit the deck; I have to finish because I’m not doing this again.
And what a finish he had. The 26-year-old completed the fastest mile ever run on Antarctica with a time of 4:17.9. The event occurred in conjunction with the annual Antarctic Ice Marathon.
Robinson had to travel from Ireland for three days before he finally arrived at Union Glacier. He thought the idea, brainchild of Irish ultramarathoner Richard Donovan, was just too good to pass up.
It’s still my ultimate goal to go to the Olympics, but it’s good not to be boxed into elite athletics. The general public is always able to associate with a mile and no one has ever run a fast one down there. This was a great way to show how cool it is to run a four-minute mile.
The cold was unbearable. Both Robinson and the other Antarctica marathon runners slept in tents. The runner recounted waking up feeling absolutely frozen. No matter how much he bundled up, he’d always wake up with a cold nose.
And yes, there’s plenty of cabin fever to go around. Walking around the camp is impossible. There are crevasses surrounding the glaciers, and if you fall into them it most certainly means death.
While the marathoners ran in a 10k loop, Robinson had the special treat of running in a straight line flanked by two mountains. The chill was clocked at -13º Fahrenheit. No matter how much Robinson tried to warm up, it wasn’t going to happen. As he crossed the finish line, he felt like his lungs were going to explode.
The mile was measured four times via satellite before Robinson ran. Richard Donovan captured the whole event, and the footage is breathtaking.
If you’re looking to get some serious bragging rights, the registration fee for the Antarctic Ice Marathon runs about $20,000. And that’s not even mentioning the commute. The whole thing sounds like a truly incredible, yet awful, experience. As previously mentioned, I despise the cold, so that’s a big NOPE from me.
It was like stepping on the moon. There was snow everywhere. It was absolutely freezing, and the wind feels like it’ll take you a mile down the road if you jump.
But if you need some insight, Robinson said no chance in hell he’d be back anytime soon. Well, at least it looked cool.