Who is organizing the Antarctic Ice Ultra?

The Antarctic Ice Ultra is organized by Runbuk, Inc., that also organizes extreme events such as the World Marathon Challenge® (7 Marathons 7 Continents 7 Days™), the North Pole Marathon®, the Volcano Marathon®, and Antarctic Ice Marathon®. See the 'About us' section for more information.

How many Antarctic Ice Ultra races have occurred?

The 2024 Antarctic Ice Ultra will be the inaugural edition.

What date will the Antarctic Ice Ultra take place?

The 2024 Antarctic Ice Ultra is scheduled to take place on November 7th, 2024. See the Race Schedule section for complete details.

How much does it cost to register?

The fee for the 2024 Antarctic Ice Ultra is $19,500USD ($18,500USD per person if sign up as a team). Please note that places are limited in accordance with aircraft capacity constraints and are allotted on a first come first served basis.

Can I be guaranteed to be in and out of the Antarctic as scheduled?

No. You are going to one of the most difficult places to fly to in the world. Days of delay can be normal for Antarctic flights and you should not plan anything important for a minimum of two weeks after your expected return. Allow yourself time to enjoy this unique experience without the stress of time pressures. Of course, every effort will be made to keep to the scheduled departure and return date, but all flights are subject to weather, aircraft serviceability and local conditions.

Where is our departure point for Antarctica?

Our departure point for Antarctica is Cape Town, South Africa. You will arrange round trip flights from your homeland to Cape Town. From there, you will be flown to the Novo camp in Antarctica.

How do I get to Cape Town?

You will book your international flight to arrive in Cape Town, South Africa. Direct flights to Cape Town are available from major cities like London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Munich, Zurich, Istanbul, Doha, and Dubai, among others. For locations without direct flights, reaching Cape Town typically involves just one flight connection.

Where will I stay in Cape Town?

You should book your own accommodation in Cape Town. The best areas to stay include the V&A Waterfront for its bustling atmosphere, high-end shops, and proximity to attractions; Camps Bay for its stunning beaches and vibrant nightlife;  Sea Point, where the promenade offers stunning walks along the Atlantic Ocean; and the City Bowl for a more urban experience with easy access to cafes, museums, and markets. There is a wide range of hotel options, as well as short term rental of apartments, houses and villas.

By what means am I transported to Antarctica?

An Ilyushin-76 (IL-76) plane will fly you to the Novo camp in Queen Maud Land in East Antarctica, between the Antarctic Ice Sheet and the Novolazarevskaya (Novo) Ice Shelf. It's a 5-hour flight that takes you over the Southern Ocean. At 66 degrees latitude, you will cross the Antarctic Circle and continue towards the icy continent. We will land on the Novo ice runway.

Does the Antarctic Ice Marathon have a positive environmental ethos?

Yes. The event is is a foot race and naturally promotes fitness and exercise as a substitute to car and vehicle use. Activities in the Antarctic are governed by the Antarctic Treaty and associated agreements, referred to collectively as the Antarctic Treaty System, As part of the system, the Environmental Protocol was adopted in 1991, which applies to government activities, non-government activities, as well as tourism and sports, to ensure that these activities do not have adverse impacts on the Antarctic environment, or on its scientific and aesthetic values. It should also be highlighted, to avoid misconceptions, that the emissions resulting from a 4-hour return flight to the Antarctic are identical to those of a similar flight elsewhere in the world. Moreover, climate change is a global phenomenon and we also encourage others to offset their carbon emissions.

What is the commitment to safety?

The operations of the logistics company are governed by thorough risk management and contingency strategies designed for the demanding and isolated conditions of Antarctica. This encompasses comprehensive emergency protocols and the provision of essential equipment to address any potential situations. The team's renowned expertise and experience, coupled with solid procedures, effective communication systems, and ongoing enhancement of technology and gear, collectively ensure both safety and enjoyment during the experience.

Where exactly will the races take place?

The ultra and relay race will be run in the vicinity of the Novo camp, normally on a 10km out-and-back course. There will be an aid station every 5km.

What does the race entry fee include?
  • Transfers to and from Cape Town airport for Antarctic flight
  • Briefing in Cape Town one day prior to departure
  • Round trip flights from Cape Town to Antarctica
  • Meals and accommodation while in Antarctica
  • A Baggage allowance of up to 50lbs (23kg) on Antarctic flight
  • Entry to your race of choice
  • Medal, t-shirts, patches and other souvenirs of the race
  • Professional photos for personal use (and local publication)
What does the race entry fee NOT include?
  • Commercial flights to and from Cape Town
  • Transfers to and from Cape Town airport (except for Antarctic flight)
  • Meals and accommodation in Cape Town
  • Personal equipment and clothing
  • Expenses incurred in Cape Town due to delays
  • Any excess baggage costs over confirmed baggage allowance
  • Cost for the use of satellite phone whilst in Antarctica
  • Insurance coverage – personal, medical, or otherwise
I have no prior extreme weather experience. Is it ok for me to run in the Antarctic?

Yes. Proper clothing should ensure the cold is not a completely overwhelming problem when running or walking these races. You will be fully advised on what to wear and your clothing will be checked for suitability before departing Cape Town to Antarctica. The race includes several aid stations and a large heated tent for support. Some participants will probably never have encountered extremely cold conditions before traveling to the Antarctic, though it is preferable that you would have such experience.

Will it be safe to run?

Yes. Flags will direct athletes along the course, and participants should be visible at almost all times. However, it's important to keep exposed skin covered and stay vigilant for any indications of frostbite.

With little marathon experience, will I be able to finish the Antarctic Ice Ultra?

It's possible. If you are determined, train properly and can run or walk the ultra distance very comfortably, then you should be able to complete the Antarctic Ice Ultra successfully. One of the priorities of the organizer is to have everybody finish the race and the cut-off for the race is a generous 24 hours.

Does the race counts for Antarctica to be eligible for the 7 Continents Marathon Club?

Yes. The 7 Continents Marathon Club, managed by Runbuk, is unique, reserved for athletes who have run a marathon OR ultra within the Antarctic Circle on the Antarctica continent, as well as on the other six continents. Membership is not conditional on paying a membership fee and it is the definitive and official list of people who have completed marathons or ultra races on all 7 continents. See the "7 Continents" page for more details.

Can I call home?

You can make outgoing phone calls from Novo Camp using Iridium satellite phones provided by Runbuk team. Some participants choose to bring their own Iridium satellite phone and charging system. Regular cell phones and other satellite phones (e.g. Globalstar) do not work at these latitudes.

Is there internet connection in Antarctica?

It's possible to have internet access in Antarctica through Starlink equipment provided by Runbuk team, enabling basic emailing and web browsing. Please be aware that speed may fluctuate based on weather conditions.

Can I shower or bathe?

Showering or bathing won't be possible until you return to your hotel room in Cape Town after the event. Many competitors opt for pre-moistened towelettes, individually wrapped baby wipes, or body wipes for a quick refresh. Additionally, anti-bacterial hand gel is provided for hands cleaning.

What is the weather usually like?

The temperature at Novo camp typically ranges from - 10C (14F) to -25C (-13F) at the time of year.

What are the underfoot conditions of the course?

The course predominantly features compressed snow, creating a relatively firm surface for running. However, you may encounter sections with soft and loose snow, and some areas might reveal bare ice.

What shoes should I wear when running?

A pair of trail running shoes with nanospikes is recommended, or you can use nanospikes with your trail or road running shoes. Please refer to the Running Gear section for details.

What clothes should I wear when running?

A layering system is best, which should incorporate the following:

Upper body – thermal layer, fleece layer and outer windproof shell
Legs – thermal layer and windproof pants
Hands – pair of gloves and mittens
Feet – sock liners and woollen socks
Head – balaclava, facemask, hat, neck gaiter, goggles

Please see the Race Gear section of the website.

Will there be media coverage of the race?

Yes. Leading international sports photographers and videographers will be present during  the event and we expect to receive global media coverage.

Antarctic Ice Ultra