Race director Richard Donovan had to do some last-minute scrambling to reschedule travel and race times at the 2020 World Marathon Challenge when weather conditions prevented the group from flying to Antarctica on Thursday as scheduled. Time waits for no man or woman when you have only seven days to run seven marathons on seven continents, so instead, the challenge kicked off in Capetown, South Africa, where elite ultrarunner Kristina Madsen of Denmark was the first female to cross the finish line. On Day 2 of the challenge, in extremely cold, windy conditions, Madsen won the Antarctica marathon outright in 3:54:20.
Madsen, 34, is a veteran of both WMC (she was second female last year) and many ultras and Danish national teams.
The third marathon is underway in Perth, Australia today, having started at 11:30 p.m. local time.
That wasn’t the only last-minute change to this year’s challenge. There were originally 42 competitors from 15 countries participating (25 men and 15 women), and one Canadian, Elaine Du. But travel restrictions due to the coronavirus meant seven individuals who were either from China or who had recently travelled there could not participate. Donovan has offered to bring all seven back for the 2021 challenge at no charge.
For more results, check out the World Marathon Challenge’s Facebook page, here.