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Women take top two spots at World Marathon Challenge

Kristina Madsen and Jessica Jones finished at the top of the overall leaderboard after seven days of marathons

After seven marathons in seven days on seven continents, Denmark’s Kristina Madsen emerged victorious in both the women’s field and the overall standings of the World Marathon Challenge, averaging a women’s record time of 3:25:57 over the seven days. The event opened up with its first marathon in South Africa on February 6 and closed in Miami on February 12.

Start of the 2019 event. Photo: WorldMarathon77/Twitter

The competition opened in Cape Town, South Africa, where China’s Chen Huang took the overall win in 2:56:57, while Madsen won the women’s race and tied with Great Britain’s Luke Wigman tied for fourth overall in an identical time of 3:10:53.

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Madsen got off to a quick start in Antarctica on Day Two. She won the stage in 3:54:20 in temperatures below -20 C. Madsen was over 12 minutes faster than the next competitor, first-place male Graham Fowke of Great Britain.

The third day of the competition took runners to Perth, Australia. Chen once again took the overall win, but Madsen was beaten on the women’s side by American runner Jessica Jones.

The next two stages were in Dubai and Madrid, where Madsen and Chen won the women’s and men’s races, respectively. Up next was the penultimate marathon of the competition, the South American stage, set in Brazil. Madsen won in a time of 3:28:36, over 20 minutes faster than the top male finisher, Philippe Richet of France. Jones was 10 minutes behind Madsen in Brazil, earning her second-place overall on the day. Unfortunately for Chen, who had the overall lead heading into this stage after winning in Africa, Australia, Asia and Europe, he injured his ankle in Brazil and was forced to pull out of the competition.

Kristina Madsen after the final stage of the World Marathon Challenge in Miami. Photo: World Marathon Challenge/Facebook

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The seventh and final stage was in Miami, and Madsen and Jones were once again the top of the field, finishing first and second overall ahead of Richet, same as the day before. Of the seven marathons, Madsen won four overall (she tied with Thiriet in Madrid to share the win), and she was the top woman in each race other than in Australia, where Jones won.

Finishers medals from the World Marathon Challenge. Photo: World Marathon Challenge/Facebook

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With such a dominant showing, it’s no surprise that Madsen won the competition outright. After the seven marathons, her average time was 3:25:57, a new women’s World Marathon Challenge record. Jones’ average time of 3:33:18 won her second place overall, and Miłosz Pasiecznik of Poland rounded out the podium and took the win in the men’s race with an average time of 3:35:25.

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Here are the top-10 overall standings from the race. For complete results, check out the event’s Facebook page.

1. Kristina Madsen Denmark 3:25:57
2. Jessica Jones USA 3:33:18
3. Milosz Pasiecznik Poland 3:35:25
4. Olivier Thiriet France 3:45:26
5. Philippe Richet France 3:47:18
6. Luke Wigman Great Britain 3:51:40
7. Rick Steele USA 4:04:08
8. Suzanne McKeen Australia 4:07:07
9. Lukasz Urbaniak Poland 4:07:40
10. Lars Crusius Germany 4:10:16