The Coolest Race on Earth: Mud, Madmen, Glaciers, and Grannies at the Antarctica Marathon

The Coolest Race on Earth Mud Madmen Glaciers and Grannies at the Antarctica Marathon What would induce hundreds of people from all over the world to spend thousands of dollars each and two weeks of their lives just to run a marathon in Antarctica Especially one with a reputation as th

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  • Title: The Coolest Race on Earth: Mud, Madmen, Glaciers, and Grannies at the Antarctica Marathon
  • Author: John Hanc
  • ISBN: 9781556527388
  • Page: 440
  • Format: Hardcover
  • What would induce hundreds of people from all over the world to spend thousands of dollars each and two weeks of their lives just to run a marathon in Antarctica Especially one with a reputation as the toughest marathon on Earth John Hanc may have the answer When he turned 50 he gave himself the birthday present to end all others a trip to the end of the EarWhat would induce hundreds of people from all over the world to spend thousands of dollars each and two weeks of their lives just to run a marathon in Antarctica Especially one with a reputation as the toughest marathon on Earth John Hanc may have the answer When he turned 50 he gave himself the birthday present to end all others a trip to the end of the Earth to run his most unforgettable race The Coolest Race on Earth is both Hanc s story and the story of the Antarctica Marathon, first held in 1995 and now an annual event that sells out years in advance It s full of humor, adventure, and inspiring characters including a wheelchair bound competitor, three record breaking grandmothers, and an ex Marine who described the race as the hardest thing I ever did in my life, next to Vietnam Muddy, cold, hilly, the race is by all accounts horrible up and down a melting glacier twice, past curious penguins and hostile skuas, and finally to a bleak finish line Even the best runners take longer to run the Antarctica Marathon than any other Yet the allure of marathon running combined with the fascinating reputation of the Last Continent has persuaded runners to brave a trip across the world s most turbulent body of water, the Drake Passage, to a land of extinct volcanoes and craggy mountain peaks, lost explorers and isolated scientists, penguin rookeries and whale sightings, all for a chance to run those crazy 26.2 miles The Coolest Race on Earth brings the world s most difficult marathon to life in a book that s not only a ripping read, but also a deeply funny meditation on what makes people run.

    One thought on “The Coolest Race on Earth: Mud, Madmen, Glaciers, and Grannies at the Antarctica Marathon”

    1. I love reading books about adventure travel, especially to places that I know I'll never go. This book intrigued me because not only did it take place in Antarctica, but also centered around a marathon run in Antarctica. The book starts out with a little history about the Last Marathon, as it is called, but tends to bog down in details here, and I almost abandoned it. I was rewarded somewhat in the middle section, where the author plans for and runs the marathon. I enjoyed reading about the back [...]

    2. Enjoyable, funny, quick read about author's participation in 2005 Antarctica Marathon, with side trips for discussion of the history of polar exploration, impact of climate change on the South Pole, 2001 version of the race that had to be conducted entirely on board a ship, the back stories of many of his fellow racers, and more. As an ice adventure it was a bit of a letdown, as the race start temp was 37, and the main footing problem for the runners was mud. The logistics and expense of getting [...]

    3. Reading the lead-up to the author's own marathon almost made me want to give it a try but it's not for me! It was a good read though.

    4. I liked it because I like nonfiction just as much as fiction (when I get in the groove) and I will read anything about running. I *almost* want to see Antarctica now. It's not going to get very many people's blood stirring like Born to Run did.

    5. An interesting look at the Antarctica Marathon (or at least one of them), with a little bit of history of Antarctica.Sometimes when a magazine writer writes a book, it comes off like a long-form magazine article. I'm afraid this is one of them. I enjoyed reading it, but I felt like I was reading a few articles that were strung together.Of all the races out there, I don't think this one will be high on my list, but it was cool reading about people who set a goal of running a race on each continen [...]

    6. Great book! I really enjoyed reading about the history of the race, Antarctica and the different people evolved in the race over the short history of it. It was a fairly quick read!The only thing I was not completely on board with was some of the author's comments, while I guess some of them I could relate to some were just plain rude. Everyone has their own thoughts and feelings about things, so I guess I cannot say much about that!One day I would love to be apart of the 7 continent club! If yo [...]

    7. I enjoyed meeting John Hanc while he was visiting Leiden in the Netherlands to run a half marathon and he gave me a copy of his book. While I would never consider running a marathon, I know plenty of crazy distance runners, so could appreciate much of the history of running included. Thought the book was an interesting mix of history and glances into the runners' lives that participated in the 2005 Antarctica Marathon.

    8. The Coolest Race on Earth is a good exploration, not only of the why, where and how of the Antarctica Marathon, but also of "destination " marathons and people who collect marathons as well. John Hanc includes lots of detail, from history and geography of Antarctica to musings about runner's motivations. An interesting book, if you've ever been curious about why someone would want to run a marathon in some crazy place.

    9. Good, quick read that made me want to read more about Antarctica (though I have no interest in running a marathon). He quotes some interesting research about generational interest in the outdoors that indicates our generation of baby boomers may represent a peak of participation in marathon running. Will the Last Race eventually die off for lack of interest? The seventh one is taking place this November if you're interested.

    10. A fine and interesting book. The only reason I read it, is because I will be doing this same race in February (wish me luck!). The author is a journalist from the New York area and is an amateur marathon runner with some experience. He does give some brief background about the race, its creator, and the history of polar exploration.

    11. To me, this book focuses more on the logistics of running/running in a marathon in Antarctica than running itself. Although I did enjoy reading this book, I found the author to be a bit whiny and somewhat pretentious at times. Not that I'm not the same way, it's just that I didn't get that "spirt of running" feeling like I did in Born To Run or 50/50/50.

    12. Enjoyable even for a non-runner like me. A good mix of history and personal anecdotes but lacking the charm of other nonfiction writers. Almost put it down after reading the birthday gift bit because it made me so mad; presumably his sense of humor just wasn't coming through and he's not a huge asshole.

    13. He didn't do justice to this amazing adventure. I went last year and there would have been sooo much more to write about. He spent more time talking about the tour company owner, who is a complete ass then anyone or anything else. I would have liked to hear more about the runners and why they were compelled to run a marathon in Antarctica. If you are considering going to Antarctica, GO!

    14. B- While the writing isn't always the best, this book examines the history of the Antartica Marathon, complete with stories, anecdotes, and facts. It's interesting, but would've been better served as a longer article in Runners' World.

    15. I enjoyed this book--it was a mix of Antarctic and running history. Plus how this race got started. Of course it makes me want to go do it because what a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Actually I told my husband he should go run it and I'd go cheer him on!!

    16. Loved this book! Author made me feel like I was there.He also gave some history of how this unlikely marathon came to be.My cousin is running this in March so it really hit home. Congrats to all who have run this race!

    17. Intriguing, and interesting, but the tangents got to me. I wanted to read about the run, not everyone's history. It got to where I was so distracted by all the tangents I had to keep reminding myself what the book was about! Got to page 100. to the library.

    18. People that push themselves to the extremes fascinate me. The author gives some history of Antarctica but skipped over Shackleton's amazing Endurance account. The stories of the different runners who race in this event were interesting and inspiring.

    19. About a marathon in Antartica. He's a good, funny writer and it sure is an interesting story. Not that you'll ever see me there doing it!

    20. Quick interesting read. I found myself thinking that running a marathon in Antarctica isn't so crazy after all.

    21. Interesting tale about the Antarctica marathon. I'm always interested in the roads less traveled. I'd do it, if someone would sponsor me for it!

    22. New life goal: go to Antarctica and take a picture with a penguin. Run around a bit. Be cold. Be awesome.

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