Mike Wardian (USA) and Anne-Marie Flammersfeld (GER) are among the lead contenders in the upcoming UVU North Pole Marathon, scheduled for 9th April 2014.
Wardian has iconic status in the ultramarathon world. The ship broker and UVU Racing athlete is a four-time USATF ultra-marathoner of the year, four-time USA 50K Champion, 2008 USA 100km Champion and 2010 World 100K silver medalist. The prolific racer and 2:17 marathoner has competed in the last three US Olympic Marathon trials, set indoor and treadmill world records for running marathons, and won countless races at home and overseas. Mike will also be part of the elite field in the Boston Marathon, just two weeks after participating at the Pole.
Anne-Marie Flammersfeld has won ultramarathon stage races in the Gobi, Atacama and Sahara Deserts as well as in the Antarctic region. A Sports Scientist and UVU Racing athlete based in St Moritz, Switzerland, she finished third overall in the 2013 Manaslu Trail Race in Nepal.
The North Pole is the northernmost point on the Earth, lying diametrically opposite the South Pole. It defines geodetic latitude 90° North, as well as the direction of true north. At the North Pole all directions point south; all lines of longitude converge there, so its longitude can be defined as any degree value.
The North Pole is located in the middle of the Arctic Ocean amid waters that are almost permanently covered with constantly shifting sea ice. This makes it impractical to construct a permanent station at the North Pole (unlike the South Pole). However, the Soviet Union, and later Russia, have constructed a number of manned drifting stations on a generally annual basis since 1937, some of which have passed over or very close to the Pole. Since 2002, the Russians have also annually established a base, Barneo, close to the Pole. The sea depth at the North Pole has been measured at 4,261 m (13,980 ft) by the Russian Mir submersible in 2007 and at 4,087 m (13,410 ft) by USS Nautilus in 1958. The nearest land is usually said to be Kaffeklubben Island, off the northern coast of Greenland about 700 km (430 mi) away, though some perhaps non-permanent gravel banks lie slightly closer. The nearest permanently inhabited place is Alert in the Qikiqtaaluk Region, Nunavut, Canada, which is located 817 km (508 mi) from the Pole.