IRISH athlete Paul Robinson broke the record for the fastest time to run the famous Antarctic mile.
The Kildare man raced across Union Glacier in Antarctica, clocking 4:17.9 for one-mile (1,609m), a continental record. The race was held in conjunction with the Antarctica Ice Marathon.
Irishman Paul Robinson has broken the record for the fastest time running a mile in Antarctica pic.twitter.com/mA7sahJ369
— Sky News (@SkyNews) December 3, 2017
The Antarctic mile is a milestone for may ambitious runners across the world and has a reputation for its extremely difficult surface and altitude. The mile is point-to-point and is measured using GPS Satellite.
The 26-year-old has a lifetime best in the mile 3.54.77.
Wearing long tights, a long-sleeve shirt with a singlet over top, gloves, a hat, sunglasses and white Nike Zoom Victory spikes, Robinson dashed across the ice with a drone following overhead capturing stunning footage. To make things tougher, it was a time trial as Robinson was solo.
Robinson braved blizzards and freezing temperatures to race near the South Pole, traveling for three days just to get to the location of the race.
Crazy stuff! Ireland’s Paul Robinson ran a 4:17 MILE in Antarctica...100% on ice...for a new continental record ❄️🏃♂️❄️
Go ahead...complain about how cold it was on your run today 🤣 pic.twitter.com/E9Umiz6lPV
— Coach Zach Emerson (@CoachZem) November 29, 2017
The record attempt was the brainchild of Richard Donovan, a fellow Irish athlete who has become renowned for organising some of the world’s most interesting adventure races.
The new world record holder told The 42: “Standing on the start line, you just couldn’t see the finish line. You’re just running into this white abyss and you’ve mountains either side of you. It was surreal, and very hard with words to do it justice as to how isolated you are.
"I’ve never been anywhere like it before, it was like running on the moon or something.
“I really wanted to give it a good whack and see how close I could get to [four minutes].
“But it’s really energy sapping and, if anything, I probably went out a little bit too hard and struggled. I did get a bit of a second wind once I knew I was getting to the finish.
“I definitely think I could go faster but it would need a very groomed, hard surface that just didn’t absorb your energy. On the snow, that’s going to be very hard to do.
“In perfect conditions, running a sub-four minute mile is still a great achievement. There are very few athletes who have actually done it on a track. I know how hard it is when conditions are ideal so I knew there was no chance running [a sub-four minute mile] on snow.
“But I gave it my best effort, and I’m proud of getting anywhere close to four minutes, especially as I was slipping and sliding and even thought I was going to fall over at one stage.”
The plan going forward for Robinson is the national indoors and European Championships in 2018. He finished fourth in the 1500m in the latter event in 2014 and hopes to go one at least one better next year.
Amazing footage Ireland's Paul Robinson running the Antarctica Mile in 4 mins 17.9 secs. The event took place on 25th November 2017 at Union Glacier, Antarctica, and was held in conjunction with the annual Antarctic Ice Marathon. pic.twitter.com/vCEkA16kjA
— Richard Donovan (@RichardDonovan7) November 27, 2017