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A marathon in a category of its own: The Solar Eclipse Marathon
As the rays from the sun re-emerge from behind the shadow of the moon, the world’s first solar eclipse marathon will begin. The tropical seaside village of Port Douglas in Queensland, Australia will host 2000 runners and their friends and families in the largest event ever seen in the region.
Two thousand runners will be poised and waiting on the pristine Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas, about to participate in the most unique sporting event in history. An intergalactic start gun will mark the start of The Solar Eclipse Marathon on 14 November 2012 in Port Douglas, Australia.
At 6.38am local time, a total solar eclipse will occur and its path of totality will pass through Far North Queensland. Totality will last just over two minutes and the sun’s re-emergence from behind the moon’s shadow will get runners off to a flying start. Almost immediately, the route turns away from the beach and passes through the outskirts of Port Douglas towards the Mowbray river.
Runners will be taken on a challenging and scenic Adventure Marathon course through sugar cane fields, old mining roads, and incredibly lush tropical areas. The region is known for two World Heritage listed sites, the Great Barrier Reef and The Daintree Rainforest, one of the oldest living rainforests in the world.
The idea for this race came about on a snowy afternoon in February 2009 when Race Director Rune Nortoft from Adventure Marathons, Albatros Travel was out for a run. “Running is my creative thinking time and we’d just organised an eclipse-viewing tour to Shanghai and while I was trudging through the snow that day, it suddenly came to me,“ he says with a grin.
That was 2009 and the seeds of The Solar Eclipse Marathon were planted. Mr Nortoft and his colleague Mr Lars Fyhr, International Sales & Event Manager, discovered that the total solar eclipse in Australia in November 2012 would be the perfect time for a marathon. They contacted Travelling Fit, Albatros Travel’s partner in Australia and plans got underway.
The result will be the largest event the region has ever seen and a marathon in exceptionally beautiful surroundings.
Event ambassador and top Australian endurance runner, Steve Moneghetti, who will also be at the starting line, states: “As a distance runner, I love the connection with nature when I run and what better way to enjoy this than to be able to do it in synch with the sun at a solar eclipse,” and adds, “Port Douglas is such a beautiful place to enjoy this experience.”
The Solar Eclipse Marathon is mentioned in the New York Times as a must-run race in 2012. Read more.
About Adventure Marathons
An Albatros Travel Adventure Marathon is a physically demanding marathon that will take runners to a new level. A typical Adventure Marathon course will follow the classic marathon distance of 42.195 km but certain elements must be in place before a run can be termed an Adventure Marathon. Rough terrain, uneven surfaces, abrupt ascents and other small obstructions are all part of the course. The average time for completing the race often exceeds 4.5 hours and finishing times of less than 3 hours and 15 minutes are rare.
Apart from this one-time solar eclipse event, Albatros Travel also organises four annual Adventure Marathons: The Great Wall Marathon in China, The Big Five Marathon on the African Savannah, The Polar Circle Marathon on the Greenland ice cap and the Petra Marathon in the ancient city of Petra in Jordan.
About Albatros Travel
From a small office in Copenhagen, Albatros Travel has grown and now has branches on three continents and employs more than 200 people. Initially focused on Africa, Albatros is a market leader in Scandinavia and offers tours and cruises throughout the world, as well as possessing its own Adventure Marathon brand, arranging long distance runs in exotic locations, such as the Greenland ice cap and the Great Wall of China.
The company also has its own award-winning safari eco lodge in Kenya and a refitted luxury cruise ship sailing voyagers to isolated corners of the Arctic. A family company, Albatros Travel remains privately owned and has been awarded the coveted AAA credit rating for the financial security of its operations.
About Travelling Fit
Travelling Fit is an Australian travel agent specialising in packages to marathons, half marathons and multi-stage events around the world. The company offers race entries, accommodation, flight packages, tours and other travel services from Australia.
Follow us on Twitter at @SolarMarathon and check out our Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/solareclipsemarathon
Mr Rune Nortoft, Race Director, +45 3698 9758
Mr Lars Fyhr, International Sales and Event Manager, +45 2477 8675