Running 42.2km is a feat unto itself but sometimes it is about the destination, not just the journey, so why not put a whole new twist on marathon running and sign up for the exotic St Helena Marathon? Applicants are now open for runners to participate in what must surely lay claim to be one of the most remote marathons in the world, taking place on Sunday 24th June 2012.
This challenging far-flung event involves a route that winds past some of the island’s key attractions, including High Knoll Fort, Diana’s Peak (the highest point on the island) and Plantation House, residence of the island’s Governor. The course is hilly, but rewarding views along the way help runners pass the time and the mileage. To glimpse flora and fauna you can’t see anywhere else in the world, sign up for the 2012 marathon.
As well as the 42.2km course, runners can opt to participate in a half marathon, 10km or 3km races as part of a wider week-long Festival of Running. One of the festival highlights is the famed Jacob’s Ladder Challenge – a 699-step climb out of the capital, Jamestown, which sees brave participants emerge 200-metres higher.
There is a £2 entry fee for runners with proceeds going to the National Amateur Sports Association of St Helena (NASAS). Successful runners receive medals and certificates, with special prizes for outstanding achievements awarded by the island’s Governor.
Until the island’s first airport arrives in 2015, international runners travel to the South Atlantic island aboard one of the last working Royal Mail Ships (RMS St Helena) which can accommodate 128-passengers, ensuring that this marathon remains an exclusive event. The five-day voyage from Cape Town gives runners the perfect opportunity to rest their legs pre and post race.
A handful of entrants usually descend from different parts of the world and in recent years this has included the UK, Canada, USA, Germany and South Africa.
Book with 2:09 events who is offering a 23-day package (including the marathon) from £3,199 per person. Valid for travel 15 June – 7 July 2012, the price includes return flights to Cape Town with Virgin Atlantic, two nights in Cape Town, 10 days on the RMS St Helena (including all meals on board) in a shared cabin and accommodation in St Helena. http://www.209events.com/event.php?event=251#
For more information and a full programme visit www.sthelenatourism.com