ANTARCTICA MARATHON

I just got back from Antarctica where I ran my 25th marathon for kids and schools. We raised almost $17,000 from this marathon. Every dollar is going towards building schools and empowering lives. This year alone we’ll build two more schools, one in Burkina Faso (West Africa) and one in Nicaragua (Central America). I am humbled by your continued support and immense generosity. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. I am forever grateful to you all. ❤

I registered for the Antarctica marathon almost 4 years ago and I’d been saving my own money for the trip ever since. I am so happy I did this.  It turned out to be one of the greatest adventures of my life! Antarctica is a fairy-tale like nothing I’d seen before; it has an unforgettable aura about it. It’s a melting pot of emotions and experiences, a juxtaposition between omnipresent serenity and the ferocious nature of wildlife. It’s mystifying and inspiring!

I took all the pictures with my Sony A7 camera and 24-240mm lens. I chose my favorite 100 shots. I also got a few more amazing photos from my fellow runners. My hope is that all these pictures can give you a glimpse of what I’d experienced for the last 10 days.

Enjoy! ❤

BA_3I started the journey in Buenos Aires, in a beautiful neighborhood called Puerto Madero.
I loved the colors and reflections. Such a beautiful night.

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BA_6Interesting architecture of a suspension bridge.

BA_8Floralis Genérica – a striking city landmark in Buenos Aires. It is a giant flower sculpture; its petals open every morning and slowly close at sunset every night.

BA_Caminito_10Caminito! A charming, colorful street located in a neighborhood called La Boca. It’s full of life and character.

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BA_Caminito_11Love the geometric shapes and colors.

81_SandraMy last run in Buenos Aires, in 90 degrees weather.
Good preparation for the blizzard ahead 😉

Uruguay_14The next day I visited Uruguay, getting one more stamp on the passport. My sweet friend, Carolyn is presenting our new destination 🙂 – Colonia de Sacramento.

Uruguay_12Colonia is a city in southwestern Uruguay, across the Río de La Plata from Buenos Aires. It’s known for its cobblestones and colorful flowers. It actually reminded me a bit of a little town in Romania, called Sighisoara.

Uruguay_13Love the narrow cobblestone streets.

Ushuaia_15The southernmost tip of South America, Ushuaia, known as “The End of the World.” I love the layers in this picture – bus, building, mountains.

IMG_8380This is George, my new friend and fellow runner. I didn’t take this picture but I love George’s smile so much. 🙂

69_UshuaiaFin del Mundo!

70_BathroomThis is hilarious – entrance to a restroom in a bakery in Ushuaia. Love it.

Ushuaia_17I love the red ship and mountains in the background.
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73_Ship.jpgNext we boarded the Ioffe, a Russian science ship. So small compared to the Celebrity Infinity cruise ship in the background.

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Boat_23I loved my cabin on the Ioffe, it was neat and cozy.

68_Number.jpgGetting ready for the race, the cheering squad (from left Lola, Dortumnd and Blanko) was pretty pumped too 😉 My race number was 25 which was pretty cool considering it was my 25th marathon.

Antartica_0517.jpgThe scientific community in Antarctica. Our marathon course was along the Chinese and Russian bases.

IMG_2407Race day! I didn’t take any of the race shots.
Thanks so much everyone who shared all these great pictures. RaceDay-25This is so cool!
Thank you to all the Marathon Tours crew, One Ocean staff and all the volunteers who helped and cheered us on during the race. I’m grateful for all the support and help. ❤

67_RaceAt the start of the race was pretty cold, I’d say 15-20F, blizzard and quite windy. After 45min-1hour, snow stopped, weather got a bit warmer, although still windy and chances of hypothermia.

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IMG_1305The course was hard, hilly, slippery, muddy and had lots of rocky parts. I rolled my ankle couple of times but nothing serious. Just a bit scary 😉

IMG_6517Snow covered our bags and water bottles.

IMG_6531Cute little penguin crossing the marathon course!

IMG_8200My last loop. Woo-ho!

68_RaceFinally finished! Took me more than I planned but I am so happy I finished!!! My final time was 5h 53 min. I thought of my mom a lot during the race.
I LOVE MY MOM.

Zodiac_44After the race day we went on some AMAZING excursions.
I love this shot of getting one of the Zodiac boats out.

64_ZodiacGetting on the Zodiac was nerve-wracking at the beginning but a piece of cake by the end of the trip. 😉

Antartica_1368a.jpgTook this pic from one of the Zodiac boats.

Albatross_21I loved watching the albatrosses; they have the largest wingspan of any living bird.

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Antarctica_18Amazing sun rays coming through the clouds.

Antarctica_19Beautiful sunset.

Antarctica_Ice_7I love this shot. I placed my camera on the edge of the Zodiac to get a cool angle and composition.

Doug_32Blissful serenity.

Iceberg_37Zodiac ride and iceberg watching.

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Iceberg_41I love this! It reminds me a bit of Lady Liberty! The left part of the iceberg is the torch. 🙂

54_IcebergAnd how cool is this iceberg?! I love the reflections. It looks like an accordion 🙂

82_IcebergLove the color of the water.

Penguin_25Penguin colonies!

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Penguin_28My mom and I LOVE penguins so much!!! For my mom’s 70th birthday, I decided to adopt an Emperor Penguin chick. I used WWF – World Wide Fund for Nature. Check them out; maybe you’d also like to adopt in honor of a loved one. ❤

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Antartica_0755a.jpgLove the colors.

Penguin_31Group walking.

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91_Hello🙂 ❤

58_PenguinRoar!

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Who’s so sad and adorable ❤

Antartica_1140This is gotta be the beginning of a comedy sketch 😉

83_PenguinI think they love each other!

Whales_33Majestic whales.

Whales_34Whale watching. Look how close we were!

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Antartica_0882I was on the Ioffe ship and captured this shot.

IMG_6189Amazing whale tail shots!
These are not mine but I want to share them; I think they are amazing.

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Dortmund_47Dortmund made it to Antarctica! He travels everywhere with me 🙂

Jessie_Brie_48What a sweet photo of Jessie and Brie. I love their smiles!

Doug_23I love Doug’s portrait.

85_Whynde.jpgMy sweet roommate, Whynde!
Whynde runs ultra marathons and one of her goal is to climb the 7 summits. So amazing!

63_BlankoAnd here is Blanko’s portrait too!

Bird_43Little bird.

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Roar!

53_SealWho’s so cute!

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Antartica_1282Almost looks like a worm 🙂

56_SealKind of scary.

Antartica_1093Hi Lovie!

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Snow_45Beautiful light!

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49_IcebergExcursions!

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I love seeing my fellow “expeditioners” on top of the world. 🙂

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57_Reflections.jpgReflections and geometric symmetry.

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61_PeopleI love the juxtaposition of humans and penguins.

62_PeopleHiking and exploring Paradise Bay in Antarctica. Such a breathtakingly beautiful place.

IMG_2168I made it to the top!

75_Sherril and MarySo did Sheryl and Mary!

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And Ben and his beautiful mom, Christine! I love this picture of them.

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IMG_1861Whynde and I, ready for the Polar Plunge!

IMG_2395I told Harry before I jumped, in case anything happened to me to tell my mom that I love her.

80_Party.jpgOur last day in Antarctica was so beautiful.
Party time! Ceremony, yummy food, dancing and good times!

88_Tom.jpgThom, announcing the winners!
He is the founder of Marathon Tours & Travel. I ran Great Wall and Antarctica with them and I had amazing time every time – two of my life’s greatest experiences! They’re great organization.

IMG_3150Ellen, Matt and I.

77_ToddWhat a great shot of Todd, the winner of Antarctica Marathon 2018. 3 hours & 7 minutes.
I don’t have a picture of the female winner 😦 Campbell, Whendi. She was so amazing, finished the race in 3 hours and 58 minutes. Congratulations to Whendi and Todd!

78_Carolyn and ViceroCarol and Cecil! Carol has ran a marathon on each of the 7 continents!
Congratulations Carol!You are so inspiring. ❤

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Laura – the amazing Wonder Woman! ❤

79_Megan
Beautiful Megan!

IMG_3144Ellen, Charlotte and I. Ellen was the doctor on the ship, Charlotte ran her 201st marathon. So kind and inspirational. I love them both! ❤

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89_Farewell

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Farewell Antarctica! ❤ What an amazing life adventure this trip was. I met so many inspirational people each with their own story of courage, resilience, hope and love. I got to explore the most unique and pristine place on Earth. I saw cute little penguins, albatross, majestic whales, seals and thousand year old icebergs.

Thank you One Ocean team (Karen, Kaylan, Liz, Natalie, Jackie, Tessa, Harry, Chris, Ian, Jesse, Ferenc, Andres, and Sinckers) for taking such good care of all the runners and making this experience unforgettable! ❤

Antarctica – you are magical, and I will never forget you! ❤ ❤ ❤