National Sports

Dozens of runners brave the cold for North Pole Marathon on ice cap

With the Greek flag in one hand and ice across his face, runner Argyrios Papathanasopoulos fell to his knees in exhaustion and celebration after winning the North Pole Marathon, the northernmost race on Earth.

Papathanasopoulos overcame 46 opponents and temperatures in the minus 20s Sunday to win the "world's coolest marathon," held annually at Camp Barneo, known as North Pole Camp, on the polar ice cap.

"Almost unbelievable. You know I'm a Greek guy so this is not the right place for me; it's like an Eskimo running a race in the desert," he said after winning in a time of 4 hours, 34 minutes and 36 seconds.

In the women's event, Guoping Xie of China was victorious in a field of 13.

Nearly all the competitors were wrapped from head to toe in warm clothing to protect them from the elements for the 26.2-mile run.

Australian runner Marcus Fillinger finished well down the field in 41st but did so accompanied by two husky dogs, Druro and Blue, the first canines to complete the marathon.