Illinois runner wins Antarctic Ice Marathon

Jason Wolfe traveled to the bottom of the world to win one of the planet's most unusual races.

The 1994 graduate of Wesclin High School and Trenton, Ill. native won the fifth annual Antarctic Ice Marathon on Dec. 17, a 26.2-mile trek through one of the earth's last great untamed frontiers in conditions more suited for a side of beef than a distance runner.

Wolfe was one of 17 runners (14 men, three women) from 11 different countries who braved temperatures that reached a high of 5 degrees on race day. Another obstacle was Antarctica's notorious katabatic winds -- which have been known to reach gusts of 200 mph -- that blow in from the South Pole a few hundred miles away.

Then there are the the 24 hours of daylight and the thin, dry air. The race takes place at an altitude of 3,000 feet above sea level on a barren, lifeless surface of snow and ice hundreds of feet deep.

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