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Antarctica: final step to marathon challenge

02/28/2003

Click to go to Fetterman's work. Clive Miskin of Dallas yearns to experience the unusual. He's run the world's lowest marathon, in the Sea of Galilee, and the Pike's Peak Marathon, one of the highest-altitude races. He's run marathons on six of the world's seven continents.

On Monday, Miskin, 43, plans to run the 26.2-mile trek on his seventh and final continent: Antarctica. If all goes according to plan, he will join an elite club known as the 7 Continents Club. There are 71 members worldwide.

"I love traveling," he said. "I always look for exotic places to race. Antarctica seems pretty exotic. It seemed like a good way to end this challenge."

Miskin, a former American Airlines employee, has finished 33 marathons in venues such as Venezuela and Venice. His personal marathon best is three hours, 12 minutes, at the Motorola Austin.

"When I worked for American Airlines, I could fly on a plane every weekend," he said. "That's how I did all those marathons."

Commercial jets don't fly to Antarctica, which makes getting to this event nearly as challenging as the race itself. Miskin left Friday for Buenos Aires, then flew to Ushuaia, Argentina, the southern-most city in the world. Then he and 109 others who are running or assisting with the race sailed past Cape Horn and across the Beagle Channel and Drake Passage to the Antarctic Peninsula.

"It's about the roughest water in the world," Miskin said. "I'm a former Navy guy, and I'm not looking forward to the two- or three-day crossing."

Weather will be a major hurdle. Two years ago, a group of runners that included popular running columnist John Bingham, a.k.a. The Penguin, never left the ship because it stormed for five days.

If all goes as scheduled, the race will begin Monday morning.

"Monday works," Miskin said. "It's not like anyone is going to work there. ... The ship can get there, and everyone can get back home by the following weekend."