By Alison Fox
February 04, 2020
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Mark Conlon / World Marathon Challenge

Starting this week, more than three dozen runners will compete in seven marathon races on each continent (yes, even Antarctica).

In fact, the World Marathon Challenge will kick off on Thursday in Novolazarevskaya (Novo), Antarctica, located within the Antarctic Circle, according to the group. A total of 42 runners — 15 women and 27 men — will do eight loops of the ice runway there.

Competitors will then head to Cape Town in Africa, Perth in Australia, Dubai in Asia, Madrid in Europe, Fortaleza in South America, and Miami in North America.

Mark Conlon / World Marathon Challenge

To reach the start of the race, the runners will take a chartered Boeing 757 plane from Cape Town to Antarctica (it takes just under six hours) and land on the ice runway at Novo Station, a Russian base, according to The Points Guy. In total, runners will spend about 68 hours in the air flying from race to race and run a total of 183 miles, according to organizers.

“This is the first time the same plane will be used to touch down on all of the seven continents within the seven days,” event organizer Richard Donovan told The Points Guyin an email.

To join the around-the-world race (and flights), competitors have to pay $24,000. But spectators who just want to fly to Antarctica and back with a 12- to 16-hour stay can get a seat on that flight for $10,000, The Points Guy reported.

The plane is outfitted with just 76 seats, each of which reclines to 140 degrees (so at least the runners will be comfortable while they’re exhausted).

Mark Conlon / World Marathon Challenge

If they complete the challenge, runners will be able to join the Intercontinental Marathon Club. Currently, 139 people have run seven marathons on seven continents in seven days, according to the World Marathon Challenge. The oldest man to ever run the challenge was 76, while the oldest woman was 67.

The race will end on Feb. 12 in South Beach, Miami, with five loops along the boardwalk where runners can take in the sights and beach vibes as they conclude their grueling challenge.