Charlotte’s Arctic race

Chilly: Charlotte Duxbury has completed a half-marathon in the Arctic Circle
Chilly: Charlotte Duxbury has completed a half-marathon in the Arctic Circle
Share this article
Have your say

When most people go for a run, they head round the block – but Charlotte Duxbury had other ideas.

The 21-year-old entered the world’s northernmost half marathon, in Svalbard, which is inside the Arctic Circle.

She trained for the 13.1-mile course in Norway, where she was working as a host in a ski lodge.

Charlotte, from Brinscall, said: “I wanted a big challenge and the idea of finishing this Arctic experience on a massive high in Svalbard sounded incredible.”

Training for the half-marathon was not simple though, due to the weather conditions in Norway.

And she faced the added problem of the polar night, when the sun does not rise between November and January.

Charlotte said: “I didn’t take my running shoes with me – I didn’t think about it – but everyone at work was running still with spikes in their shoes and lots of layers on.

“I bought some running shoes out there and decided to get through the polar night by training for a half-marathon.”

She continued: “The idea of putting the headtorch on and going out for an hour when it was blowing an absolute gale or in stinging hailstones was tough, but it was all about the challenge.”

After completing her training, Charlotte travelled to the island of Spitsbergen, in Svalbard, to take part in her first half-marathon.

Instead of crowds of spectators, they were surrounded by armed guards to protect them from polar bears.

She completed the race in two hours and five minutes.

Charlotte, a former pupil at Holy Cross Catholic High School, said: “I absolutely loved it. It got to about two degrees, which was very warm there, and there was sunshine for the first hour.

“I turned around and the weather changed to dark clouds and very strong, cold wind.”