Oakland man plans to run marathon in South Pole

The Associated Press
Wednesday January 02, 2002

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — An Oakland businessman is part of a pioneering extreme sports group that plans to run a marathon around the South Pole next month. 

Dean Karmazes, 39, hopes to run the 26.2 mile route from a base camp at 11,000 feet through the subzero temperatures to the South Pole in five hours. 

But he’s not even sure running is possible — the deep snow may not support heavy footfalls. 

“No one has ever done this before,” he said. “Maybe it’s not even possible.” 

Karmazes is part of a group of 15 people doing the run, most of whom are paying $35,000 for the opportunity. 

As an accomplished marathon runner — he once ran 135 miles across Death Valley — Karmazes has been invited to go for free. 

He will be insulated by a down jump suit, the type climbers wear when scaling Mount Everest. And one other fear has been put to rest. 

“I’ve learned that there are no polar bears in Antarctica,” he said, “so as far as the fear of being eaten by something, I don’t anticipate that being an issue.”