Inspirational Stories

Gertjan Verdickt Takes Bronze at the Antarctic Ice Marathon!

Medina Ilyassova1 comment1133 views
Gertjan Verdickt

Dear Explorer,

Can you imagine running on ice and snow for 42.2km in -25 degrees Celsius?

Our inspirational friend, Gertjan Verdickt just ran the marathon in November in Antarctica and came in 3rd place!

He clocked in at 3:56.45 hrs grabbing bronze and was running to raise awareness and social-and-financial support for people affected by Multiple Sclerosis. For more information about this amazing 27-year-old Belgian PhD student and his mission, Run for MS, check out our September 2017 interview with Gertjan.

He trained for this marathon by running in a freezer!

Speaking to ub-cool exclusively, Gertjan expressed his enthusiasm on the medal and describes the experience.

Gertjan Verdickt

Antarctic Ice Marathon | Image Source: Gertjan Verdickt

ub-cool: How do you feel?

Gertjan Verdickt: “How do I feel? Very good. I did everything I could. I trained for 2500k, lost 10kg, trained the right way, had the perfect clothes. I am very happy with the outcome. The first lap, I tried to keep up with the winner and number 2. I actually managed to do so. After the first lap, I just focused on my own race. So thereafter, I ran the last 3 laps by myself. Had a good feeling throughout the race.

ub-cool: Did you experience any problems along the way?

Gertjan Verdickt: “Only 2 little mental setbacks, but I had some happy thoughts that kept me going. Also, I am of the opinion that people quit when it is just about them. When you do something with pride and for someone else/a bigger cause, you are able to do more. That is what I experienced.”

Gertjan Verdickt

Competitors running through the harsh -25 degree weather | Image Source: Gertjan Verdickt

ub-cool: Can you describe what it is like to run in such cold temperatures? 

Gertjan Verdickt: “In the race, the temperature was -15, but there was strong wind (40k/h), which lead to a wind chill temperature of -30. I had some troubles with cold hands in headwinds, but it felt better in tailwind. I used a buff during the first lap but ran without it in the rest of the race. It froze immediately due to my breathing, which made the buff wet. Overall, very very happy with my marathon. The bronze medal is the cherry on the cake for my project. The best finale. Thank you very much for everything!”

Watch this space for more updates about Gertjan and his charity, Run for MS.

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Feature Photo Source: Gertjan Verdickt

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Medina Ilyassova
Adventurer, ub-cool founder, yoga, Muay Thai and running fan, epilepsy survivor, mother of 2. Medina believes that life is too short to be ordinary..., and that we should seek out adventures!

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