You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myPalmBeachPost.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myPalmBeachPost.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myPalmBeachPost.com.

She conquered the Antarctica marathon, now she’s taking on the North Pole


Lisa Richardson loves marathons so much she’s going to the ends of the earth to run them. 

In November 2015, the 41-year-old Hastings, Minn., woman ran “the Southernmost Marathon on Earth,” the Antarctic Ice Marathon, on a glacier in the Antarctic continent.  

On Sunday, she aims to run the North Pole Marathon, the world’s most northerly marathon.  

She’s not the fastest or the most experienced runner.  

Richardson has run seven marathons total since she took up the sport in 2011. Her personal best for the race is over five hours. In the challenging conditions in Antarctica, it took her nearly nine hours to finish the 26.2 miles. But her aim now is to run a marathon on all seven continents of the world in addition to the North Pole.  

Richardson, an orthodontic assistant and mother of two, said running has been part of a healthy transformation that included losing 113 pounds from her former weight of 267 pounds. She also quit smoking.  

“She’s been an inspiration to a lot of people, including me,” said her husband, Chad Richardson.  

For the North Pole Marathon, Richardson flew to Oslo, Norway, and then headed to the coastal island Spitsbergen before flying to Barneo Ice Camp, a temporary air strip and base camp built by Russians on the ice sheet at the top of the world for the Russia Geographical Society.  

That’s where Richardson will run laps on a 4.2-kilometer loop marked out on the snow and ice floating on the Arctic Ocean. The competitors will be watched by race organizers who have rifles on hand in case a polar bear shows up.  

“We have polar guards. There will be people out on the course,” Richardson said in a phone interview last week from the Norwegian town of Longyearbyen.  

The race website says racers could expect windchill temperatures to be 22 below or colder.  

Richardson said she’s taking multiple layers of clothing for the race, including four or five balaclava hats.  

She said the temperature was about zero at her Antarctic marathon.  

“The weather wasn’t that bad for a transplanted Minnesotan,” she said.  

“It’s sure something you have to wrap your brain around: I’m getting on a plane and I’m flying to the North Pole,” said Heather Carr, an Eden Prairie orthodontist and another Minnesota polar marathoner.  

Carr raced the North Pole Marathon last year and did the Antarctic Ice Marathon in 2014. When she heard of an open space for a runner in the 2015 Antarctic race due to a last minute cancellation, she called Richardson, who is a friend.  

Richardson made the decision to do the polar race even though it was only two and a half weeks before she needed to board a plane to Chile to catch the flight to Antarctica.  

“It was a once in a lifetime experience,” Richardson said. “It was like landing on the moon.”  

“I don’t know that she had so much adventurous spirit before she started running,” Chad Richardson said.  

About 55 people for each race pay around $15,000 to a race tour operator for the privilege of running a polar marathon.  

The North Pole Marathon race organizer says that less than 100 people have completed its Marathon Grand Slam Club, finishing a marathon on all seven continents and at the North Pole.  

“Anything is possible. I’m going to be running at the North Pole. That seems something that should be impossible,” Richardson said.  

Richardson’s parents are Puerto Rican, and Chad Richardson said he thinks his wife, who grew up in Ohio and Puerto Rico, will be the only Puerto Rican-American to run a marathon at both Antarctica and the North Pole.  

Richardson has also run a marathon in Poland. She’s thinking about running a marathon in Thailand for her Asian race, and running a marathon around a volcano in Chile to cross South America off her list.  

“I’m not this amazing athlete at all,” Richardson said. “Anyone can do it.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Travel

Cheaper Disney tickets? It's a thing. Here's how to get in on the deal.
Cheaper Disney tickets? It's a thing. Here's how to get in on the deal.

Walt Disney World fanatics, this is not a drill. Cheap ticket prices are here for everyone but only for a limited time.  The “4-Park Magic Ticket” admits guests into one park per day for four separate days. Enjoy Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom (including the park’s new land, Pandora - The World...
How to conquer the challenge of long-term travel

One summer a friend showed me her itinerary for a week in Maui. It was three pages long, laid out on Excel. Every hour was choked with food stops, beaches, “leisure” time and noteworthy sights. It was a small wonder she didn’t also pencil in bathroom breaks.  Good luck pulling that off for trips that are weeks, perhaps months...
Stand-up air travel? Not yet, but Colombian budget airline would consider it
Stand-up air travel? Not yet, but Colombian budget airline would consider it

BOGOTA, Colombia — In its quest to make air travel accessible to the masses, Colombia’s no-frills carrier, VivaColombia, would be more than happy to rip out the seats and make passengers stand — if it only could.  “There are people out there right now researching whether you can fly standing up,” VivaColombia&rsquo...
Travel dilemmas: The effects of the airlines’ electronics ban

The ban on in-cabin electronics larger than a smartphone is one of the more fluid issues affecting travelers. Ten airports in the Middle East and northern Africa are a no-go for big electronics in carry-ons. (To see the list, go to www.lat.ms/airportlist.) Homeland Security recently said it could broaden the ban to 71 more airports. Or it might not...
How to stay healthy while traveling

Nothing ruins a vacation or business trip like not feeling your best.  Whether it's a long-haul flight that leaves you sleepier than usual or a seven-night cruise that has you queasy, travel is constantly challenging your well-being.   TravelPulse consulted board certified family physician Dr. Mia Finkelston to uncover some of the easiest...
More Stories