What is the World Marathon Challenge?

The World Marathon Challenge is a logistical and physical challenge to run 7 Marathons on 7 Continents in 7 Continuous Days, or 168 hours from the start of the first marathon to the finish of the final marathon. In 2025 there will be individual and team competitions within the Challenge.

What are the 7 continents?

The 7 Continents are Antarctica, Africa, Australia, Asia, Europe, South America and North America. Please note there are only seven accepted continents in the world. Microcontinents and continental fragments exist, and there are continual claims of the discovery of lost or underwater continents, but none of these are accepted as principal continents e,g, Greater Adria, Madagascar, Zealandia, Mauritia, South Orkney.

Who is organizing the World Marathon Challenge?

The World Marathon Challenge is organized by Runbuk, Inc., that also organizes extreme events such as the North Pole Marathon ®, Volcano Marathon ®, and Antarctic Ice Marathon & 100k ®. See the 'Organizers' section for more information.

How many World Marathon Challenges have occurred?

There have been seven editions of the race, each year from 2015 to 2020, and in 2023.

Are the marathons official marathons?

Yes, the World Marathon Challenge is a member of the Association of Marathons & Distance Races (AIMS) and individual marathons are sanctioned by various national athletics federations including USATF.

Is there a competitive aspect to the World Marathon Challenge?

Yes, the fastest average marathon times for the 7 marathons will be declared the outright winner in both male and female individual categories. There will also be a team competition in the 2025 World Marathon Challenge: The fastest combined marathon times of the top three team scorers, who finish all 7 marathons, will be declared the winners (a team can be composed of more than three people but must have both male and female runners among its scoring three).

Where can I register for the next World Marathon Challenge?

The next World Marathon Challenge will take place in 2025, which already has a full race field. You can register for the 2026 World Marathon Challenge on this website under the REGISTRATION section.

What date is the event scheduled to begin?

For the 2025 World Marathon Challenge, the first marathon is scheduled to occur on January 31, 2025. See 'SCHEDULE & COSTS' for more details.

Where will the marathons take place?

The marathons are scheduled to take place at Novo (Antarctica), Cape Town (South Africa), Perth (Australia), Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Madrid (Spain), Fortaleza (Brazil) and Miami (USA).

How much does it cost to take part?

For the 2026 trip, including the seven marathons on seven continents, international charter flights, and all related support, is $48,000USD if paid in full upon registration. There is also an installment payment option in which competitors make three payments of $16,500. See 'REGISTRATION' page for more details.

Are places limited?

Yes, places are limited to 60 for the World Marathon Challenge in accordance with aircraft capacity constraints. Some of these seats may be taken by media or non-running travelers. The advertised number of places available in the last five editions of the race have all sold out.

When is the latest that somebody can enter?

There is no set deadline for entering: places are strictly allotted on a first come first served basis until the race field is full. A deposit under the installment payment option will secure your place.

Can I raise money for charity?

Yes, despite the limited size of the race field, participants have raised millions of dollars for charity over the past few years. The unique nature of the event lends itself to being a great fundraising opportunity.

Is it possible to have sponsors?

You have the option to showcase a sponsoring company's logo or product by bringing it to the event for photography. The race receives extensive broadcast coverage annually, allowing you to display sponsor logos on your headgear, arms, and legs during the event (while the official race number is placed on your torso).

It's a great idea to fundraise for a charity you're passionate about. Write to local and national companies, informing them of your plan to participate in the 2026 World Marathon Challenge and the charity you'll be supporting (refer to the sample letter below). Follow up with a phone call to emphasize the media exposure and goodwill associated with potential sponsorship. This can be a mutually beneficial outcome for the charity, sponsoring companies, and yourself.

Sample Letter:

Subject: 2026 World Marathon Challenge Sponsorship Opportunity

Dear __________

I am reaching out to present an exciting marketing/sponsorship opportunity for your company.

In January 2026, Runbuk, Inc will host the 9th World Marathon Challenge, where athletes from around the world will run 7 Marathons in 7 Continents in 7 Days. I intend to participate but need to raise funds, prompting this letter to you.

An extreme challenge like this naturally captures attention from local, regional, and international media across various platforms. The exposure goes beyond sports pages to encompass general and lifestyle sections, magazines, and radio, TV, and the Internet.

While you can quantify the benefits of financing my entry, I see this as a unique chance for your company to gain visibility and product promotion among a captivated audience. You have the opportunity to be associated with true grit and innovative sponsorship, enhancing your brand's recognition and boosting sales. Additionally, my participation aims to raise funds for a deserving charity, offering you positive association with a just cause.

I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss this further with you and look forward to connecting soon. Meanwhile, please visit https://www.worldmarathonchallenge.com/ for more information about the race.

Yours sincerely,

Can a non-runner travel?

Yes, a non-runner, e.g. spouse or friend of an athlete, can purchase a seat on the trip.

Can the dates be guaranteed?

No, the exact start date cannot be guaranteed. However, contingency plans are arranged to help ensure the seven-day schedule can be reached regardless of a delay in starting the Challenge.

Is the World Marathon Challenge recognized for record-setting purposes?

Yes, the marathons are official marathons and recognised by third parties such as The Book of Alternative Records and Guinness World Records.

What total distance will I run during the World Marathon Challenge?

Successful participants will run 295 km or 183 miles in total. However, there is also a half-marathon option.

What is the time limit for each marathon?

The time limit for each marathon is 8 hours, but can be changed at the discretion of the race director.

What are the temperature variations?

The temperatures will likely range from -10C to +30C.

Will there be media coverage of the World Marathon Challenge?

Yes, significant media coverage can be expected.  From 2015 to 2020, and in 2023, the World Marathon Challenges received extensive exposure on all the main international news channels, along with a globally broadcast documentary on the 2020 event. Furthermore, cameramen and photographers will follow the entire trip with the competitors.

Who organizes the individual marathons on each continent?

The individual marathons are arranged by a combination of locally-based running experts, clubs and measurers.

Will there be medical assistance?

Yes, there will be medical assistance / doctor available throughout the trip.

What type of flights are involved?

Competitors will fly on international charter flights during the 2025 and 2026 World Marathon Challenge.

Are the Falkland Islands, King George Island or the South Shetland Islands part of the continent of Antarctica?

No, these Islands are not even located within the Antarctic Circle nor on Antarctica’s continental landmass, tectonic plate or geographic continental shelf. Confusion can arise as The Antarctic Treaty governs all areas south of 60 Degrees South latitude, but this includes the continent of Antarctica AND other areas such as ice shelves, seas and islands that are not part of the continent. See the 'LOCATIONS' section of this website for definitions and details of each continent.

Will the Antarctica race actually take place on the continent of Antarctica?

Yes, the Antarctica race will take place at Novo, Antarctica, which is 6 hours flight directly south of Cape Town. Novo is located at 71 Degrees South, within the Antarctic Circle and on the Antarctica continental landmass. The marathon in Antarctica is called the Antarctica Intercontinental Marathon.

Why does the World Marathon Challenge start in Antarctica rather than finish in Antarctica?

There is always a possibility of weather delays when flying to or from Antarctica and it would be foolish to leave it as the final destination.

What happens if there is a delay starting in Antarctica?

The 168-hour timing clock doesn't start until the first marathon commences! When it is certain that a flight can leave Antarctica, the first marathon will start and the countdown will begin. Nevertheless, the 2020 World Marathon Challenge elected to operate the Africa Intercontinental Marathon first when unique weather / logistics reasons dictated it best to fly in and out of Antarctica on the second day.

How long do participants spend flying?

Competitors in the World Marathon Challenge will spend about 60 hours in the air from the start point in Antarctica to the finish in North America.

Can finishers join the exclusive Intercontinental Marathon Club?

Finishers will join the very exclusive Intercontinental Marathon Club ®,  reserved for athletes who have completed all 7 marathons across the 7 continents in one continuous attempt. There is also recognition for running a half-marathon distance.

What gear should I wear?

Participants will be advised on clothing for Antarctica. Suitable clothing for temperatures ranging from about +5 C to +30 C should be obtained for the other six continents.