How it all began...
For my 30th birthday in April 2005, my friend Josh Adams handed me a business-size envelope. Expecting outdoor or tech gear that we usually exchange, I wasn't sure what to make of it. Inside the envelope was a single page printed from the
Marathon Tours website. The page described the "Last Marathon" in Antarctica... a bi-annual event involving a boat trip across the Drake Passage and a run on the shores off the Antarctic Peninsula between scientific stations and among seals and penguins. Josh explained that he had heard of the race from a friend-of-a-friend who did scientific work in Antarctica. He made the down payment for the 2007 trip for both of us without thinking too much about it. As neither of us had ever run more than a handful of miles in one sitting and we were not exactly fans of the cold, the idea honestly didn't seem all that appealing. But the trip was two years away and that gave us plenty of time to cancel.
Fast forward about six months when I received my first of several invoices for payment. By this time I had nearly forgotten about the trip. I asked Josh if he had made his payment. He confirmed that indeed he had, half-daring me to be the one to bail. And so it continued, both of us being too stubborn to cancel, but neither of fully coming to terms with what we were embarking on.
Last summer (2006) I realized that I would need to start training for the marathon. I decided the Seattle Marathon in November would be a good intermediate goal and in August started the standard 16 week first-time marathon training plan. Meanwhile, Josh was forming plans of his own. Being the foremost authority on roadtrips, he envisioned the ultimate roadtrip... Seattle to Tierra del Fuego, the end of the world and the launching point for the Last Marathon trip. So while I ran, Josh planned, wrapped up loose ends, and quit his job in December. He departed from Seattle in mid-January and began what turned into a 6-week, 16,000 mile journey through North, Central, and South America.
I've split this site into two subsites, one covering the Antarctic trip we completed with the rest of the marathon group and the other covering our subsequent travels north through Patagonia from Ushuaia to Bariloche.