Have you considered plans for retirement? After retiring at 60, Christine Hobson challenged herself to complete a marathon on each continent across the world. Determined to achieve her final marathon before her 70th birthday, last December she became the oldest female to reach the finishing line. Needless to say she received a standing ovation from her fellow challengers.
The Antarctic Ice Marathon is not for the faint-hearted. It’s a 26.2-mile running experience, which tests each challenger to run across snow and ice while battling through winds that blow between 10-25 knots at chilling -20-degree temperatures.
Snowmobile support, first aid stations, and medical personnel are available throughout the race. However, in unpredictable environments like these, the organisers insist on the runners equipping themselves with correct travel insurance.
Luckily, P J Hayman could provide Christine (Chris) with a tailor-made travel insurance policy to master the world’s Southernmost Marathon at 69 years of age. We had a chat with her to find out more.
What problems could you have faced during the Ice marathon?
The event organisers marked out the route and boundaries to ensure everyone went in the right direction. ‘However, it is a dangerous environment, especially if there’s a snowstorm or while running in fog – in fact, on race morning we set out in the thick fog.’
‘Should you get lost, there’s a high chance of getting frostbite, and search time is of the essence’. Anyone of any age can get into difficulty and require medical help. However, ‘an older person needs help faster’, to make a stable recovery.
It’s important to note that ‘the more extreme the marathon the more you must think about preparing your head (not just your body) – how will you control your feelings?’. You need a stable mind, as well as a fit and healthy body to reach the finishing line.
What challenges did you have when finding travel insurance for the ice marathon?
I was following the advice of ALE (Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions) – the logistics team who organised the race. They insisted that we each needed a specialist Travel Insurance policy, which covered races and/or endurance events for medical costs of up to 10 million pounds.
However, as the activity was on the extreme list, it was hard to find an insurer who would cover it at the South Pole. Plus, finding travel insurance for my age was a challenge because when you reach 65 you enter the ‘covid danger zone’.
I looked everywhere and my husband reads all our insurance policies, but it was hard to find one which provided 10 million pounds Medical and Emergency cover for a 69-year-old – including repatriation and search and rescue costs.
How did you discover Travel Insurance for Ice Marathons?
It was recommended to me by our friend Dan Micola who directed us to JS Travel Insurance, who then approached P J Hayman. This is his story…
He took up the countries challenge with friends on Facebook. They thought he should try to break the World Record for the most countries marathoned in one year. His general idea was to do 52 official marathons, in 52 countries in 52 weeks. After researching it he found it was probably possible, so went for it. He then ended up doing 59 marathons in 58 countries in 365 days (15 January 2017 – 14 January 2018). His records are kept by the Marathon Country Club.
The Solution – Adventures Travel Insurance Policy
Adventures travel insurance policy covers over 400 different adrenaline-fuelled activities – ice marathons is one of them.
Noting the challenges that Chris could have faced at the South Pole and that she was participating as an amateur, an Adventures travel insurance policy would help. She qualified for the policy because she met the criteria “must be aged 69 years or under.”
Adventures is a tailor-made insurance policy, which covered Chris for The Antarctic Ice Marathon.
- Medical & Emergency Expenses of up to £10,000,000
- Search and Rescue Costs of up to £50,000
- 24-hour medical emergency assistance
What should be noted is that Chris took out additional evacuation cover for Antarctica (which we did not supply). This was medical extraction insurance that came from Ripcord, a Evacuation & Rescue services provider based in Texas, USA. It’s the only one to cover British citizens.
Chris will require both policies when she signs up for The North Pole Marathon. From Wednesday 1st February she’ll be able to use Adventures again because the eligibility criteria for the policy will be 75 years of age.
A Quote from Christine Hobson
‘I literally could not have done what I wanted to do without you… you were my saviour and I’m eternally grateful – I have already recommended you to a number of my running friends!’.
Quote from P J Hayman
“The Adventures scheme was one of the first I created and has been providing solutions for all manner of adventurers for over 20 years. It is very rewarding for us as travel insurance specialists to enable people to travel with confidence on their chosen sport or activity, knowing they have the right cover.”
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All photos sourced by: Christine Hobson