Marathon Race On Board A Cruise Ship

Have you ever thought of running a marathon race – not on land, but on the high seas?

The group of runners, who attempted a full marathon on a cruise ship.

The group of runners, who attempted a full marathon on a cruise ship. (Anton is second from left).

60-year-old marathoner Dr. Anton Reiter, not only thought of this idea, but the runner actually went ahead and organized a race last week – on board a cruise liner.

Anton has completed more than 170 marathons so far, and he runs one race almost every week. Running is close to his heart so the idea of organizing a marathon at sea just came naturally to him.

The Austrian runner is currently on a three and a half months’ world cruise on board the Costa Deliziosa, with his wife and daughter.

Singapore will be a port of call for the cruise liner between 14 to 16 March. Here, Anton will be participating in an invitational marathon, organised by the F1 Runners Team.

 

To find out more about the challenges of running a race on the high seas – with 2,800 passengers on board – do read my interview with the marathoner.

Anton, where did you run the marathon?

We ran around the deck. One lap of the deck is 570 metres. So to run the marathon distance, we had to cover 74 rounds, plus an extra 15 metres.

A section of the running track that was used for the marathon.

A section of the running track that was used for the marathon.

How many runners were there?

Six runners participated, the youngest was aged 50 and the oldest was 70.

How did other passengers react to the race?

My wife reported that some wanted to join in. Others watched curiously and tried to find out who we were.

I understand that the runners had trouble doing this marathon. Why?

I didn’t get an official permit to run. So we were not able to prevent other passengers from doing their morning runs or walks while we were running. In fact, dozens of people blocked us during the race.

As we ran, more and more passengers came to walk or even run on the deck. At times, we could not squeeze through, so everyone had to run in a single file. It was extremely difficult and the finishing times were over five hours. As a result, only three runners finished.

How did you recruit runners for the marathon?

I met several runners at the ship’s early morning training sessions. Many passengers walk around the deck as well. So I just talked to them and also advertised it on the SMS-board for three days.

The beautiful sunrise that greeted the runners when they woke up for the sea marathon.

The beautiful sunrise that greeted the runners when they woke up for the sea marathon.

How did it feel to run more than 74 rounds of the ship’s deck?

The problem was my fitness. About one week ago, many passengers fell sick and I was not in a good shape, either. But I didn’t quit – and it felt nice to have run a marathon on board a ship.

Are you pleased with how this marathon turned out?

No, because people blocked us while we ran, so we had to wait in a line and constantly ask “may I pass?” To complicate matters, the ship has several tight places where only one person can squeeze through at a time – so I won’t be planning another marathon at sea.

More about Dr. Anton Reiter

  • Click here to read more about the Reiter family’s luxurious, three and a half months’ world cruise
  • Click here for more about Dr Reiter’s 170 completed marathons
  • Click here to read about the Invitational Marathon Dr. Reiter will be running in Singapore

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