Luis Marcos (39) in Wanaka yesterday - with partner Beatriz
Rodriguez - ready for the eighth marathon of his ''grand
slam''. Photo by Mark Price.
After running marathons in the Sahara Desert, the Arctic
and Antarctic, Spanish bar owner Luis Alonso Marcos (39) has
turned his attention to the hills above the Cardrona Valley.
If he completes the Big Easy Mountain Marathon at the Snow
Farm on Saturday, he will be one of just 70 athletes who have
completed marathons on each of the seven continents, plus one
He refers to the feat as the Grand Slam Marathon.
Marcos, with partner Beatriz Rodriguez, set out on his
marathon adventure in February last year, running in a Sahara
event in temperatures of 35degC.
Six weeks later he was at the North Pole, one of 40 athletes
who paid 12,500 ($NZ19,800) to run on the ice in temperatures
of -35degC. Since then, he has run marathons in China, Spain,
Mexico, Chile and the Antarctic.
A native of Segovia, Spain, Marcos prefers to run on rough
mountain tracks and that was the appeal of the Big Easy - the
highest mountain marathon in New Zealand, which has 1018m of
climbing and 2270m of downhill running.
Doing the grand slam cost about 35,000 but, with sponsorship,
he has raised 15,000 for charity.
Thirty runners have registered for the Big Easy marathon and
120 for the mountain bike event, but organisers expect that
number to double by the weekend.