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Antarctica Marathon 2014: Champagne Toast and Dinner

Antarctica Marathon 2014: Champagne Toast and Dinner

This blog post is about the dinner and champagne toast we got when guests from both ships arrived in Buenos Aires.

The dinner occurred in our host hotel in the same place as where we checked in when we first arrived at the hotel.

This was where some people out of the country got their shirts and a final opportunity to purchase some Marathon Tours merchandise. Most of it was pretty expensive and nothing really interested me.

There were also some boards that listed which flights we were on to go down to Ushuaia and also our ship’s room assignment and who we were with. You will most likely be partnered with your roommate in your hotel, if you had one. There were a few instances where that wasn’t true. Sometimes a runner from one ship was rooming with a runner from the other ship, which left on a different day.

On each day, the runners, guests and staff (~100 per day) were split up into two flights down to Ushuaia. There was an early flight that left at 6am and then the other flight was around 9am. The flight is on Aerolineas Argentineas, which is famous for schedule changes so this arrangement may be very different from year to year.

There was champagne, beer, wine, and appetizers served when we were in the large room just outside the dining room.

Once the banquet started, we were served an appetizer and entree and we had a choice between a few options, including a vegetarian option. After the entrees were served, there were a few speeches made by the various members of the Marathon Tours group, which were mostly hired to help with the marathon. There were a few Marathon Tours staff but many were tour guides from elsewhere that were brought along to run the marathon. I was shocked to see about 16 people brought along to help with the marathon, many of whom had a long career in running.

After the speeches, a promo type video was played highlighting Antarctica and things to come, which was very uplifting. After the video, it reminded many of us the gravity of the trip. Dessert was served after the video.

Many of us reviewed the flight itinerary to make sure we knew which flight we were on.

People on the first ship (Ioffe) had a free day the next day. The people on the second ship (Valvilov) were scheduled to be on the city tour. Dinner tomorrow night would be on our own.

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