Antarctica marathon to complete Maugle couple’s 7-continent quest

Runners completing the Antarctica Marathon have extra reason to celebrate. . .it's one of the toughest 26.2-mile races in the world.

When you have run marathons in all 50 states and all seven continents around the world, there’s only one thing left to do.

Sign up for NASA’s first mission to Mars.

Because you see, after Randy Maugle and his wife, Val Sobofski, complete the Antarctica Marathon/Half-Marathon on March 16, there will be little left to do here on Planet Earth.

Did we mention Maugle is doing this 26.2-mile jaunt through ice, mud and freezing temperatures with an artificial hip?

Pretty amazing, right?

And pretty surprising that Maugle has achieved all this with very little self-promoted fanfare.

Randy has run marathons in all the aforementioned places and Val has run either a marathon or a half-marathon in each of them as well.

Where they go from here is up to them.

But toughing their way through this marathon might be their crowning achievement.

Both are members of the Bucks County Roadrunners Club and participate in the popular Winter Series.

Mike Gross, a long-time official with BCRR, lauds Randy for what he has been able to accomplish, especially with the adversity he has had to overcome.

“In BCRR, Randy is a quiet, humble member,’’ said Gross. “He has been hampered by injuries over the years and was running to set time records but he found a way to accomplish something truly special.

“For that I take my hat off to Randy and off course his wife, Val, for such an accomplishment.’’

Randy is a retired teacher from the Council Rock School District where he taught social studies.

Gross, a former cross country and track coach at Council Rock South, had Maugle as an assistant coach at one time and praises his work.

“He was the jumps coach and later was my assistant cross country coach,’’ Gross said. “He’s given a ton to the Council Rock community.’’

As a distance runner himself, Gross can appreciate how difficult this marathon quest has been.

“It is hard to run one marathon but imagine running one in each state including Alaska and Hawaii,’’ Gross said. “But that was not enough. Once he completed that, the new goal was to hit each continent around the world.’’

And now he’s about to do that.

Randy is so modest that some BCRR club members don’t even know what he’s about to attain.

The couple flew out of Philadelphia a day early on Tuesday night to avoid the snowstorm.

The race will be run on King George Island,’’ Val wrote in an email. “Randy is running the full marathon, me the half. Once we have completed the race we will have run on all seven continents.

“Our trip takes us first to Buenos Aires, then to Ushuaia, Argentina to then board a Russian research vessel . We then take two days to cross the famous Drake Passage onward to Antarctica.’’

As for race conditions, well it won’t be a stroll down Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

“It changes by the minute,’’ she wrote. “Wind chill could be minus-6 (degrees) to 20. Mud, snow, ice. . .a total trail run.’’

Former New Hope-Solebury coach Mike Clarke, a friend of the couple and a past three-hour marathoner himself, appreciates what is about to happen near the world’s South Pole.

“They have a great drive and determination which is characteristic of runners in general,’’ Clarke said. “But what really strikes me is that Randy is completing his seventh continent with an artificial hip.

“He also told me his is planning his next running venture to follow up on the seven continents. . .amazing.’’

Mars perhaps? With Maugle’s track record, don’t bet against it.

 

 

Get ready to Shamrock Shuffle

 

St. Patty’s Day is just around the corner and what better way to celebrate than with the third annual Shamrock Shuffle 5K, followed by a day of partying at the Green Parrot in Newtown.

The race, scheduled for Saturday, March 17, has become one of the most popular 3.1-mile races in the area.

BOSS Events, which puts on the Trenton Half-Marathon and the New Hope “Run Now, Wine Later’’ race in the fall, has really grown the Shuffle into something special.

More than 600 runners are expected to register for the race, which begins at 9 a.m.

Upon the race’s completion, the Green Parrot will host its eighth annual Irish Festival.

All runners will receive a finisher shirt, medal, and an all-day pass to the Festival. This is a family-friendly festival that will feature live music, entertainment, and traditional Irish food and drinks, as well as kid-friendly activities such as face painting and balloon twisting.

Online registration is available at NewtownShamrockShuffle.com and race day registration will be available on race day from 7 to 8:50 a.m.

 

Race calendar

 

Saturday

Nativity of Our Lord 5K, 10 a.m., Warminster. Contact runsignup.com

Saturday, March 17

Looney Leprechaun 20-mile/10-mile trail races, 8 a.m., Tyler State Park, Richboro. Contact buckscountyspeedsters.com

Third annual Shamrock Shuffle, 9 a.m., Newtown. Contact NewtownShamrockShuffle.com

Sunday, May 20

20th annual Kiwanis-Sesame Place Classic 5K, 7 a.m., Sesame Place, Middletown Township. Contact Sesameplaceclassic5K.com

Wayne Fish
About Wayne Fish 417 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.

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