The longest journey begins with a single step. Little did Mark Vincent, General Manager of Timberline Lodge, know when he blurted out his goal to improve his health at an executive retreat in 2008 that his journey would end by crossing the finish line of the Antarctica Marathon last March.
Mark is now a member of the “7 Continent Finishers Club,” one of the elite athletes who completed seven marathons on each of the world’s seven continents. “Antarctica was always the prize,” said Vincent, “but I knew I had to work up to it.”
“Working up” meant adding marathons in Rome, Marrakesh, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, and Sydney to the NYC Marathon he’d completed in 2007. Antarctica was by far the most grueling, its steep, muddy terrain laced with ice and snow even in summer. The shoes on his feet? Montrail’s Mountain Masochist II. Vincent first tried Montrails while training on Mount Hood. “You’re running over patches of snow and through streams from the glacial run off. The shoes gripped in the snow and were waterproof in the wet areas. I thought they would be perfect for the varied conditions in Antarctica.”
And perfect they were, helping Mark to endure mile after punishing mile. “I was getting a little rummy toward the end,” he said, “but I said to myself, there’s no way I’m not going to finish this thing—not after eight years of work and waiting.” As for his shoes: “After I got them cleaned up they were still pretty new—I’m still running in them. I’m not that into shoes, but they were great. Lightweight, waterproof—I didn’t get one blister!”
We think Mark and his shoes are pretty amazing.