Irish girl youngest at North Pole - Youngest person at the North Pole

Irish girl youngest at North Pole - Youngest person at the North Pole

An Irish endurance runner who travelled the globe running seven marathons in five days has secured another record − his daughter has become the youngest person at the North Pole.

Jaimie Donovan, daughter of Galway marathon runner Richard Donovan, braved Arctic temperatures of -26 degrees to accompany her father to the top of the world on Easter Sunday.

The duo flew to the pole to mark the 10th anniversary of the annual North Pole Marathon which Mr Donovan organises.

The youngster broke the record, previously set by the daughter of British adventurer David Hempleman-Adams in 1998, by just one day.

“It was cold and the helicopter was noisy,” Jaimie said. “I loved the North Pole and I want to go back.”

Jaimie and her teddy bear were standing on the ice at 5.30am on Easter day.

Mr Donovan, who earlier this year set a new record of seven marathons on seven continents in less than five days, said his daughter took the experience in her stride.

“I decided to bring Jaimie and my wife Caroline this year as it was the 10th year of the race and they were long overdue a trip to see what I’ve been working hard to achieve for the last decade. It was a simple coincidence that she seems to be the youngest to stand up there. I was just proud of her very good behaviour and the fact she took the trip in her stride at her age, embracing the adventure.”

According to Guinness World Records, Alicia Hempleman-Adams, born on November 8th 1989, stood at the geographic North Pole aged eight years and 173 days on May 1st, 1998. She had also flown to the pole to meet her father. Mr Donovan’s daughter, born on October 17th 2003, beat the record by one day. The Donovan family will have to apply to Guinness World Records to have the feat verified.

This year’s course had to be patrolled by armed personnel as two polar bears were spotted in the area.

The marathon began on Friday at 9pm with 41 athletes from 18 countries running in -26 degrees across small pressure ridges, ice and snow. The winner was Andrew Murray from Scotland in a time of 4:17:08, while Demelza Farr of Australia won the women’s title in 6:06:36.

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