Over 50 competitors from 19 countries gathered at the weekend for the chilling sub-zero Antarctic Marathon, one of the most extreme races in the world.

"Really I enjoyed it. Surprisingly, weirdly." - Eleanor Dorran

With the race temperature averaging -20 degrees Celsius, the runners were dressed for the harsh conditions of snow, ice and the possibility of strong winds. Running clothing included a full balaclava, goggles, gloves and mittens, long johns, waterproof running pants and various layers of thermal clothing under a shell.

"Good to finish, freezing cold, freezing."

Britain's Paul Webb took victory in the men's event in 3 hours, 35 minutes and 25 seconds.

Irish runner Eleanor Dorran was third in the women's race, which was won by Silvana Camelio of Chile in 4:40.01. 

"Really I enjoyed it. Surprisingly, weirdly." said a delighted Dorran immediately after the race.

The 26.2 mile marathon, which was delayed for 24 hours due to bad weather, started in sunshine, but conditions became predictably difficult as the day progressed.

The course comprised two laps around the Union Glacier exploration camp. There were several rehydration stops on route with hot drinks, snacks as well as comfort stations.

British research scientist Paul Webb broke away from former British soldier Luke Wigman to win the men's race in 3 hours, 35 minutes and 25 seconds.

"Good to finish, freezing cold, freezing. But it's excellent. What a course, what a day. Unbelievable,"said the 42-year-old Webb after his victory.

Luke Wigman, who lost one of his legs when he stepped on an IED (improvised explosive device) in Afghanistan in 2011, took second place. Ben Walmsley came in third to make it a clean sweep for Britain.