The Race Around the World, 1979

the first Race Around the World

Bill Smythe, Martha Kane, Eric Fossat and Alan Parkinson near
end of South Pole's Race Around the World. December 2nd, 1979

                 The Race Around the World, 1979

As reconstructed from the diary of good friend Martha Kane (now Martha Kane
Savage), South Pole cosmic ray observer winter-over, 1979-1980:

Preparation for the big day started on 21 November, 1979 when Martha Kane at
the Pole and McMurdo Station people preparing for the Scott's Hut race
decided to have a branch run to be held at the South Pole on the same date
as the Scott's Hut race-Dec. 2, 1979. People started preparing for the race
by running around the runway.

Training was interrupted somewhat by the tragedy of the Air New Zealand
DC-10 on 28 November 1979, but people were carrying on as normal in time for
the race on 2 Dec.

Dec 2, 1979: The race began and ended in front of the South Pole galley.
The race was three times around the taxiway, for 0.7 miles each trip.  The
overall winner was Casey Jones, the summer baker at the South Pole who
tragically died a few weeks later.  He came in at 19 minutes 22 seconds.
Bill Smythe was second at 23 minutes 43 seconds and Martha Kane was third at
23 minutes 46 seconds.  Medals were given out to Casey Jones and Martha Kane
for the first man and woman, respectively.   Race participants received
"Scott's Hut" T-shirts from the McMurdo race that year.   Another sporting
event the same day was a softball game of Science and Navy versus support
personnel (Holmes and Narver employees), which was won by support by a score
of 13-14, pulled out in the last inning.  The news was broadcast to the NSF
and the UPI via the telex at the pole.