Michael Baer (SUI)
Michael is Chairman and Founder of Baer Capital Partners, an alternative asset manager with an India focus. He is also Chairman of a Swiss bank, an agriculture venture in India and a UK based investment management company. In addition, he has been involved in a variety of start-ups. Michael started running only six years ago and decided to run on every continent, a challenge he completed in 2014 with his fellow YPOers (Young Presidents Organization). Having joined The 7 Continents Marathon Club, the ultimate challenge of getting a Grand Slam medal, and being the first Swiss to do so was achieved in 2015. Other than running, Michael is an ardent skier and enjoys touring in the mountains of Austria during the winter months.
Jan-Pieter Bood (NED)
Despite having more of a love for basketball than for running, Jan-Pieter has completed the Antarctic Ice Marathon in 2012 as well as a handful of regular / trail marathons . The 41-year-old works as an Advisor at Ruitenburg Accountants & Advisors for small and medium sized companies. Born and raised in the Rotterdam area, Jan-Pieter is the father of three sons aged 1 to 8 and is married to fellow participant Lenneke.
Lenneke Bood (NED)
Lenneke subscribed for a half-marathon in Antarctica (2012), but decided during the race to run the full Antarctic Ice Marathon and finished in 4th place. She has also finished New York (2008) and Rotterdam (2016), and just like in Antarctica it was within a year of giving birth to a child each time. She is married to fellow participant Jan-Pieter and works as Internal Controller for a large health care institute in the Rotterdam area of The Netherlands.
Malek Boukerchi (ALG / FRA)
Malek ran his first marathon in Paris in 1999 and has subsequently taken part in gruelling ultramarathon events such as the Trans 333km in the Rajasthan Desert, la Diagonale des Focus, La Transgaule (1,150km) and the Antarctic 100k. See www.facebook.com/MalekBoukerchi.
Heather Carr (USA)
Heather's goal is to run marathons on all 7 continents. Having already run marathons in North America, Antarctica, and Europe, the Volcano Marathon will be her 11th marathon and 4th continent. Heather also completed the North Pole Marathon earlier this year, raising over $10,000 for the 2016 MInnesota Mission of Mercy, a 2-day clinic that provided free dental care to those in need.
Carmen Castillo (CHL)
Carmen is an ultramarathon runner who has run the 70km Ultramarathon Lican Ray on two occasions and the Chile Endurance Challenge 50km.
Mark Collins (USA)
Mark joined The 7 Continents Marathon Club after completing the 2013 Antarctic Ice Marathon. He believes that events such as the Volcano Marathon have provided him with the opportunity to meet some amazing and inspiring people, establish lifelong friendships, and lead to even more great adventures. He is looking forward to meeting everyone in the Atacama!
Luca Franco (ITA)
Luca is highly passionate for experiential travel, with authentic, unforgettable, enriching and engaging experiences and community uplift. He has run twenty-two marathons and loves the adventurous ones such as desert, icecap and polar events.
Hamish Gallacher (GBR)
Hamish is a keen triathlete who started running seriously around 2009 in order to make up for his "poor" swimming. Since then he has completed a number of marathons, the highlight being the 2016 London Marathon.
Oscar Giazzi (ITA)
Oscar is a 49-year-old marathoner form Italy who started running marathons 5 years ago. The Volcano Marathon will be his 27th and he also ran the Antarctic 100km two years ago. Oscar was the first Italian person to run in Antarctics and he heopes he will be the first Italian to complete the Volcano Marathon! He is certain it will be another great experience, both for the spectacular location and the race experience. This event will represent continent number five for Oscar as he strives to join The 7 Continents Marathon Club.
Cees Hardeman (NED)
Cees is a 61-year-old financial consultant who has run both the North Pole Marathon and Antarctic Ice Marathon, the sister races of the Volcano Marathon. The Volcano Marathon will be his 35th marathon and he expects it will be a special one because of the amazing location.
Jon Howard (GBR)
Jon has run the Antarctic Ice Marathon, the North Pole Marathon, the Mt. Everest Marathon and the Sahara Marathon among many other races. He will join The 7 Continents Marathon Club plus Grand Slam by completing the Volcano Marathon. He says he is a slow, back of the pack runner but prefers to view that as getting his money's worth, and gathering a lifetime of great memories and friends.
Felicity Knell (GBR)
Felicity will complete her 5th continent by finishing the Volcano Marathon and hopes to join the 7 Continents Marathon Club at Mt Everest in 2018. She loves trail running but will need to take this marathon slowly due to numerous injuries sustained during 2016. Felicity is looking forward to running with her partner Hamish, and see her friends Martin and Sarah complete their 7th continent.
Sebastian Kraus (CHL)
Sebastian is a chef and cookery store owner who comes from a family of entrepreneurs. He has run various distances up to 100 miles, including the 160km Ultra Marathon La Mision Race in Argentina.
Andrea Lopez (CHL)
Andrea is a very accomplished ultramarathon runner with podium places in the Atacama Extreme 100 Miles, the Saffron Trail Ultra (70 miles), the Antelope Canyon 100 Miles and the Virgil Crest 100 Miles. She has also completed the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB), the Atacama Crossing (250km Stage Race), and various other events ranging from 50km to 100 miles.
Theresa Scallon (USA)
Theresa lives in Summit, New Jersey with her husband and two daughters. The Volcano Marathon will be her fourth marathon, which she will run along with her best friend and running partner, Susan Yarad. Theresa thanks Susan for getting her into running and wishes she had also gone to the Antarctic Ice Marathon with her in 2015.
Chris Seymour (AUS)
Chris started distance running in 2012 after his mother's brief and fatal bout with cancer in an effort to lead a healthier lifestyle. After completing 4 marathons and 4 half marathons over 2013-2014, Chris' young niece Cori Skolaski was diagnosed with the rare and fatal lysosomal disease Metachromatic Leukodystrophy(MLD). Since Cori lives in the USA and Chris lives in Australia and cannot be there to help the family on a regular basis, he decided to take his new love of distance running and work to raise awareness for MLD and fundraise for the MLD Foundation that helps families affected by this terminal disease. Chris embarked on his Run Over MLD challenge to run 7 marathons on 7 continents and the North Pole in February 2015 and has completed 5 continents so far to raise awareness and support for MLD. The Volcano Marathon will be the 6th continent and will be followed up by the Antarctic Ice Marathon and North Pole Marathon. You can follow Chris' challenge at www.runovermld.com , instagram.com/runovermld and facebook.com/runovermld
Martin Steer (GBR)
Martin decided to take on the challenge of joining The 7 Continents Marathon Club with wife Sarah when they signed up for the Antarctic Ice Marathon back in 2013. When he became a father of twin boys in 2014, he kept up the training by pushing a double buggy and set a Guinness World Record for the fastest half-marathon pushing a double buggy (male). It's evidently tough pushing a buggy, especially when one has to keep stopping to pick up blankets, toys, shoes and bottles! Martin loves and hates running with equal measure: He loves getting out in the fresh air and exploring, but hates the actual running part!
Sarah Steer (GBR)
The Volcano Marathon will be Sarah's final continent in her quest to join The 7 Continents Marathon Club. Having already completed marathons in Antarctica, Sierra Leone, The Great Wall of China, Melbourne, Sweden and California, her goal was to finish by the time she was 40, along with husband Martin. However, they had to take a couple of years out to have their twin boys who are now 2 years old. Sarah holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest half marathon pushing a double buggy (female) and won the inaugural Sierra Leone Marathon.
Rob van Pelt (NED)
Rob started long distance running at the 2012 Antarctic Ice Marathon and has since run 12 other marathons on 5 continents (see www.100marathon.org/lijsten/?usr=06fe54182d923e0f8ad0e9415623e4ea80c3cdbe ). The Volcano Marathon will be Rob's sixth continent and he hopes to join The 7 Continents Marathon Club at the Tokyo Marathon in 2017.
Pascal Vinarnic (FRA)
Pascal has run on all Seven Continents (2012) and continues to look for exciting adventures involving his legs. When he is not running ultras or marathons, Pascal is managing an investment fund Ceres Finance and spending more time on his charitable foundation Demeter focused upon new economic models to solve social issues.
Ard Wallast (NED)
Ard is 34 years old and lives in Amsterdam where he works as a lawyer for Kennedy Van der Laan. In addition to running in the beautiful Vondelpark during the week, Ard plays football every Saturday at S.V. De Meer footbal club. The Volcano Marathon will be his first extreme marathon and he is looking forward to a great experience in the Atacama Desert of Chile.
Luke Wigman (GBR)
After running his first marathon in 2007, Luke ran a few half marathons over 2007/2008. He joined the RAF Regiment in 2008, but suffered a serious injury in Afghanistan in 2011 when he stepped on an IED. Luke was in hospital for two months, followed by a year of rehab. He started training again in late 2012, deciding to do some triathlons. In 2013, he participated in an aquathlon (a swim followed by a run), two half distance triathlons, an Ironman triathlon, a few half marathons and 10K runs. With a subsequent focus on running only, he has excelled at the discipline, finishing runner-up in both the 2014 North Pole Marathon and 2015 Antarctic Ice Marathon, and winning the Invictus Games 1500m in both 2014 and 2016. Luke will also run the World Marathon Challenge (7 Marathons on 7 Continents in 7 Days) in January 2017.
Susan Yarad (USA)
The Volcano Marathon will be Susan Yarad's 8th marathon and 4th continent in her quest to run a marathon on all seven continents. She has run the New York City and Philadelphia marathons; Marathon du Medoc in France; Wineglass Marathon; and the Antarctic Ice Marathon. This will be her fourth marathon with her best friend and running buddy Theresa Scallon. When she's not running, she is a violinist who works as a Senior Editor at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Amanda Younge (IRL)
Amanda was thrilled to win an all expenses paid trip to the Volcano Marathon in a draw! The trip was a 'thank you' raffle prize for those who had donated to American athlete Alvin Matthews rehabiliation fund. Alvin fell 25 foot from a roof which resulted in him being paralysed from the waist down and Volcano Marathon race director Richard Donovan ran 3,100 miles across America to help raise funds to assist him. Amanda has completed a few marathons including Dublin, New York, Berlin, Edinburgh and London but is fairly sure that this will be the most challenging yet!