Antarctica is defined as is Earth’s southernmost continent. It contains the geographic South Pole and is situated in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere, almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle, and is surrounded by the Southern Ocean. At 5,400,000 square miles, it is the fifth-largest continent. For comparison, Antarctica is nearly twice the size of Australia.
Antarctica is governed by the Antarctic Treaty System. The Antarctic Treaty System further defines the boundaries of Antarctica to include all landmasses south of 60 Degrees South Latitude — including all of the South Shetland Islands. The South Shetland Islands lie entirely on top of the Antarctic Continental Shelf.
King George Island is one of many of Antarctica’s islands just off the peninsula of Antarctica. The land that today is known as King George Island physically separated from the Antarctic Peninsula roughly 20 million years ago as a result of magmatic arc and seafloor spreading geologic processes. What is now called by some as the “South Shetland micro tectonic plate” is actually a fragment of the larger Antarctic Tectonic Plate that broke off as a result of those geologic processes. King George Island sits atop the Antarctic Continental Shelf. And while KGI is not located within the Antarctic Circle, there are many sections of mainland Antarctica that extend outside of the Antarctic Circle. As such, proximity within the Antarctic Circle is indeterminate of a location’s status as part of continent of Antarctica.
King George Island, Antarctica is home to many research bases from a number of countries including The United States, Chile, China, Russia, Uruguay and others. It was host to the only rock concert performed in Antarctica by Metallica back in 2013. That concert made Metallica the only band to have performed concerts on the Original 7 Continents. The 2023 White Continent 50k, Marathon & Half-Marathon courses run between the Chilean and Chinese research bases. Our campsite, will be set up along the course and will provide runners the opportunity to refuel during the race and, if needed, allow for a change of clothes.
King George Island, Antarctica, which is the largest of the South Shetland Islands is home to the final race of The Triple 7 Quest and The Triple 8 Quest. There we will participate in The 10th Annual White Continent Marathon and Half-Marathon, where we will be joined by over 90 other runners from around the globe. The 2017 Triple 7 Quest and White Continent Marathon were featured in a new documentary entitled The Unknown Life on Antarctica, which was shot entirely on King George Island, Antarctica.