Actually, this “new” flight started last year and was well covered in the media as one of the most “useless” airports in the world (and quite expensive, too). It is to St. Helena, the island in the South Atlantic that is famously known for being the place where Napoleon was exiled to.
Fly to One of the Most Remote Marathons In the World
But, the commercial flight to St. Helena Island in the south Atlantic only started flying its once-a-week schedule from Johannesburg last October. The St. Helena marathon event takes place in November. That did not leave a whole lot of time to line up for the marathon last year!
The St. Helena Marathon 2018
However, we are a good 7 months off so there is plenty of time to plan your trip to what is one of the most remote marathons in the world. If you want to go even more remote, check out the marathons put on by Richard Donovan in places like the North Pole and Antarctica!
Before the airport opened for commercial air travel last year (which, remember, is a once-a-week flight), to access the island by public means you needed to take a 5 day cruise from Cape Town, South Africa! Yeah, there were probably not a ton of marathoners making that trek!
But, now that there is a flight to St. Helena, you can fly in and spend a week on the island and take in what they call the Festival of Running. It takes place from November 4 – 10 and offers a plethora of race distances and events. It sounds like it would be a great blast indeed!
Take Down a Course Record?
Not only that, but they say it is quite challenging. It must be with the current record for men at 3 hours and 44 minutes (set in 2016). Now, maybe that is part due to difficulty and part due to the difficulty in getting to the island before! That means that maybe you could actually set a record at a marathon event, if you have the speed for this course! 🙂
Getting to St. Helena
As I said, there is currently one commercial airline option and that is leaving Johannesburg on a Saturday and flying to St. Helena with a single stop (which may count as a fifth freedom airport eventually). Of course, you would stay until the following Sunday.
The cost is not cheap and currently not bookable with Star Alliance miles (it is operated by Airlink from South African Airways). It is coming in at just under $1,200 for the roundtrip ticket! Still, when you consider you are running a marathon that is one of the hardest in the world to get to by commercial means, that’s not too bad! 🙂