By Evan Raigrodski 

There are few tasks more daunting than running a marathon.

Marathons differ from most other competitions because the runners are typically not professional athletes. They are often everyday people who train to run 26.2 miles. Competing successfully in a marathon requires an enormous commitment of time, and then there is the pain and wear-and-tear that marathon runners inflict on their bodies. Most marathoners can at least anticipate weather conditions appropriate for a grueling race — unless you’re 60-year-old Robert Gensler.

Gensler, a Baltimore native who attended Pikesville High School, competed in what is known as the Ice Marathon Nov. 24, 2017, held annually in Antarctica. It was his seventh marathon in 2017.

While working as a portfolio manager for more than 20 years, Gensler has traveled extensively — visiting 83 countries — and lived in Africa, London, Singapore and the United States. He’s always had a passion for running and took up marathons on a dare from a coworker. Then he fell in love with it.

“My coworker was supposed to be running a marathon, and six weeks before the race he got injured,” Gensler said. “We were talking at the office and he said, ‘Gensler, you’ll run,’ and I did and I’ve loved it ever since.”

As if competing in a marathon wasn’t challenging enough, Gensler decided to take it a step further. He pledged to compete in seven marathons in 2017.

Gensler completed marathons in San Francisco, Chicago, Houston and Baltimore. But it all culminated in Antarctica.

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