Athletics-Madsen on top of the world after winning Marathon Challenge

Feb 14 (Reuters) - Kristina Madsen of Denmark was the named the winner of the World Marathon Challenge on Thursday after completing seven marathons on seven continents in as many days.

After running the official 42.2-kilometre (26.2-mile) distance in Africa, Antarctica, Australia, Asia, Europe and South America, the Challenge finished up in the North America city of Miami.

Madsen was the overall winner with an average time of three hours, 25 minutes and 57 seconds, which organisers said was a record.

She averaged more than seven minutes better than second-placed Jessica Jones of the United States.

Milosz Pasiecznik of Poland was the fastest man with an average time of 3:33:25.

Runners were whisked from continent to continent on charter flights and almost all of the competitors recorded their slowest time in the second leg, held at the Antarctic Russian station of Novolazarevskaya.

The Challenge was originally scheduled to start there but bad weather forced organisers into a late schedule change and Cape Town, South Africa hosted the opening race before competitors travelled to the Antarctic. (Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford )