Fastest team travel to the South Pole-team
impossible2Possible sets world record
THE SOUTH POLE, Antarctica -- Ray Zahab, Kevin
Vallely, and Richard Weber (the impossible2Possible team)
travelled more than 700 miles (1130 kilometres), from Hercules
Inlet on the Ronne Ice Shelf to the South Pole-setting the
world record for the Fastest
team travel to the South Pole.
Along the way, the impossible2Possible (i2P)
team survived altitude sickness, enormous blisters, endless
frozen snow drifts known as sastrugi, and blinding whiteouts
to achieve the record.
Ray traveled exclusively on foot and on snowshoes,
while Richard and Kevin skied, more than 700 miles (1130 kilometres).
They were powered by a 7000 calorie-per-day
diet of pemmican, butter, other high calorie goodies, and
lots and lots of Gatorade. But the South Pole Quest wasn't
just about speed.
"Our primary goal was to inspire and educate
youth; reaching the Pole in record time was definitely a bonus,"
said Canadian ultra-marathoner Ray Zahab, who is best known
for another extreme adventure: running across the Sahara Desert,
currently the subject of the film Running the Sahara.
"Interacting with the students throughout the
journey provided inspiration through the whiteouts. We're
pleased that we also succeeded in making the expedition as
interactive and educational as planned.
We had so much support from the students
who followed our progress online and we hope that we were
able to inspire them to do something that might seem impossible,
and to provide them with a peek at a remote part of the world
at the same time."
Nearly 3000 students from the United
States and Canada formally tracked the South Pole Quest team's
progress and learned from education modules posted online.
The modules drew on themes, such as climate change and the
history of South Pole exploration, raised by the expedition.
Ray, Kevin, and Richard contributed daily blog
reports via satellite phone on the Iridium Satellite Phone
Service - they responded to questions from young people, conducted
media interviews, and uploaded photos of their expedition
to the website.
"Toward the end, the whiteout conditions
were the worst I have ever experienced in my many expeditions,"
said Richard Weber, who was the first person to trek to the
North Pole and back via unsupported expedition. "But we still
pushed on, covering twenty miles a day for several days in
a row, in those conditions."
"Our journey to the South Pole was at times very
challenging - Ray and I were both ill at different points
in the expedition, and the terrain and altitude obviously
present difficulties," said Kevin Vallely, a well-established
adventurer and journalist who recorded all of the journey
on video. "But we worked well as a team. And we would just
like to thank those who supported us along the way, because
the interest and the support really kept us going."
The South Pole Quest is the second among
a series of extreme adventures by Impossible2Possible. Education
and inspiration are key tenets of Impossible2Possible (i2P),
a non-profit organization seeking to link adventure and sustainability
causes in the minds of youth and to inspire the next generation
of global leaders. For more information, visit www.impossible2possible.com.
The expedition's primary sponsors are Gatorade,
Energy and Procurement Magazine, and Crocs.
Related world records:
journey to the South Pole-world record set by Todd Carmichael
around the world flight-world record set by Caroll Ann Garratt
and Carol Foy
Journey by Skateboard-world record set by Rob Thomson
to solo airplane and helicopters on same day-world record
set by Errick Smith
distance traveled on a personal watercraft in a 24-hour period-world
record set by Mike Pagliccia
flags flown on a Bridge-world record set by BridgeClimb Sydney
fuel consumption across the US-world record set by John and
Stand Up Paddle board journey-world
record set by Justin DeBree
vertical circumnavigation-Adrian Flanagan sets world record
coast to coast round trip -world record set by US pilots
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January 7, 2009