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Day 5 – racing element stopped, but expedition will go on

ON Day 5 of the Virgin Money South Pole Allied Challenge the decision has been made to call off the racing element of the challenge.

Expedition Director, Ed Parker decided to call off the racing as it became clear at Checkpoint One that all of the teams were under huge stress. “Until now, the three teams have been racing against one another across the Antarctic plateau,2 said Ed. “But yesterday I took the decision to suspend the race. The reason for this is entirely simple – safety, which remains the core principal of our expeditions.  This does not mean that the expedition is over. Far from it. We came down here, determined to get 12 men and women, all injured in conflict, to the South Pole, and so we will.”

All three teams are now going to ski the remaining 112 km to the Pole, with no stress being placed on them because of having to race each other.  Each evening, the expedition will be camping together, all able to enjoy and share each other’s experiences.

Ed says that by Friday or Saturday next week, he “strongly believes that every member of the expedition will be standing on the South Pole, celebrating what will have been the most extraordinary shared journey”.

The Virgin Money South Pole Allied Challenge team members all respect and agree with Ed Parker’s decision and now, if anything, are more determined than ever to finish what they started, moving together as one complete allied team.

Guy Disney of Team Glenfiddich commented from the ice on this tough but essential decision, “Sadly, we had to call off the race element of the expedition. The first four days was a full out slog. It really tested every single individual mentally and physically. I think everyone, including myself, has managed to get a hell of a lot out of it and it will be an experience that will live with us for the rest of our lives. However, due to a few small injuries – nothing too serious – and the weather, it is really putting us behind and so the race element has been stopped, but for very good reasons. We still have another 7 days of walking, which should be great fun and without the race element, it means we can really focus on what the expedition set out to achieve. There is a bigger goal here, which we all set out from the start and that is what we need to achieve.

Check out Virgin Money’s South Pole Allied Challenge hub and help them raise their £100,000 target to support Walking With The Wounded.

About the author: Dan Tye

Dan came up with the idea for Adventure 52 after meeting so many like-minded people who love all kinds of adventure activities. He started out as pilot in the RAF, has worked as a ski instructor and has spent the past 12 years as an editor and journalist for motorcycling, aviation and adventure magazines.