Retired man's race to the South Pole

A 61-YEAR-OLD retired insurance manager is crossing one of the most inhospitable lands on earth for the first race to the South Pole since Scott's historic feat 100 years ago.

A 61-YEAR-OLD retired insurance manager is crossing one of the most inhospitable lands on earth for the first race to the South Pole since Scott's historic feat 100 years ago.

Peter Hammond, who now works part-time as a climbing and mountaineering instructor based at the Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre in Stowmarket, is training to take part in the challenge during December.

It will see teams of three skiing 520 miles across the harsh terrain to get to the geographic South Pole in Antarctica.

Racing on skis pulling sledges containing all their own equipment, food and fuel, this race is being hailed as the most extreme endurance race in the world and it will be the first such race since Scott and Amundsen's historic one nearly a century ago.


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The participants will face constant challenges throughout their journey: surviving in temperatures as low as -50C, navigating and skiing while pulling a 70Kg pulk (sled), climbing up to 9300 feet to the South Pole, working together as a team.

Mr Hammond, who lives at Ufford near Woodbridge, has more than 40 years of experience in mountaineering and skiing, has climbed in the Himalayas, the Andes and reached the top of most of the 4,000 metre peaks in the Alps.

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He said today: “I am 61-years-old need to get into the best shape to complete this, this is an awesome project and a major challenge.

“We have to cross 520 miles in up to 45 days through the most hostile environments in the world and the coldest which will require a lot of mental strength.

“You are never too old to try a new challenge, you can do anything in life if you try, and nothing is impossible if you really put your mind to it.”

Anselm Gurney, general manager at the leisure centre where Mr Hammond is training, added: “Taking on this challenge at the age of 61 shows that anyone, whatever their age, can be more active, and that age is no barrier to fitness.”

Any businesses interested in providing sponsorship for his historic trip should call 01394 461145.

n. Are you taking on a huge challenge? Contact The Evening Star news desk on 01473 324788 or email starnews@eveningstar.co.uk

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