On Day 5 of the Virgin Money South Pole Allied Challenge, as the teams arrived at their first Checkpoint, it became obvious that underneath the concrete determination of all the team members, the harsh reality of the Antarctic was starting to take its toll.
“We always knew that this wasn’t going to be easy, but that is what makes the challenge so exciting. Our aim was to show that despite injury, young men and women from our armed forces can still achieve great things.
Until now, the three teams have been racing against one another across the Antarctic plateau, 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.
While all three teams were progressing well, it was becoming evident that there was a higher degree of stress imposed on the team members, due to unprecedented terrain on the plateau.
With careful consultation from our doctor and race team, we have put the race on hold. 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.
Tomorrow we start the last leg, 112 km, to the Pole, with no stress being placed on the teams, and with the new race format enabling them all to do this in their own time. Each evening, the expedition will be camping together, all able to enjoy and share each other’s experiences. By Friday or Saturday next week, I strongly believe that every member of the expedition will be standing on the South Pole, celebrating what will have been the most extraordinary shared journey.
We feel your support every step of the way, please continue to follow us and support the walk. “
- Ed Parker, Expedition Director and Co-Founder of Walking With The Wounded
This is certainly not the end for the Virgin Money South Pole Allied Challenge, but steps have been put into place to ensure that all of those involved are kept safe. The team members are determined to prove their strength and courage but this must be done without jeopardising anyone’s well being.
Going forward, the final leg of the Virgin Money South Pole Allied Challenge will begin from the team’s second allotted checkpoint, 112 km from the South Pole. The team members will be driven to this point and over the course of the next 7 days, will move as one whole allied team to reach the South Pole together.
Walking With The Wounded undertake these inspirational expeditions, akin to the Virgin Money South Pole Allied Challenge, to demonstrate the fortitude and bravery of wounded servicemen and women. As we ‘Support The Walk’ from the comforts of our everyday life, we cannot begin to imagine the strength it takes to partake in such a challenging feat. Not only does the Virgin Money South Pole Allied Challenge show how extraordinary each team member is by taking part but it also hopes to inspire others who face injury, disability and daily challenges.
Walking With The Wounded finance new qualifications, education and training programmes for those who are injured, to help with career transition. This enables the blind, the burn victims, the mentally injured, the amputees and all other wounded personnel to rebuild their lives and to return to the work place.
From Day 5 of the #SouthPole2013 - The US Team (Team Noom Coach) take a group photo with Prince Harry!
- Ed Parker
- Ivan Castro
- Mark Wise
- Prince Harry
- Margaux Mange
- Alexander Skarsgård
- Therese Frentz
- Inge Solheim
Many thanks to Walking with the Wounded for the photo!!!
If you are an Alex fan, please use his fundraising page for Walking With the Wounded to DONATE.