The last great race on earth took place exactly a hundred years ago. In 1911, Captain Scott was beaten to the South Pole by the Norwegian Roald Amundsen. A century later, two teams from the British Army will mark this epic contest by running the same race, by the same routes.
The two teams will set off on Remembrance Sunday, following the exact routes taken by Scott and Amundsen from 1911-12 across nearly 1,000 miles of ice and snow. It is estimated the journeys will take around 65 days. To do so, we must cross mountain ranges, glaciers and crevasses, running a constant risk of frostbite, snow blindness and dehydration, in temperatures as low as -50C. We will be completely unsupported and will have to haul all of our food and equipment in pulks weighing in excess of 140kg. It is the ultimate test of physical endurance and determination to succeed.
The money raised will support the Royal British Legion – in particular for their Personnel Recovery Centres in the four Garrison towns across the UK. We support organisations dedicated to helping servicemen and women cope with the effects of psychological trauma following active service.
“We will all feel inspired by the chance to help wounded soldiers. That’s the thought that will keep us going.”
The Scott Amundsen Centenary Race is a charity expedition which aims to commemorate Scott and Amundsen’s historic voyage to the South Pole 100 years ago.
Two teams are forming this expedition : one (led by Henry Worsley and Lou Rudd) is due to take the Amundsen Route, departing from the Bay of Whales and climbing to the plateau through the Axel Heiberg glacier, just like the Norwegien explorer did it a hundred years ago. The second (led by Mark Langridge and composed by an other two members team, Vic Vicary and Kev Johnson), departing from Scott’s Hut and going through the Beardmore glacier, just like Robert Falcon Scott did it a hundred years ago also.
From the press dossier :‘… Amundsen’s route to the Pole crosses the Ross Ice Shelf and then ascends the short, but punishingly steep and dangerous Axel Heiberg glacier. Scott’s route crosses the same shelf but then takes the longer, shallower Beardmore glacier. For both teams, glacier crossings punctuated by hidden crevasses up to a mile deep, will be perilous in the extreme. Each team will be completely unsupported, and will carry their food and fuel across the ice for seventy days. The modern race is likely to be very closely-run. If all goes well, both teams will complete their journey in two months -arriving at the South Pole by January 2012. …”
Lt Col Henry Worsley is aiming to raise £500,000 on behalf of the Royal British Legion’s Battle Back Centre, and four Personnel Recovery Centres.