Polar Race 2005

For further information contact:

  Polar Adventures Ltd
  18 Neville Road
  KT1 3QX

Tel: +44 (0)20 8549 1457
Fax: +44 (0)20 8241 7914
Eml: info@polarrace.com

Polar Race Banner

Polar Race 2003 News: March 2003

31 March 2022 - "Trying to squeeze a quart bottle into a pint pot"

With only just over 9 days to go to the start of the first ever Polar Race the last minute packing arrangements are proceeding apace.

Organiser Jock Wishart reports: "Getting 17 people, baggage, sledges and all the back-up and communications equipment to one of the more remote parts of the world is an exercise in itself. The teams and the Race Control have to be totally self-sufficient which means all the specialised food and gear has to be taken with us."

"We are using 3 different airlines to get this equipment to the Arctic (Air Canada, Canadian North and First Air), all of which have slightly different regulations. Combine this with the airlines' current sensitivity over baggage and hazardous cargo and the logistics become quite complicated."

"We are all confident however that we will arrive in Resolute with the tools for the job and confident of being able to put on and participate in probably the world's toughest race."

26 March 2022 - With only 14 days to go Mark Harris has to pull out of the race. His team mates, Tony Martin and Richard Dunwoody, will continue. However, Mark still plans to be at the North Magnetic Pole so read on...

Mark Harris

With just 14 days to go before the starting flag is dropped for the Polar Race, Mark Harris of the Polar Team has been advised he will not be able to compete in the race because of a suspected inguinal hernia contracted during the team's rigorous training routine.

Not to be put down, Mark has hatched a new challenge that will mean the months of training will not have been in vain. "I will be taking my guitar to the North Magnetic Pole and performing a live gig at -40°," said Mark, "I don't believe a gig has been organised at a Pole before, and I am talking with the Guinness Book of Records to find out if it will warrant an entry, I should hear in a couple of days."

"I knew I was going to have to bust a gut to win this race, but I didn't think it would happen quite so soon and quite so literally. All though it is not fully blown, it will only take a sharp effort to become fully blown. While this can be repaired in situ, if it was to become strangulated, I could be in trouble, particularly in the arctic!"

Tony Martin the Polar Team leader said: "We are very disappointed that Mark cannot compete in the race after all the training we have done together but safety is our first concern very closely followed by the desire to win; with Mark's injury, both areas would be compromised. It's great news though that he will be greeting us at the pole with a song and going to break a world record - our sponsors will now get twice the publicity. It just shows that you can be down but not out!".

Three times Champion Jockey Richard Dunwoody who is the third team member commented: "They say have guitar, will travel and Mark is showing this is the case - to the extreme, Mark said he wanted to do the race because he wanted to do something extraordinary that few other people could or would do, well by doing a gig at the North Magnetic Pole, I think he is doing something extraordinary that few other people would do, and he'll be the first."

Mark will be flying out to the Arctic towards the end of the race and spending 2 weeks with the race organisers at Resolute Bay and at the various staging posts of the race, he will camp out on his own at the North Magnetic Pole and meet the teams at the finishing line. "I can't wait to go, even if the audience isn't the biggest I have ever played to!"

23 March 2022 - Teams get final briefing before departure at Royal Canoe Club, Teddington. Damart Sports sponsor the race by providing superb base layer clothing.

Jock Wishart

All the teams and organisers met at the Royal Canoe Club in Teddington. A thorough review of the logistics and timescales to get all the gear and people to Resolute was carried out by Jock Wishart including the initial training week in Iqaluit and Resolute. A long debate on packing gear safely on the Pulks or separately so as to be safe during air transit took place. The race seems easy compared to the complication of travel!

Damart photo shoot Damart Sports has provided a superb set of base layer clothing for the racers and organisers and these will help ensure everyone is fully fitted out with the right gear for the conditions.

Further gear was issued including some very stylish "dog bowls" for eating out of! Lunch was provided by the Royal Canoe Club which was much appreciated and thanks go to them too for letting us use their facilities.

15 March 2022 - Teams do medical training at Cirencester Hospital under the expert tuition of the Polar Race Doctor - Dr Ian Davis.

The session was kindly sponsored by Cirencester Hospital and their facilities were made available and all the racers had the opportunity to hear some expert advice and look at the latest medical technology available.

The session started with a demonstration by James Russell of Medlogic (www.medlogic.com) of Liquiband, an incredible "super glue" for treating skin cuts.

Then followed a session by Ian on Cold Weather Injuries where the key lesson is to look after yourself to start with and not let injuries develop. Dr Ian then went through the medical kit that he was going to issue to each team plus what he would be taking.

Later in the day, Neill Williams went through the food requirements and more kit was issued to the teams. Also Gary did a further demonstration of the GPS (Global Positioning System) every racer would have and how it connected to their Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). The PLB can locate someone in difficulty to within a radius of 20 miles. With the GPS connected which gives a position this can be reduced to around 10 metres.

Other News Items

Home | About | Competitors | Multimedia | Archive | Sponsors | Join | Press

© Polar Adventures Ltd 2005