Pat Farmer : Following the trails

Published on 09.01.2012 - Pole to Pole Run

Pat Farmer is continuing his extraordinary adventure. He was strong enough on the bitumen of the roads and highways of both Americas, achieving almost two marathons each day. On the ice, he seems to be even stronger. Let's listen to what famous explorer Eric Philips thinks of him...

"One of the world's greatest endurance athletes..."

Let's remind the conditions of the run of ultramarathon runner Pat Farmer on the Antarctic ice : his support team is accompanying him with a skidoo and a van. The skidoo driver is the cameraman Ming and in the van one finds Scotty, the driver and auto mechanic, plus Eric Philips his polar adviser. Pat is running legs of 10 kil each, makes a pause, gets some food or drinks, and carries on running for the day. He runs about ten hours every day at a pace of about 70 kil a day. Amazing... On 9 January, after nine days run, he has achieved 646 kil already and has no more than 505 kil to go.

The running of Pat is safer at this almost end of the season. The trail has hardened from successive vehicles having lumbered over it, as recently as two weeks ago, and makes the running more predictable, and safer. The threat of crevasses is ever present on a moving ice sheet and the trail weaves a scouted route around these fields of peril.

But things are going to be a bit more difficult for Pat from now on ; because temperatures (rather mild so far with -5°C to -20°C) will soon drop, first toughness. And second, the altitude will grow, another difficulty which will inevitably produce a negative effect on Pat's body and run.

But Australian explorer Eric Philips remains confident. He writes on 8 January in his dispatch : " Having already trekked from North Pole to Canada, and then run the length of the Americas, Pat has not a shred of fat to insulate his core, making the task ahead of him Herculean at best. But in all my years as a wilderness educator and polar guide, I have never met anybody with the physical and mental resilience that Pat draws on daily and I regard him as one of the world's greatest endurance athletes."

Pat Farmer's figures

  • January 09  / Dispatch #13 / Accumulated distance: 646 km / Distance to go: 505 km / Name: Camp10 / Elevation: 1371 m / Latitude: 85° 17’ 43” South / Longitude: 80° 59’ 26” West
  • January 07 / Dispatch #11 / Accumulated distance: 535 km / Distance to go: 616 km / Name: Camp 7 / Elevation: 1272 m / Latitude: 84° 18’ 37” South / Longitude: 80° 17’ 14” West
  • January 06 / Dispatch #10 / Accumulated distance: 475 km / Distance to go: 676 km / Name: Camp 6 / Elevation: 1266 m  / Latitude: 83° 46’ 24” South / Longitude: 80° 6’ 14” West
  • January 05 / Dispatch #9 / Accumulated distance: 405 km / Distance to go: 746 km / Name: Camp 6 / Elevation: 1138 m / Latitude: 83° 8’ 46” South / Longitude: 80° 0’ 49” West
  • January 05 / Dispatch #8 / Accumulated distance: 335 km / Distance to go: 816 km / Name: Camp 5 / Elevation: 977 m / Latitude: 82° 31’ 07” South  / Longitude: 79° 29’ 10” West
  • January 04 / Dispatch #7 / Accumulated distance: 335 km / Distance to go: 816 km / Name: Camp 4 / Elevation: 977 m / Latitude: 82° 31’ 07” South / Longitude: 79° 29’ 10” West
  • January 03 / Dispatch #6 / Accumulated distance: 264 km / Distance to go: 887 km / Name: Camp 3 / Elevation: 806 m / Latitude: 81° 53’ 32” South / Longitude: 79° 57’ 37” West
  • January 02 / Dispatch #5 / Accumulated distance: 195 km / Distance to go: 956 km / Name: Camp 3 / Elevation: 717 m / Latitude: 81° 16’ 26” South / Longitude: 79° 52’ 3” West
  • January 01 / Dispatch #4 / Accumulated distance: 125 km / Distance to go: 1026 km / Name: Camp 2 / Elevation: 766 m / Latitude: 80° 38’ 52” South /Longitude: 80° 01’ 31” West
  • December 31 / Dispatch #3 (first day of run) / Accumulated distance: 63,9 km / Distance to go: 1087 km / Name: Camp 1 / Elevation: 845 m / Latitude: 80° 7’ 43” South / Longitude: 81° 07’ 4” West
  • December 31 / Start point / Accumulated distance: 0 m / Distance to go: 1151 km / Name: Start point / Elevation: 770 m / Latitude: 79° 41’ 50” South / Longitude: 83° 15’ 57” West

 

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