The Fuchs teachers are back home

Published on 25.12.2010 - The Fuchs Foundation

The finishing line of the Ice Marathon

The finishing line of the Ice Marathon

© The Fuchs Foundation website

After having visited and worked in almost unexplored hills not far from the Union Glacier, the four teachers sent by the Fuchs Foundation are now back home. The experience was exceptional, they said.

When they returned from their trip into the virgin zone of theHeritage Range in the Ellsworth Mountains, the four teachers had the chance to experence quite another aspect of the Union Glacier base camp : helping the organizers of the 2010 Antarctic Ice Marathon. Here is how Lyndsay Hilton, head of Chemistry at the The Thomas Hardye School, Dorchester, Dorset descrbes their experience : "Today, Union Glacier played host to the 2010 Antarctic Ice Marathon, the only marathon that takes place each year on the continent. There were about 40 competitors from 19 different nations taking part and we volunteered to man the checkpoints and water stations. Big trucks flattened a 2-lap track which was apparently pretty firm underfoot (a few people did mention they sunk up to their knees occasionally though which must have made it a little harder!) Although it was a relatively warm and sunny day, the cold conditions and the fact the competitors had to run on snow meant the winning time was much slower than a marathon run in an environment like the UK. The winner of the men’s race was a Brazilian called Bernardo Fonseca (Russ was very happy about this!) who finished in 4 hours and 20 minutes; a new record for a marathon in Antarctica. The winner of the women’s race was a lady from the UK called Clare Apps who works here at Union Glacier. She placed 4th overall and finished in 4 hours and 47 minutes, which is a fantastic achievement, particularly as it’s her first marathon. The day was great fun and we’re all looking forward to the 100km race tomorrow (yes, several crazy people have entered this race, and most of them also ran the marathon today as a warm up!!). I’m not sure if we’ll volunteer to stay out for the 18 hours it may take them to run this one though! Tim also came out of 24 hours isolation today. He had to stay on his own in a tent 1km out of camp with no watch or books etc...."

On 19 december, after having spent 23 days on the 6th Continent, the teachers flew back home. As Roussel Da Carvalho writes in his diary, their journey is far from over as they each have various tasks to complete : finish their teaching resources, prepare their lectures and do their best to encourage students to study the polar science.

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