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South Pole trek for Mencap
Thursday 22 December 2011
A Paralympian is trekking to the South Pole in aid of Mencap
On 14 December, 100 years to the day that Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen beat Captain Robert Falcon Scott in their epic duel to the South Pole, Paralympian and business consultant Marc Woods set out on a trek through one of the harshest environments on the planet.
Woods (pictured), 42, who lost his leg to cancer as a 17 year old, has competed as a swimmer at five Paralympic Games, winning four gold medals. After retiring from swimming in 2004, he became a commentator for BBC Sports in Beijing, while developing a business consultancy providing inspirational speeches for businesses.
Along with his team mate, James Mark, 42, Woods will compete as half of Team SladenWoods in the Centenary Race to the South Pole, the race regarded by many as the toughest race on earth. Team SladenWoods are taking part to raise money for Mencap, with a fundraising target of £200,000.
They are currently acclimatising to Antarctic conditions before the race begins on New Year’s Day. Unassisted, Team SladenWoods will pull their 70kg pulks a total of 740km. They will negotiate multiple crevasses, cross snow bridges and face winds of up to 80mph, while withstanding temperatures as low as -40oC.
“The race to the South Pole is sure to be my toughest physical challenge yet,” said Marc, “it is bound to test me to my limit, but more than that I hope my involvement in it will test people's perceptions of disability and raise awareness of learning disability charity Mencap.”