Archive 2011. Race to the Pole. Scott v Amundsen Centenary

‘Team Mercury’ Face Their Toughest Challenge in the ‘EWR Amundsen/Scott Centenary Race to the South Pole’

There’s tough and then there’s the EWR Centenary Race to the South Pole.

Three soldiers – RSM Mark Morgan, Warrant Officer Sean McIlroy, and Captain Billy Morris – are Team Mercury and, although they’ve competed in their fair share of endurance races, they know that the Centenary Race will test them to the limit.

The Centenary Race is only the third South Pole race ever and the second run by EWR (Extreme World Races). The race in 2009, with Ben Fogle and James Cracknell being defeated narrowly by the Norwegians, was filmed as part of BBC’s On Thin Ice documentary series.

The Centenary Race in 2011 commemorates the original battle between Captain Robert Falcon Scott and Roald Amundsen across the Antarctic to reach the South Pole. The Norwegians won that race by 33 days.

This time, ‘Team Mercury’ will set off for their challenge from Novo – along with all the other teams and individuals competing in the Centenary Race – 100 years to the day after Amundsen beat Scott in the original epic duel.

The team members know just how arduous the race will be. “We’ll be skiing 16 hours a day and the rest of the time will be for sleeping and eating,” says Mark.

Having already started training in the Black Mountains and by pulling tyres on a Welsh beach, next year will see ‘Team Mercury’ training with EWR in Norway and Scotland.

Between the start on December 2011 and the race finish in mid-February 2012, Mercury and the other teams from around the world will negotiate multiple crevasses, cross snow bridges, and climb to 3,000m on the high polar plateau as they struggle to survive the 704km route.

Throwing in winds of up to 80mph and temperatures as low as -40C, this is the ultimate extreme endurance race and it takes place in the stunning landscape of one of the coldest, driest, and highest deserts on earth.

One difference between the Centenary Race to the South Pole and Scott and Amundsen’s original race will be the fact that all the competitors will be fitted with tracking devices and check in with regular live satellite phone calls. Progress of the teams will be updated hourly on the EWR website.

Posted in 2011. Race to the Pole. Scott v Amundsen Centenary, Extreme Races, Team Mercury, training0 Comments

The Power Of Beliefs

Here’s the second in John Campbell’s series of weekly posts for us. John is the author of “The Secret of Intimate Relationships” and his website is He’s also coaching EWR’s Frank Runge in preparation for the EWR Centenary Race to the South Pole in 2011.

Sunshine in Antarctica

Hi there. I trust you all had an amazing week and are starting to become aware of the words you speak! I’d like to start by offering you the following quotation about our beliefs:

You experience what you believe, unless you believe you won’t, in which case you don’t, which means you did!

Now, I invite you to take some time and let that little chestnut permeate your consciousness. At first glance, it might seem like a ‘conscious mind’ scrambler – which, after all is the object of the exercise. When we scramble our conscious mind we can access our true potential by connecting with our intuition (aka INNER TEACHER)! That’s when we get ‘in the flow’.

It took me a while to really understand the power of this statement about our beliefs and it was the catalyst to many positive changes. You may find you are in fits of laughter when it sinks in because the simplicity of the truth is always very amusing.

How Does This Information Help Us?

Once we accept this concept and understand that beliefs are ‘created’ – and can therefore be ‘un-created’ if they do not serve our ultimate good – we can then create new beliefs which better serve our needs.

In last week’s post I made a statement that ‘Extreme environments place extreme pressures on the minds of even the most highly trained and physically conditioned humans’. As I was preparing for this week’s post about beliefs, I re-read that piece and realised that it was technically incorrect. A more correct statement would be:

The beliefs about extreme environments will determine what pressures will be placed on the minds of even the most highly trained and physically conditioned humans.

Let me ask you this; how might it benefit you when undertaking any act of physical endurance if you were to believe that your body is actually neutral – that it doesn’t feel or experience anything OTHER than what your mind is telling it? Would that be a powerful belief and a great asset when engaged in an Extreme World Races event?

Polar Mountains

Approach obstacles confident of success

I do my best to ensure I allow only positive news stories into my consciousness and last week I sat, enthralled, witnessing the Sky News live coverage of the evacuation of the Chilean miners. What struck me most was when one of the guys – who was clearly a major influence on the others – said, ‘I always kept believing that we would ALL get out alive and in good condition’.

Then when he climbed out of the ‘cage’, he ran up to the cheering crowd punching the air with such great energy that one could be forgiven for thinking that he had just won some major sporting event. This man clearly was in touch with the power of his mind. He would be a great team member on any Polar race!

Dawning Of A New Era

We’re entering a period of human evolution which is truly going to blow away many of our old conditioned beliefs. Everywhere people are beginning to question the limitations which they and others have placed on themselves and they are beginning to question reality as it has hitherto been portrayed.

It is interesting to witness the emotions which can be evoked when these previously unfamiliar ideas are first considered. Some people become angry at the ideas because it is questioning millennia of limiting pre-conditioning.

In 2003, Sir Paul McCartney – arguably one of the most successful and wealthiest men in the world – went to the Thames site of the American mind control expert, David Blaine. McCartney became incandescent with rage and allegedly attacked a photographer who was photographing him screaming obscenities at Blaine in his box, where he had been without food for 44 days!

What could motivate someone like McCartney to such levels of anger? Simply because his conditioned beliefs were being challenged. Our ego (id) has an investment in keeping us limited and in believing that ‘we believe what we see’, NOT ‘we will see what we believe’. So it could be interesting to become aware of any emotions which you may experience when exploring any new ideas and make a note of them.

To end this week, I would like you to start recording some of your beliefs about life situations and, without judging yourself, see which of these beliefs are life limiting and life enhancing. You could also begin noticing the connections between your thoughts and your emotions. When you think a certain thought, how does it feel? Does it feel peaceful or disturbing, for instance? Then see if you can feel the effect on your physical energy as a result.

I wish you all an amazingly powerful week ahead.

Thought for the week: ‘It takes great learning to understand that all things, events, encounters and circumstances are helpful’

John Campbell
‘Inspiration rather than Motivation’

Posted in 2011. Race to the Pole. Scott v Amundsen Centenary, Extreme Headlines, The Human Races0 Comments

Understanding The Mind

Understanding The Mind

We’ve invited John Campbell, author of “The Secret of Intimate Relationships’, to contribute a weekly guest post to the EWR site. John is a recognised expert in using advanced mind techniques to influence outcomes. He’s also coaching EWR’s very own Frank Runge ahead of Frank’s participation in the EWR Centenary Race to the South Pole.

Most people engaged in any kind of endurance activities or professional sports have some understanding of the power of their minds and the impact the mind can have on their performance.

Few, however, are truly aware just how powerful their thought patterns are at every given moment and how crucial it is to master control of these thoughts if they are to achieve the outcomes they desire.

There is no such thing as an idle thought or, for that matter, an idle word. Every thought we think and every word we speak has a powerful impact on our actions and the actions of those with whom we interact.

Mind guru John CampbellThoughts Become Outcomes

These principles are not simply my personal take on things. They are actually Universal Laws – no different to the Law of Gravity – and the most pertinent law we need to understand fully if we are to harness the power within us is The Law of Attraction.

The Law of Attraction, in its most simplified form, states ‘that which is liken to itself is drawn’. This translates as ‘what you focus on is what you will attract into your life’. In the coming weeks, I’ll use my guest posts here to explore how we can use this knowledge and a deeper understanding of these principles to enhance our performance in every area of our lives.

I will invite you to practice simple exercises. To start with, these will help you raise your awareness of the language you use. We’ll start with our language because our words are audible and, therefore, more easily monitored. Once we are aware of our spoken words and begin to change them to our advantage, we can then move on to our silent thoughts – which are the most powerful tools we have in our make up.

I’m sure you’ll agree that, if we were able to harness 30%+ more energy, the likelihood of improving our performance in something would increase proportionately. If that seems logical, you can see that it would be an advantage to know how we can tap into this extra energy.

Focus The Mind

It’s my firm belief that the top achievers in the world today are those who consciously study and commit to training their minds. Not just in their particular field of endeavour but in every moment of their lives. They make these practices their primary focus.

In 2004, I worked for a year with two youth professional football teams of under 18’s and under 17’s, using these principles. The first thing I needed to do was win over their coach, as these principles were totally new to him. This was a professional League club and I saw that these ideas were new and unfamiliar even in areas of professional sports psychology.

By using muscle testing techniques they were able to experience directly how different thoughts impacted their physical energy. Feeling the thoughts make physical changes in their bodies was a great way for them to be convinced of the power of thought and then to learn how to influence their physical responses. At the end of that season, both sides topped their respective division and won their leagues!

Parachute Mind

Extreme environments place extreme pressures on the minds of even the most highly trained and physically conditioned humans. If, however, we were to deepen our understanding of the principle that our thoughts have the ability to alter the molecular structure of our bodies, would that motivate us to commit to taking control of our thoughts?

The people who are best equipped to withstand, and even flourish, in these extreme conditions are those who are prepared to ‘change their mind’. Are you willing to open your mind to some breath-taking new ideas? Remember that the mind is like a parachute – it only works properly when it’s fully open! And if you’re not yet willing, how about just be ‘willing to become willing’? That’s all that’s needed to create positive change.

Thought for the week: ‘If you change the way you see things, the things you see will change.’

I look forward to sharing with you again.
John Campbell
‘Inspiration rather than Motivation’

Posted in 2011. Race to the Pole. Scott v Amundsen Centenary, Extreme Headlines, Extreme Races, The Human Races, training2 Comments

Why Google Should Join The Centenary Race To The South Pole

Google announced on September 30th that their Street View service was now active on all seven continents, including Antarctica.

However, this is not Extreme Street View and the Antarctic views are limited to Half Moon Island.

There is a way, of course, that Google could get some true Street View images of the interior and of the South Pole itself: Google should enter a team into the EWR Centenary Race To The South Pole.

So, if anyone from the Google Street View team is listening, get in touch!

Posted in 2011. Race to the Pole. Scott v Amundsen Centenary1 Comment

GPS Training

GPS Training

Llanbedr, Brecon Beacons National Park near Crickhowell.

Friday 1 October – 3 October

GPS Training for Polar Challenge 2011 and 2011 South Pole Race competitors

The golf may have been postponed but the driving Welsh rains were not enough to deter our bunch of Polar explorers. For many the GPS training weekend was their first experience of GPS navigation, but for all it was a chance to size up the competition. Although, we do stress that people should enjoy the event as much as possible!

Luckily for most the weather held off as they arrived. The clear skies provided them the perfect opportunity to setup their tents, avoiding any of the discomfort caused by a wet sleeping bag. There was a great mix of personalities, backgrounds, stories and experiences being shared around the camp and a genuine sense of excitement about the weekend. Extreme World Races’ portfolio of events, particularly the Polar Challenge and South Pole Race, attract a diverse array of people from all walks of life. Jack Wilkinson, 18, the youngest member of the field competing in the 2010 Polar Challenge, is hoping to find a team member from the other individual’s attending the weekend. Quietly confident in his ability he said:

‘that the goal is to win and I’ll be training quite hard for this’.

Later that evening Gary Bullen, EWR’s head of training, delivered an in-depth lecture on GPS use. The competitors were each issued a Garmin E-Trex, a set of waypoints and a map. These waypoints corresponded to a 25km circuit around the Black Mountains which they would complete the next day.

Our expert instructors were on hand to answer any questions and provide one-to-one tuition as required. Felicity Aston who recently lead the Kaspersky Commonwealth Antarctic Expedition said:

‘being able to use a GPS confidently makes a real difference to your confidence on the ice’.

The rest of the evening was a relaxed social affair, with people swapping stories in front of a welcoming fire. For many of the competitors this was the beginning of the greatest adventure of their lives.

The next morning started at 7am with breakfast and a brief of the day’s events. The previous year’s training in the same area of Wales were some of the worst experienced by Gary. People take for granted sometimes the British climate last year we experienced 70mph katabatic winds along with torrential rain.  So before he allowed any individual or team to leave he ensured that they all carried a sleeping bag, roll mat, shelter, waterproof clothing, food, head torch and a first aid kit.

Keen to impress Team Arktix comprising of Andy Bruce, Jeremy Neale and Oliver Sinclair decided to run the entire course. Their target was under 3 hours. Luckily for them the conditions were far more forgiving than last year as they headed out in their shorts and t-shirts! The rest of the field decided to pace themselves and completed the course in approximately 5-6 hours.

Team Wolfpack of the South Pole Race took the opportunity to walk the course with Gary Bullen and ask him for advice. Gary has completed both the Polar Challenge and South Pole Race so he is acutely aware of the conditions and considerations they will face.

The instructor team were very impressed with everyone who took part in the training weekend. Every single competitor completed the course. Gary Bullen said:

‘I was impressed with the level of fitness demonstrated by all the teams. Some people may have specific areas to work on but it’s early days yet and the real training starts in Norway’.

Posted in 2011. Polar Challenge, 2011. Race to the Pole. Scott v Amundsen Centenary0 Comments

Norway backs Girl Power to beat Brits

Norway backs Girl Power to beat Brits

Teams are already entering for the EWR Centenary Race to the South Pole beginning in December 2011.

And one of the first teams to state their intention to race and to stake their claim to victory is Norwegian all woman trio Girl Power. They’re determined to see a Norwegian victory over the British in a race to the South Pole for what would be an historic third time.

The EWR Centenary Race to the South Pole is to commemorate the race of 1911, in which Amundsen beat Scott by 33 days. A second defeat for the British came in 2009. The South Pole Race became only the second race ever to the pole and it was filmed for BBC’s “On Thin Ice” documentary series. History repeat itself when TV celebrity Ben Fogle and Olympian Jamie Cracknell were narrowly beaten by the Norwegians.

Three Women Aiming For Three In A Row

The members of the Girl Power team of three are:

  • ‘energetic’ project manager Anneli Nesteng, 31
  • experienced climber Marte Gallis, 31
  • outdoor fanatic (and mother of three) Trine Alsgaardand, 41.

They believe their task is to win the race outright – ‘beating the guys’ is a only a secondary issue. Anneli Nesteng says:

‘We’re racing to win and to defend Norwegian Polar History but we’re also going to have fun with the experience. We aim to share our experiences with as many as possible, through film and our own blog’

Extreme World Races MD and race organiser Tony Martin says:

‘The Norwegian men won the 2008/2009 South Pole Race and I think the Girl Power team has every chance to be first to the South Pole in this. It may be the world’s toughest race but women in general – and these women in particular – are well up to the task’

Posted in 2011. Race to the Pole. Scott v Amundsen Centenary, Extreme Headlines, Girl Power, South Pole TeamsComments Off


January 2011
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Race to the South Pole
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Lake Baikal Race