Half-marathon

Day 8: S81° 53' 18", W051° 26' 2" Daily distance: 13.3MI Distance to go: 947MI

When I was grumbling about the weather here to my fiancée, Pip, via satellite phone last night she told me not to laugh, but she’d added Antarctica to the weather app on her iPhone, and it was going to be sunny tomorrow.

I laughed immediately. “How on earth can anyone give one forecast for somewhere the size of India and China put together?” And of course the sun came out today. I feel that somehow Antarctica is teaching me important lessons in marital diplomacy, as well as about things like grit and determination and not licking your spoon when it’s been stuck in the snow in the porch of your tent overnight.

It was hardly blue skies and blazing sunshine, but the clouds lifted high enough that I could see the mountains in front of me again, and let enough light through that I had at least a smudge of a shadow all day, so navigation was a doddle. It was also pretty cold this morning (my guess: -28° C) which consolidated the soft snow and gave me a better surface to ski over. The upshot is a new record for this expedition, 21.37km in 8.5 hours of travel. A half-marathon dragging about 120kg (264lb or nearly 19 stone) behind me, which is probably why my legs feel a bit tired as I lie here in my sleeping bag. Now there’s a bit of scenery, I’ve taken a photo of my little home.

P.S. Hello to Jonno and Mike and everyone at One Performance! (Please can I have a new whiteboard column for the 120kg 21km sled drag?)

P.P.S Hello also to my brothers from another mother at Gym Harambe. I hear you’ve been making progress, and I’m looking forward to a throw-down – either on a Welsh hill or in a South London garage – as soon as I’ve recovered from this camping holiday!

Ben Saunders (@polarben)
15/11/17
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Comments

Joaquin

15/11/2017

Congrats on the record!!!
Any specific food to celebrate those records during the expedition?
Keep it up!!!!

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Kevin Wright

15/11/2017

Hi Ben, so glad you had a better day and it’s brilliant that Pip can keep in touch. Must be very encouraging. My daughters talk about Antarctica and polar explorers went really well today and the kids loved trying on some of the gear I used. They were especially interested in some of the small samples of Antarctica rock and to be able to hold it. From what my daughter said it sounds like you have some new Polar follows. They are going to start tracking your journey. Hope the vision keeps good for tomorrow. Kev

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Sheila England

15/11/2017

I was wondering about sleeping after those long days of whiteout as well. What are your dreams like? (That’s a separate journal I’m sure!)
Sleep well.

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Marilda Gascoyne

15/11/2017

Ben, great to have your blogs again with glad those mountains are back in view.
Mim 😊

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Richard Prangle

15/11/2017

woowoopops

15/11/2017

Hey Ben, it’s great having you back on the ice just to have your daily blogs. You seem to be steaming ahead in your white wonderment. I along with many of your family, friends and fans be tracking your daily progress. It is great that the weather seems to be better than your last camping trip on the ice in as much as you have already had at least two days with your shadow. I wish you a safe onward trek. xx

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Whistle Norvell

15/11/2017

So glad that you had a sunny day and that Pip was able to provide some encouragement! Can’t wait to see the Pensacolas up close. Please take lots of pics. Were any modifications needed to pair your MSR reactor 1L to the XGK burner ? Best wishes for a safe and enjoyable tomorrow!

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Joaquin

15/11/2017

Interested on this question too

Mike Burt

15/11/2017

Ben, you can not only have your own column, you can have your own entire whiteboard once you return from your little jaunt 🙂

Myself and the team are following your blogs obsessively, you write so well it’s like being there with you (plus it’s got pretty chilly in this office… brrr). Your lego man is making great progress across our map accompanied by photos from your blogs, the members are loving it. Good to see you’re putting that 200kg deadlift to good use, keep going strong mate, look forward to the next update.

Mike and team OPUK.

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James Whaley

15/11/2017

Ben – I enjoy checking in on your progress each morning! I have been interested in Arctic exploration since reading Endurance several years ago. I have been having a problem with this website since you began your journey. When I click the tracking option, it puts my computer in quite the funk or freeze. Do I need a specific reader to use this option? Good Luck! & Best Regards, Jim

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Intrepid

15/11/2017

Wow! Always amazes me how far you can go in any circumstance by putting your body to the grindstone. Congrats on making it through the white into the blue too!

I haven’t slept well for a few nights and found myself wondering if you always sleep well. I know after a long day or 7 hour workout I am more likely to immediately crash upon landing, but even so, if I have a decision that’s been on hold or a concern that keeps knocking on the door, some nights are full of being more awake than more asleep. Do whiteout days cause more difficult nights of sleep? Would you say that days are just as mindfully difficult as a difficult night of sleep (if you have any)? While good music and engrossing audio books are helpful in the day (as is silence), what helps you create the change you need – to get a deep needed rest when you are restless?

Wishing you the awesome kind of quiet, splendid days, and plenty of warmth at night.

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