Award-winning Canadian ultra-runner and colleagues will travel
to southern tip of the world in 35 days - fuelled by solar power,
gourmet pemmican, Gatorade, and dehydrated cheese
OTTAWA, Nov. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - Moon boots? Check. Gourmet pemmican?
Check. Gatorade? Check. That's the checklist of a polar adventurer: on
December 1st, Canadian ultra-runner Ray Zahab, best known for running across
the Sahara Desert, and his explorer colleagues Richard Weber and Kevin Vallely
begin the first leg of their journey to the South Pole - their goal to make
history by breaking the speed record for crossing the 1130 kilometres from
Hercules Inlet on the Ronne Ice Shelf to the South Pole. They will cover 35
kilometres a day, for 35 days, in notorious headwinds and the freezing cold in
an environment of virtually constant daylight and an elevation of 10 000 feet
while carting 150-pound sleds!
But the expedition isn't just about speed and overcoming a difficult
environment: it's about environmental awareness, education, and inspiring
youth across North America and even the world. That's the mission of
Impossible 2 Possible (i2P), a non-profit organization seeking to link
adventure and sustainability causes in the minds of youth and to inspire the
next generation of global leaders. For more information, visit
"Most of all, we want to inspire young people with the idea that if you
put your mind to something and you work hard, you can achieve something that
would otherwise seem impossible," said Ray Zahab. "On the face of it, racing
to the South Pole in an environment like running in a turbine and trying to
break the speed record sounds impossible - but we believe it's not. We want to
set an example, and we want to educate people - especially youth - through
In keeping with i2P's goals, the South Pole Quest features significant
educational and research components. The expedition team is engaging young
people through an interactive educational program of web-based modules for
students (of mostly high school-age) that will track the expedition and
educate the students on issues raised by a trip to the South Pole, such as the
effects of greenhouse gases, plate tectonics, and even the history of South
Pole expeditions such as that of Roald Amundsen. Thousands of students across
North America are confirmed to participate - from British Columbia to
Illinois! They will be following Ray, Richard, and Kevin through their blog
and through the tracking functions on the expedition's website:
www.southpolequest.com. The explorers will keep in touch by satellite phone
and by blog updates uploaded to the website.
Even more young people will be linked in to the expedition through the
organization Students on Ice: www.studentsonice.com.
The South Pole Quest will also be the subject of scientific research
conducted by the University of Arizona and the University of Washington. The
expedition team will be studied by researchers inquiring into the effect of
passion and group dynamics in high-calibre endurance endeavours, as well as by
researchers conducting a human physiology study measuring body fat, caloric
intake, and heart rate reactions.
Impossible 2 Possible (i2P) - an active 501c3, non-profit organization in
the United States - seeks to inspire a generation of youth to realize that
they have the ability to achieve and exceed any perceived limits they think
they may have - and that they hold the keys to contributing in making the
world a better place - for themselves, and their peers.
Ray Zahab is known for numerous first-place finishes in some of the most
extreme ultra-running competitions in the world. His run across the Sahara
Desert is the subject of a documentary, Running the Sahara, executive-produced
by Matt Damon. Richard Weber is a world-class explorer who has more than 45
Arctic expeditions to his name. Kevin Vallely is a well-established journalist
and adventurer. For more information on all three expedition team members,
please visit the website.
The i2P 2008 South Pole Quest primary sponsors are Gatorade, Energy and
Procurement Magazine, and Crocs. For a detailed list of all sponsors that have
made this possible, please visit the sponsor page on the South Pole Quest
South Pole Quest Timeline
Ray departs Toronto for staging area of Punta Arenas, Chile. He will be
available by telephone and email.
Ray, Richard, and Kevin prepare for their expedition from the staging
area. They will be available by satellite telephone and email.
November 26th-December 1st (weather permitting)
Ray and colleagues depart Chile for Antarctica and begin practice period.
They will be available by satellite telephone, and by blog.
Ray, Richard and Kevin begin in earnest the 35-day race to the South
Pole! They will be available by satellite telephone, and by blog, while
For further information:
For further information: Lisa Crawford, Bluesky Strategy Group, (613)
241-3512 ext. 224, (613) 218-2481, firstname.lastname@example.org