Australian Ultrarunner Takes On Pole-To-Pole Run

Many adventurous souls would consider taking a trek to either the North Pole or South Pole a life-making voyage, the type of thing that you read about, dream about and remember forever if you're lucky enough to accomplish it. Having the opportunity to do both would give you some robust bragging rights at your local watering hole. But linking them both together by about 13,000 miles of highly variable, intercontinental terrain: that puts you up there with the likes of the greatest adventurers ever, in my book.


Australian ultrarunner Pat Farmer must have been looking for a way of topping his own record-breaking run across Australia. And what could top that like running through 14 different countries between the Earth's most extreme points, a run that's called the longest in the world? Running across the Atlantic Ocean, maybe but the man is only 48, he still needs to save some other epics to top this one. 

Farmer announced this week his 10-years-in-the-making plan to take on the monumental challenge next March. He'll begin at the North Pole and make his way down through Canada, the western U.S. and Mexico and onward through 10 South American countries. Since South America doesn't quite connect with Antarctica, Farmer will be airlifted to the frigid continent where he'll finish up the trip to the South Pole.

As if running across the Earth wasn't a lofty enough goal, Farmer, who earned himself the nickname "Forrest Gump" in his political career, is hoping to raise $100 million for Red Cross water and sanitation programs. It's not clear exactly how he'll do that, but people love to throw money at runners, especially when they're--you know--running 13,000 miles over 11 months between poles.  Farmer expects to go through 40 pairs of shoes and 300 pairs of socks on the trip. 

You know how sometimes you feel guilty when those UNICEF commercials come on TV and you get up for popcorn? Well, now you can feel even more guilty. This guy is running 13,000 miles to raise money for other people and you can't give a damn dollar?! Cold. 

Farmer expressed uncertainty but optimism to the AFP, stating: "To be quite honest with you I don't know if I can run from the North pole to the South pole. But I do know that I can run for 80 kilometres, or 85 kilometres or 90 or 100k's a day and I do know that I can get up the next morning and do the same thing the next day. I will take it one day at a time and I will achieve this enormous goal." 

Hear a little more of his thoughts on the journey in the video clip below:

AFP via Adventure Blog, and Pole To Pole (Farmer's Site)