|ON THIN ICE|
It is Sunday 04 January, 2009 ? the day the Race to the South Pole is due to begin. After days of Antarctic blizzards, the weather finally clears and Ben, James and Ed (along with the five other teams taking part in the Amundsen South Pole Race) can make it to the start line. The air is full of cautious anticipation as the competitors line up for the first organised race to the South Pole since Scott and Amundsen?s historic journey almost a century ago. It has been an unrelenting ride just getting to this point and now the team must venture onto the Antarctic plateau where 480 miles of sheer hell lies ahead. Our team start off incredibly well, setting a fast pace and actually leading the pack. However, within days, the relentless cold, the extreme race schedule and physical exhaustion start to take their toll. James, the Olympic champion, struggles with severe blisters and the team must endure unexpected and dangerous crevasse fields. Their emotions start to run high as they tackle the treacherous journey. It?s one of the hardest challenges of their lives and Ben, James and Ed begin to wonder if they stand a chance of even completing, let alone winning the race. As they reach the halfway checkpoint, exhausted and near collapse, they learn that they have just lost the lead to the Norwegians. They also have to face the real possibility of not being able to continue. James has deep blisters and a swollen face, his childhood asthma has returned and he has pneumonia in one lung. Will the race doctors let him carry on to the South Pole?