Shackleton Centenary Expedition

Tyre-pulling in Peaslake, Surrey July 22 2007

I've found a definition for English eccentricity - pulling big tyres up even bigger hills on what should be a lazy Sunday afternoon in Surrey. Sisyphus eat your heart out.

It's Sunday the 22nd July and the team have been in Peaslake village, Surrey for most of the day. To cut a bizarre story short we were there for some photos to be taken for our upcoming Daily Telegraph article.All very exciting stuff, even if we did look like pretty stupid pulling tyres up a big hill - a massive hill in fact, overlooking half of sunny Surrey and parts of sunny Sussex.

In 3 hours I don't think I have ever sweated more and feel the desperate need to get fitter faster finally upon me. I feel this because I haven't done any previous training -type stuff that the rest of the team have done. The two results of this were 1) Pain 2) Pain 3) A realisation that these guys doing the whole thing from start to finish are either incredibly brave or slightly mad.

From a training point of view though, what was most interesting was that the sheer regular monotony was not something that I had given much thought to before I signed up for this and this was on a sunny day with trees, woods, and at the end a view that encompassed half of Surrey and Sussex.

What the guys are going to have to put up with for hundreds of miles is going to be long cold white days of trudging through snow, the texture of which will change with the temperature making a massive difference to the friction with the pulks that they pull. This means that there are going to be good days and bad days in terms of distance covered.

If we are able to meet up at the 97 mile point they will have achieved something truly incredible. To further that by taking on us last 97ers and getting to the South Pole will be a great way of introducing to the world The Shackleton Foundation and what it stands for. Hopefully that will outlive all of us.

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