Ice run for marathon man
A Rattray runner is hoping to join an elite band of runners who have completed a marathon on every continent.
Peter Ritchie (56) is taking part in the Antarctic Ice Marathon this month which, if he completes it, will see him one step closer to his goal.
He has already completed a total of 61 marathons to date, including the Abbot World Marathon Majors which entails running the Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City marathons.
There are only 636 people in the whole world who are members of the Seven Continents Club and Peter - who started running in 1997 - only has two continents left to complete this incredible challenge.
And while he’s working towards that goal, he has decided to raise funds for Perth Autism Support, a local charity which helps ensure that every child diagnosed with autism in Perth and Kinross has access to quality services and activities they require.
Peter said he chose Perth Autism Support as it helps a family member.
He set up a JustGiving page and as the Blairie went to press had already beaten his target of raising £1000 with over two weeks still to go before he sets off for Antarctica.
Peter, a Perth and Kinross Council employee who is the man who brought the RattrayBlairgowrie half marathon back to the town earlier this year after an absence of over two decades, runs with Perth Road Runners.
In the twenty years that he has been running he has taken part in over 460 races of various lengths, including a number of ultra marathons, and competes most weekends.
He first started running to raise money for cancer charities, and after completing half marathons in Inverness and Alloa and the London Marathon in 1997 he took a break from running for a few months before signing up for the New York marathon, after which he says “the rest is just history”.
“Once you get into it you get addicted to it - you just keep signing up for more and more races,” he explains.
The unstoppable bin man, who many will have seen running around the town, leaves for Antarctica on November 20 and the race itself takes place on November 24.
The gruelling 26.2-mile run takes place in temperatures of anything from minus 20 degrees Celsius to minus 40.
The race will be on hardpacked snow and organisers mark out a circuit with flags so that competitors don’t get lost in the icy wilderness.
Just 54 people are taking part in the race, and Peter says the location at the Union Glacier Camp is only a few hundred miles away from the South Pole itself.
“I’m looking forward to it, I’m not nervous at all, it will be interesting.
“I’m taking my video camera and am hoping to get lots of pictures but it all depends on the weather conditions on the day.
“It’s just another marathon, only it’s going to be colder - I’ve got plenty of warm clothes!
“As long as I get across the finish line that’s the main thing.
“And it’s something that not many people have done. I’m hoping to go to South America next year to get all seven continents, which is something only 636 people out of seven billion in the world have done - there’s more people than that live in Fergie Park!”
Peter thanked everyone for their generosity and support, saying: “Local people have been brilliant, the support they give is amazing and I’m very grateful for it.”
Peter’s JustGiving page for Perth Autism Support can be found at www.justgiving.com/ fundraising/peter-ritchiesantarctic-ice-marathon and will be open until he gets back at the end of November.
Just another marathon, only it’s going to be colder Peter Ritchie
Icy challenge Perth Road Runner Peter Ritchie is all set for his latest marathon