Run­ner con­quers snow and ice

Sunday Tasmanian - - News -

AS NA­TALIE Arnold lay on a Lon­don road af­ter be­ing smashed off her bike by a car, she made her­self a prom­ise.

“If I sur­vive this, I’m fin­ish­ing the seven,” she thought, re­fer­ring to the Seven Con­ti­nents Club, ex­clu­sively for those who com­plete a marathon on each con­ti­nent.

And, ear­lier this month, as Ms Arnold crossed the fin­ish line of the Antarc­tic Ice Marathon, she al­lowed her­self a mo­ment of pride for do­ing just that. In do­ing so, she be­came the youngest able­bod­ied Aus­tralian, at 30, to join the elite club.

Ms Arnold sees that 2015 crash, where a car ran a red light and sent her sail­ing into a six-month re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­gram with spine and brain in­juries, as the mo­ment her jour­ney be­gan.

“That was the turn­ing point for me – I started to get more mo­ti­vated, I was ex­tremely in­spired.

“It took me five years to save for this – as soon as I had the fi­nan­cial ca­pa­bil­ity I was ready to run. It was 15,000 eu­ros [$24,000) to get there.”

She trav­elled more than 43,000km to get from Dubai to Antarc­tica, with hus­band Matt fol­low­ing as far as Punta Are­nas, in Chile, where the run­ners waited for clear skies to fly to the Pole.

Pic­ture: SUP­PLIED

TRUE GRIT: Vic­to­rian Na­talie Arnold be­came the youngest Aus­tralian to com­plete unas­sisted marathons on ev­ery con­ti­nent when she fin­ished sec­ond in the Antarc­tic Ice Marathon.

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