Runner conquers snow and ice
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.
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.