Ice cold stint for run­ner

Rat­tray man’s in­cred­i­ble Antarc­tic achieve­ment

Blairgowrie Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - PAGE 5

A Rat­tray run­ner has com­pleted an in­cred­i­ble sub-zero marathon 300 miles from the South Pole as part of his dar­ing at­tempt to be­come one of fewer than 700 peo­ple to fin­ish a 26-mile race on ev­ery con­ti­nent.

Peter Ritchie (56), first en­dured a lengthy jour­ney to get to the start line, in­volv­ing five flights and 28 hours of fly­ing time, be­fore at­tempt­ing his 62nd marathon in the last 20 years.

Fifty-three coura­geous com­peti­tors took part in the marathon, which was held on Novem­ber 24, with ev­ery­one fin­ish­ing.

Peter com­pleted the marathon in freez­ing tem­per­a­tures of mi­nus 25 de­grees Cel­sius, com­ing in at a time of six hours and 27 min­utes and in 38th place out of 53.

Speak­ing to the Blairie on his re­turn to east Perthshire, Peter said: “I was out there to fin­ish the marathon, the time was a bonus. I got the t-shirt and the medals and that was the main thing.

“I was run­ning in two pairs of socks, two pairs of trousers, three pairs of gloves, three lay­ers on top, a bal­a­clava and gog­gles, and my big­gest prob­lem was that be­cause I wear glasses they kept steam­ing up with the ski gog­gles!

“It was a fan­tas­tic ex­pe­ri­ence though, the peo­ple, the race - ev­ery­thing was 100 per cent and I can’t fault it.

“The whole trip was amaz­ing. The race was on the Fri­day and we stayed out there to the Sun­day ev­ery­thing was there for you, show­ers. toilets, golf, even bikes. We had a great time, and the food was as good as you would get in a posh ho­tel.

“We had to wear all the clothes all the time it was so cold but the tent we slept in was very cosy.

“I have been trav­el­ling for 32 years but that was the trip of a life­time.”

Just a cou­ple of weeks af­ter he re­turned home from Antarc­tica, Peter was off on his trav­els again, this time to Lan­zarote to run a marathon there in very dif­fer­ent tem­per­a­tures of 26 de­grees.

He said: “It was like go­ing from ice to fire! I’m not used to ex­treme heat!

“I think with the cold you can put more clothes on but when it is hot like that you can’t take any more off - I was just pour­ing wa­ter over my head there try­ing to stay cool.”

Peter - who brought the Rat­tray and Blair­gowrie half marathon back to the town ear­lier this year - has also com­pleted marathons in New York, Chicago, Bos­ton, Ber­lin, Lon­don and Tokyo.

Fol­low­ing his Antarc­tic chal­lenge, Peter, who works for Perth and Kin­ross Coun­cil, has now com­pleted a marathon on six of the seven con­ti­nents, with just South Amer­ica left to go, which he is hop­ing to com­plete next year.

And for his lat­est chal­lenge he de­cided to raise money for Perth Autism Sup­port.

So far he has raised over £3700 for the char­ity but he said that there is still time for peo­ple to do­nate.

Peter said: “I would like to say a big thank you to ev­ery­one who has do­nated so far, it’s been bril­liant.

“There’s still time to do­nate though - and I will be run­ning the Blair­gowrie New Year’s Day Fun Run as well as races in Perth and Dundee on Jan­uary 1 in all the Antarc­tic gear to raise even more money for Perth Autism Sup­port, so I will be leav­ing the Just­Giv­ing page open un­til af­ter those three races.”

● If you want to do­nate go to Just Giv­ing and search for Peter Ritchie Antarc­tic Ice Marathon Perth Autism Sup­port.

I have been trav­el­ling for 32 years but that was the trip of a life­time Marathon man, Peter

From ice to fire Just two weeks af­ter re­turn­ing from run­ning the Ice Marathon in tem­per­a­tures of -25 de­grees Peter ran the Lazarote Marathon in a 26 de­gree heat

Other side of the world Peter took five flights to get to the Antarc­tic to run the Ice Marathon

Icy con­di­tions Peter de­scribed his few days in Antarc­tica as the ‘trip of a life­time’

Chal­lenge Peter braved the freez­ing tem­per­a­tures

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