Ice cold stint for runner
Rattray man’s incredible Antarctic achievement
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