Challenge Antarctica update May 2020

Forums Challenge Antarctica Challenge Antarctica update May 2020

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    Barry Gray
    Challenge Antarctica Blog

    Monthly Update May 2020

    Sadly, it has now officially dawned on me that my hopes of returning to Antarctic for phase 2 of Challenge Antarctica will not happen as planned for the summer season of 2020-2021. The international global pandemic, Covid 19 has made fundraising very difficult and the opportunities to get out and reach people in these times of uncertainty are now very limited.

    That said though, I am still very much into a mental and physical routine that will see me still plan and preparing to go on a huge expedition. This is good for several reasons. It lets me know that I am still in top physical and mental condition for a period of time every year. Its almost like creating muscle memory, to go over 12 months without really pushing myself will make the road back the next time even harder. There is always a real buzz around life when you are at your peak, the build up to it is tough but the arrival is fantastic, and I love that experience. The testing, the pushing, the exhilaration of being the best you can be through steady continuous and tough physical exertion is a real high.

    The month of May is always the time I start to gently shock the body back into a more formal training routine without pushing to hard. I use the Month to trim access fat, improve my diet and to gently get all muscle groups back into action. I will now push forward into June with a more substantial programme but still not pushing overly hard. I will be doing more weight training for strength and lots of long endurance runs all interspersed with some non-impact gym work like rowing, cross training, and cycling.

    In May I have lost 1.2 Stones in weight and have run a total distance of 325 KM’s. I have cut down on alcohol, unhealthy food and ensured my water intake has doubled. Being hydrated and staying hydrated is key to everything else.

    As I now move into June I am prepared to and ready to step up. A major look forward for you all will be my 80 Mile non-stop run on Sunday 14th June to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the birth of the Commandos. I served as a member of Commando Forces for 26 years and I want to use the opportunity to raise a few pounds to support the RM Charity, you can get involved here:

    Please keep following the Challenge Antarctica story here, get involved and join the conversation. Feel free to send any questions and I will be delighted to engage with you all.

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      Trev Parker
      <p>Good effort Baz, well done. Have all other expeditions in Antarctica been cancelled or is anything going on there?  just wondered if the scientific teams managed to get out or not?   </p>
      Baz Gray
      Hi Trevor


      Thanks for the question. No big decisions have been made by the big expedition support organisations. At the moment nothing has changed as season does not begin until November.

      The biggest issue is sponsorship, many companies are holding support until they understand their financial situation better due to covid. I unfortunately fall into that group.


      Trev Parker
      Cheers Baz. Is there a permanent presence there year-round despite there being no expeditions?

      I watched a video a few years back about the camp down there, looked impressive. Is that still in situ?

      Baz Gray

      The expedition season is from November to late February every year, this is also when most scientific work goes on. Up wards of 40’000 people will visit Antarctica every summer season (mainly on cruises around the Antarctic peninsula) and about 4000 people will actually work there.

      After the busy summer season things start to quiet down considerably. Most bases then go to a skeleton crew but there is most definitely a presence all year round which today is around 1000 people. Once the winter kicks in those 1000 people are pretty much stuck on their own through a very dark and extreme winter for over 6 months.



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