Martell, a former Commando who earned his Action Man
moniker through his work for mine clearance organisations in Angola
and Iraq, led the Commando Joe team in this years Scott Dunn
with Cornish team-mates and fellow Commandos Steve Clewley and Gary
Bullen, they completed the 320-mile trek in only 10 days, shaving
four days off the existing record and raising thousands of pounds
for the Stroud-based Meningitis Trust, the teams nominated
charity. Campaign manager, Adrian had this to say:
a fantastic achievement. They crossed the line at about 0700hrs
on Wednesday [4th May] morning our time, but the middle of the night
in the Arctic. Theyve had about four hours sleep in
the last two days in a last-ditch attempt to be first to cross the
they were pipped to the post by race rivals Team Hardware.com, with
whom theyd been vying for pole position for much of the race.
But neither team was expected to finish the race until Friday at
also revealed that during the 320-mile journey, the three men each
had to pull a sledge weighing some 90kg, and were travelling for
up to fifty miles at a time in temperatures as low as -50C. He said:
this time of year, the sun never sets in the Arctic, which makes
the experience even more arduous and tiring you never really
know what time it is, and the exhaustion is immense.
more than one occasion, the team had to scare off polar bears after
they came too close for comfort.
ecstastic about their achievement and am relieved that theyre
now able to take a well-earned rest. Theyll certainly be looking
forward to enjoying their first meal in a fortnight thats
not been cooked from snow and dehydrated ration packs!
Polar Challenge is the first in a series of three extreme
challenges for the Commando Joe team, all in aid of the Meningitis
2006, the team will take part in the 2,800 mile Woodvale Ocean Fours
Atlantic Rowing Race, taking a 29-ft open boat from New York to
too theres a record in sight to break the team hope
to smash the existing 55-day record for the crossing. The following
year they hope to establish a new record for desert running.
Commando Joe team will return to the UK on Sunday 8th May 2005.
Hardware.com, the winners of the race, also had a local Gloucestershire
connection. Publican Rupert Longsdon, 31, from Cirencester was a
member of the victorious team.
trio 'elated' after race
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