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You are in: London > London Local > Hackney > Community Life > Hackney Man Hopes to Make British History

John Thompson in training for the North Pole

John Thompson in training for North Pole

Hackney Man Hopes to Make British History

Advertising Executive John Thompson hopes to be the 1st British Black man to make it to the North Pole, whilst at the same time raising up to £60,000 for charity.

An East Londoner could be on his way to making British history.

On Sunday 13th April John Thompson from Hackney flew to Norway to prepare to cross country ski to the North Pole; which is the northernmost point on earth, lying diametrically opposite the South Pole.

John Thompson during climate training in the USA

John Thompson during climate training.

The Docklands Advertising Executive will be crossing the polar ice from 89 degrees to 90 degrees north.  It's a 70 mile journey in temperatures ranging from 0 to -40 degrees.  John and the expedition team he will be making the journey with hope to make it to the North Pole on the 26th April.  This will mean that John will be trekking up to 10 hours per day.

The North Pole

Geographic North Pole

The northernmost point on the earth's surface is the geographic North Pole, also known as true north. It's located at 90° North latitude and all lines of longitude converge at the pole. The earth's axis connects the north and south poles, as its the line around which the earth rotates.

The North Pole is about 450 miles (725 km) north of Greenland in the middle of the Arctic Ocean - the sea there has a depth of 13,410 feet (4087 meters). Most of the time, sea ice covers the North Pole but recently, water has been sighted at the exact location of the pole.

Following in the Footsteps

If John makes the two week trek - he will be the 1st black British person from known records to do so, following in the footsteps of  the American Matthew Henson who was the first Black person to make it to the North Pole back in 1909, and more recently Barbara Hilary in 2007, who became the 1st black (American) woman.

The trip will put his training regime to the test.  A routine that has included John dragging tyres through Hackney Downs, whilst wearing a heavy backpack, in an effort to emulate pulling a sledge.

Raising Funds

The journey is not only a personal challenge for the ex soldier who served in Bosnia and Kosovo, but it's also an opportunity for John to raise what he hopes will be over £60,000 for three charities; Cancer Research UK, Action Medical Research who are helping the fight against diseases including Sickle Cell Anaemia and Chickenshed, who run Youth Theatre workshops.  Donations are still being accepted for details log on to his website The Last Degree.

last updated: 17/04/2008 at 15:53
created: 14/04/2008

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