O’Brady Completes His Impossible First; Wins Race
In our last update, O'Brady held a narrow lead over Rudd, reaching the South Pole a day earlier than his counterpart.
Rudd crossed the South Pole on December 13, kicking on to try and close the gap. O'Brady was already into an area known as the “Sastrugi National Park” fighting over some huge packed ice ridges. He took a number of hard falls but thankfully avoided any serious injuries.
The journey has delivered its fair share of bumps and bruises. Rudd reports serious cold damage to his lips, while O'Brady barely recognizes his legs, such is the wastage after nearly two months in Antarctica.
Both men made it past the high point of their journey shortly after clearing the sastrugi fields, this marked nearly 10,000ft above their starting point at sea-level. The rest of the way would be a descent towards the Transantarctic mountains. With the finish in touching distance and a healthy lead over Rudd, O'Brady elected to finish fast. He woke up 80 miles from the finish on Christmas day and decided to push for the Ross Ice Shelf in one long “Antarctica Ultramarathon.”
Almost 35 hours later and he has done it, finishing at midday on Boxing Day. He has covered 1,056 miles in under 55 days and becomes the first ever person to have completed a solo, unsupported, unassisted traverse of Antarctica.
Rudd remains 50 miles from the Ross Ice Shelf, carrying his late friend Henry Worsley's family flag. Worsley died a similar distance from the finish in 2016. Rudd hopes to finish in the next two days.