Media Release - 5 January

Team South Africa at the starting line

Media Release


5 January 2012


Sent by Urban Brew Studios

Start of the historic Scott – Amundsen Centenary Race to the South Pole


The extreme endurance athletes who entered the historic Scott – Amundsen Centenary Race to the South Pole, were officially set off at 10:00 on the morning of 4 January 2012 at a starting line on the Antarctic Plateau.


The altitude, 2624 meters above sea level.  Athletes could not have asked for better weather, there was a slight breeze from behind and the sky was clear and sunny. Temperature only hovered in the minus twenty degree Celsius bracket to make it a perfect day for the start of this extreme event.


Ahead of the athletes lies 704 kilometers of flat monotonous snow and ice.  It is the most inhospitable and desolate place on earth. The terrain is quite rough and it is expected that extreme weather will challenge the participants along their route to the South Pole.


A very proud Mr. Tony Martin, CEO of Extreme World Races, wished all the contestants good luck before they were set off on their arduous journey. He said it was the culmination of many months of meticulous planning which includes any possible eventuality.


An emergency rescue team with a doctor will be following the contestants at a distance to act in the case of any serious injuries or life threatening situations that may arise.


All competitors must make a compulsory daily satellite call to report their position and general condition.


The race organizers expect the winners to complete the distance in sixteen days.   The cut off for all participants are 24 days.  Cut off is necessary because the teams and support crew need to fly out of Antarctica before the onset of the winter prevents access by any means until the next summer, which will only start again in December.


Once contestants reach the halfway mark there will be a compulsory 24-hour stop.   It is a resting period and each contestant will undergo a medical examination and get provisions for the remainder of the race.

Follow the Teams:

The public can follow the teams on the website

On 5 January, day 2 of the race the Norwegians were in the lead with Team British Blue in second position and TEAM SA in 3rd position.
After day one, Team SA, Braam Malherbe and Peter van Kets commented that they had a great day as they walked for 11 hours.   Their daily goal is to walk 35 kms but on day one they managed to cover 39 kms.
Braam Malherbe is a Woolworths My Planet ambassador and TEAM SA is competing in The Race to the South Pole to create awareness on climate change.


Serving as a fitting centenary celebration of Amundsen and Scott’s first momentous encounter, Urban Brew Studios will cover the race and more significantly, pay tribute to the power of the human spirit and explore the ever-increasing environmental pressures facing the Antarctic today.


Documentary films covering different aspects of the race will be released for international distribution after the event.



Editors notes:


Discovery, as the Peak Performance partner of the South African team, will work with Professor Tim Noakes, the Discovery Health Chair of Exercise and Sports Science at UCT, to support the team to perform at the peak of their physical and mental capacity. In the next media release Prof Noakes will comment on the challenging physical conditions Team SA will experience at high altitude.  


More about MyPlanet


Braam Malherbe is the ambassador for MyPlanet.  MyPlanet classifies Planets as organisations that focus on the improvement and protection of the environment and animals. Examples of Planets that Woolworths customers support to include SANCCOB, The Society for Animals in Distress, Endangered Wildlife Trust, EWT MyPlanet Rhino Fund, SPCA National Fund, Border Collie Rescue, FreeMe, National Horse Trust, Animal Anti-Cruelty League, WESSA and BirdLife SA.


For more information go to