Am 3. Januar schrieb Preet Chandi Geschichte, als sie als erste farbige Frau alleine die Antarktis durchquerte. Ihren Pulka ziehend legte sie 700 Meilen (ca. 1.100 km) bei Minustemperaturen von -50°C und Windstärken bis zu 60 mph (fast 100 kmh) zurück. In nur 40 Tagen bewältigte sie die gewaltige Strecke.
(Das Original-Interview kannst du hier in der englischen Version lesen.)
You’ve done plenty of other tough physical challenges before your South Pole expedition – the infamous Marathon des Sables for one – but how does the Antarctica trip compare?
For the other races I’ve done, I think the biggest difference personally was the amount of preparation. I would do a lot of challenges without much preparation and I definitely couldn’t do that with Antarctica.
When I did MdS, I bought all of my kit and equipment the week before. The event was also well organised, there were checkpoints along the route where I was given water and medical support if needed. I carried my kit and equipment with me but did not have to carry a tent. I entered the event alone but never felt alone, I was put in a great tent, people that I am still friends with until this day. I really enjoyed the event and it was challenging at times, it was very hot but I personally found that Antarctica was on a different scale.
The Antarctic expedition was a different ball game, I have never prepared for any other event this much. It started as an idea, I wanted to go to Antarctica. At the time, I didn’t know what kind of expedition I could even do. I started researching on google. I created the name Polar Preet, my partner made my website and I followed anyone with any polar experience on social media. It took me 2.5 years to even make it to Antarctica and it was hard work to get there. I was emailing 10-15 companies every night to try and get funding, I didn’t get my first sponsor on board until 11 months before I was going. I spent my life saving on training trips, it took me months to pay them off, I still haven’t paid off everything for the expedition. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever trained for and that was just to get to the start line.
On your blog entries you made a real point of thanking the team around you and you often referred to ‘we’ or ‘our’ when describing your progress. 40 days is a long time to be on your own, but did you really feel alone when out on the icecap?
I felt most lonely when I was having tough days. On those days, I would break everything down and sometimes just concentrate on taking one step at a time. I had Dory in my head from Finding Nemo saying ‘just keep swimming,’ I changed it slight to ‘just keep going.’
On the tough days, I would listen to voice notes that I had downloaded on my phone from those closest to me. I had written messages on my food bags and on the inside of my tent. It made me feel like I had people with me, this journey was always about so much more than me and I wanted to bring as many people as possible on this journey with me.