Ed Parker: I have suspended the race but the challenge goes on

WWTW | December 7, 2013

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Ed Parker, Expedition Director for the Virgin Money South Pole Allied Challenge and Team Noom Coach mentor has taken the decision to suspend the race to the pole, but he is determined that all the members will make it to the South Pole as one group.

“We have had a tricky couple of days. The weather remains good but the terrain is very difficult, far harder than we were anticipating and because of various factors, I have decided to suspend the race.

The reasons for this are entirely safety based. I am looking at the three teams. They are going really well but people are beginning to get very, very tired. With our doctor here, who I am in constant contact with, we just feel we are beginning to push people a little too hard, so I have suspended the race.”

-Ed Parker, Expedition Director  and Team Noom Coach mentor

This is certainly not the end for the Virgin Money South Pole Allied Challenge, but steps have been put into place to ensure that all of those involved are kept safe. The team members are determined to prove their strength and courage but this must be done without jeopardising anyone’s well being.

Going forward, the final leg of the Virgin Money South Pole Allied Challenge will begin from the team’s second allotted checkpoint, 112 km from the South Pole. The team members will be driven to this point and over the course of the next 7 days, will move as one whole allied team to reach the South Pole together.

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32 Responses to Ed Parker: I have suspended the race but the challenge goes on

  • Sorry about the race for those who wanted it. But I am sure the experience is still filled with meaning and inspiration for the future. Been in very cold conditions and know hypothermia and stress can lead to difficultes making it very hazard..I hear their are Northern Lights even in the South Pole…pic if you see them..thankyou Marlene Morris

  • Matrix says:

    Very sad news indeed but quite understandable. A difficult decision to make Ed.
    Good luck to all the teams and lets hope everyone make it to to pole.

  • Kim Norris says:

    Thank you, Ed, for keeping the safety of the teams your top priority. Regardless of the changes to the format, this is a tremendous effort by all parties and a testament to the resilience and determination of the human spirit!

  • Marion Solheim says:

    I am sure this is in everyones best interest. No one sitting behind a computer screen in knows how tough it is to follow through with an expedition like this. The intention and effort already put in by everyone in this expedition is mindblowing.

  • This is a good decision. I have been rooting for all 3 teams to just make the journey safely since the beginning. the conditions must be truly hellish for them to have called off the race. I am so glad health and safety are being put first and wise heads are prevailing. good luck to all. this has been an incredible effort.

  • Agnes Solheim says:

    All the best to you all With respect from Norway !

  • Michael Donaghue says:

    I am glad and thankful that the participants safety is paramount and it is often the journey that is more significant than the final destination. Please know there is much support in Oz for all those participating. Warmest regards, Mike Donaghue

  • Sylvia says:

    Commendable decision! I believe the group effort will build more memories with reduced stress to man, woman, mind, and spirit. Enjoy the adventure of a lifetime gang!!!

  • Elsa Dixon says:

    Keep going guys, fantastic achievement!

  • dave says:

    Only 4 days in ? Good job Scott wasn’t in charge.

  • Marilyn Burgess says:

    I think it was a good idea to suspend the race. I don’t know if because of this the location map has been taken down, but I liked this as a way to see where the teams were in relation to the Pole. If it can go back online that would be great! Everyone rest up, be well, and have a good time!

  • Jim McDonald says:

    Thank you, Ed. The race was a great idea and friendly challenge among allies. Going together now to the pole is an excellent example of teamwork, each member working for the good of the whole. I am so happy to have met the American veterans on the team as well as a few of the Commonwealth team, and very proud of each and every one of them. Looking forward to continued updates as the teams join together and make their final push to the pole!

  • Fiona Fozzard-marsh says:

    I’ve been following the this on the radio and as always listening to the troops I’m just so proud to be British. Having been in the forces myself, the strength that lies within can never be taken away by evil. Well done to everyone, enjoy the feeling when you cross that line as one.

  • michelle says:

    If you are suspending the race due to exhaustion only what is the point of going back to the last checkpoint and then walking together to finish the race? Everyone will still be exhausted? The cynical Aussie in me thinks this is more to do with American team trailing the other teams?…its a race and all these guys are highly competitive.These are soldiers and they know all about exhaustion they also have incredible reserves of mental fortitude …give them a chance Ed the reasons you gave for suspending the race are not logical.

  • Nikki Gardner says:

    From Virginia Beach with love and admiration:

    -So proud and moved by your extraordinary efforts! Now the challenge is truly allied in the literal sense. In this way it speaks very much to the adaptability and selflessness of the community these important charities are meant to support and cast light upon.

    It’s that indomitable spirit and heart those who choose to be of service to country and our greater world community share. No focus on individual heroics, No “I” in team, just maintaining focus and tenacity to forward the mission for the greater good.

    “Planning is helpful. If you don’t know what you want, you’ll seldom get it. But, no matter how well you plan, you will fare better if you expect the unexpected. The unexpected, by nature, comes unseen, unthought, unenvisioned. All you can do is plan to go unplanned, prepare to be unprepared, make going with the flow part of your agenda, for the most successful among us envision, plan, and prepare, but cast all aside as needed, while those who are unable to go with the flow often suffer, if they survive.”
    (― David W. Jones, Moses and Mickey Mouse: How to Find Holy Ground in the Magic Kingdom and Other Unusual Places)

    You Rock! Each and every one, and you’re “Pretty F—– Ninja!”-(Brad Colbert, Generation Kill) in my book. 😉


  • Brian Downey says:

    Ok Ed, Good call, as you said safety is the number one concern of all the team members, The South Pole is closer now, and I respect your decision just like all the team members. my thoughts and support are with all of you, give a message to Chris if you can. “Keep up the good work Chris, proud of you

  • Kevin says:

    Expedition rather than a race. I like it!

    Good decision – everyone on one team with a mutual goal. Way better than a competition. Gaining the pole is the reward.

    With you all the way. Soldier on…

  • Susan Cotnam says:

    Good call !!! We need everyone to come home safe !! Good work to all of you!!!

  • Raine Summers says:

    It took courage for what those brave men and women went through before this event, it took courage for them and others that joined in to be a part of this, and they are still courageous and inspiring when they ALL reach the South Pole TOGETHER. Proud of all!

    Gaddlöst bi samlar ingen honung!

  • Mooney says:

    To quote the great Phil Jackson – The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.
    Sounds like you guys are magic!
    Best of luck over the next couple of days.

  • Gwyneth Livsey says:

    Good call. I admire everyone of you for your courage and determination. Keep safe,good luck and enjoy the ride!

  • Richar Lumby says:

    Sound call, well done, keep on track together.

  • Aiden West says:

    The right decision. The teams are exceptional human beings and their safety is paramount. Thinking of you and hope you can continue….

  • Great to hear that you are all ok and will carry on and finish together. Good luck and best wishes.

  • janet clements says:

    Hi from Canada I couldn’t agree more with all the comments I felt moved reading that the “race” has been taken out of the challenge. I am sure one challenge too many is more dangerous than victorious. Look forward to the news each day.
    Good luck!

  • rachelle greene says:

    this has been an enormously ambitious endeavour, and i for one am glad to not have to worry any more.

    completing the journey as a unit will be more gratifying, anyway…

    every one of you can be very proud.

  • Gwynwyvar says:

    As an Aussie, I’d love for us to have another win over the Brits lol… But not at the cost of anyone’s health!

    Congrats everyone, on every team, for the amazing job you have done.

    Sending big warm aussie hugs.
    get there safe and have fun!

  • Karol D says:

    Brutal sastrugi, dead iPods and consequently extreme isolation for 9 hour race days…No rational person could begrudge you this decision. I continue to support all participants for even participating! #GoTeams!

  • Maggie from Dallas says:

    With the decision to suspend the race I hope today gave all the new “TEAM” members a little more encouragment to endure. Your are a True Leader Ed!

  • Nancy Pernicano says:

    United as brothers in arms, this truly has been a race of alliance. Fully support the Wounded Veterans, and more recently the Wounded Warrior projects. I am so grateful to men and women like this who sacrifice so much so I can remain free from oppression. May God enrich and bless each and every one.

  • Frances says:

    Good luck to you all and be safe and keep together to the end of the road.
    Best wishes from Scotland.

  • Larry Harding says:

    When competitors, are united, there is more strength, and mental toughness, than before, imaginable. There are no problems, only challenges, to meet, and overcome, but now with a united front. They say one bad apple will spoil a whole bunch…but no bad apple, here, these are all the cream of the crop, winners!!!

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