The Polar Maidens team do not live near each other and many are not even in the same country!
They will each be training with their own trainers to an agreed programme, to ensure they have the level of fitness for the expedition.
The team will be meeting to train together a few times before the expedition. It’ll be very important to understand how each other works and their team dynamics.
In May 2018 some of the Polar Maidens undertook a training course in Finse, Norway. The training ground for every historic Antarctic expedition.
This is a comprehensive, rigorous course, both in theory and practice. The course incorporated a week on the ice which replicated the conditions the team will face in the South Pole.
They skied with pulks (loaded polar sleds) containing all of the food and equipment required for the trek and learnt to work together under extreme conditions.
This was the Polar Maidens’ first individual and collective test of physical and psychological fitness.
June 2018 saw some of the team travel to County Kerry, Ireland. Aileen Crean O’Brien (Tom Crean’s granddaughter) lead the walk of 250 people for a 10 hour, 20 mile endurance walk in honour of Tom Crean.
The walk started from the base of Mountain Brandon and finished at the South Pole Inn, Annascaul, formerly the home of Tom Crean.
In September 2018 the Polar Maidens went to the Highlands of Scotland under the supervision of the experienced polar explorer, Denise Maine.
The week saw them hauling pulks up and down hills and across rugged and exposed terrain. This week provided strenuous training and a week to bond as a team – this was the first time all five Polar Maidens had met each other and trained together. This was a great opportunity for the team to work together and test their fitness levels.
For now, they are back to training individually.
In December 2018 it will be time to take the journey to Chile, then on further to the ice runway in Antarctica and the Union Glacier Camp. The South Pole will be 600 miles away now…