L O U ' S D I A R Y
Day 55 in Antarctica. On his penultimate day of the Spirit of Endurance expedition, Lou reflects on his journey and, in typical Rudd fashion, covers a staggering 29.3 nautical over 14 hours of skiing (another record mileage). He talks about his admiration for Colin O'Brady and his deep happiness in making it so far, so fast. But mostly he soaks up his last few days in Antarctica, knowing that this might be the last time he experiences it...
Dec 27 2018 -
Good evening everyone...
Reporting in now on day 55 of the expedition, which is the penultimate day! I’ve got one day left to go, which is remarkable, and really just wow! I can’t believe it; I’m a day from the finish. I’m camped, at the moment, 17 nautical miles. I did a big push today, to get myself as close to the finish, to give myself a bit less to do tomorrow. So 17 nautical miles to go. I pushed out today, my personal best record mileage ever, on any expedition, I did 29.3 nautical miles in 14 hours of skiing, so really pleased with that. So really today, I just spent the day trying to absorb as much of Antarctica as I can. You never know, this could be my last time in Antarctica, my last few days now out here, and I really want to just soak up memories and really make the most of this final bit of time out here potentially. So it was great. I’ve just been reflecting back on the course of events over the last two months that I’ve been skiing across here. I’m really pleased. Loads of positives.
My number one priority and objective was to come out here and ski solo, unsupported and unassisted right across the continent and by the end of tomorrow, I’ll have done that. That was always the primary objective. I’ve always been keen to avoid the media a really keen to make it a race issue, the fact that the American Colin was out here at the same time. I’ve done my upmost to completely avoid that. I didn’t want to…… the minute you get drawn into a race scenario, everything you’re doing is dictated by the other person. You’re having to react. It changes the whole nature of the expedition. You put yourself under a lot of pressure and I decided right from the early stages I wasn’t going to get drawn into that, and I was just going to do my expedition, and not let anything else interfere with that. I’m really pleased that that’s what I’ve done. I haven’t reacting. I’ve just come and done my journey.
To be honest it’s a minor miracle that both of us have completed a journey that’s been attempted before, nobody’s ever managed it, and then, lo and behold, in one season two of us attempting it. A lot of expeditions have come out here – it’s been a really difficult season for expeditions, with the conditions. The fact that both of us have finished is absolutely fantastic. I’m really pleased for both of us. Where I’ve come – it’s just a title thing. It doesn’t mean anything to me, first, second. It’s just a title. What matters is that I’ve completed my expedition, and that’s the bit that’s really important to me. And we’ve both done it really fast. Incredibly fast. A traverse; I’ll be finishing in 56 days, Colin a couple of days ahead of that. To be honest I’m quite pleased that I’ve finished it within a couple of days of a professional athlete, when I haven’t really been trying to race. I thought actually he’d be much further ahead than that, so I’m quite pleased with where I am.
Lots to reflect on and I’ll try and summarise in one of the final blogs tomorrow.
For the final time: Onwards.