Counting Down – 47 Days to the Start of the Last Desert Race in Antarctica

Columbia Sportwear, running gear, fundraising…

Monday, 15 September 2014

Greetings from Cape Town.

I am definitely not the biggest fan of running in cold conditions, and participating in the Last Desert Race in Antarctica will therefore be as much of a mental as a physical challenge.

Today’s mid-day temperature in Cape Town is 18°C, compared to −54 °C in Antarctica – a difference of 72 °C and a serious reminder of the challenge which awaits me in less than 50 days.

Although doing specialized training in very cold conditions might not be possible before the race, at least I will arrive in Antarctica with the appropriate running gear and equipment as required.

Competitors are required to take an extensive list of mandatory equipment items with them to Antarctica. Some of these items will be carried in my racing backpack, some worn and others will be kept in a drop bag on shore or on the expedition ship.

I am very pleased that Columbia Sportswear, one of the world’s leading outdoor apparel companies, is supporting me with most of my requirements in this regard. Columbia’s core strengths and relevance to my run in Antarctica are best described by the following quote:

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“Columbia is first and foremost an outdoor product company. In many ways though, we are a technology company. Columbia’s commitment to innovation runs throughout our entire product offering, and helps set us apart from the competition. Our family of Omni technologies have been designed with one thing in mind: your comfort. Whether it’s keeping you warm and dry, cool and comfortable, or moving fast and light, we’ve focused on serious solutions for a simple challenge: Enhancing your experience of the outdoors with the best products you can buy.”

I will be using a range of Columbia baselayer shirts and pants, fleece sweaters, gloves, balaclavas, socks, and light and heavyweight jackets during the race. These products incorporate a combination of Omni-Heat®, Omni-Dry®, Omni-Tech® and OutDry® technologies and will keep me warm and dry in Antarctica. In terms of footwear, I will be wearing the Columbia Conspiracy Outdry shoes. I have tested them for the first time over the past weekend and they felt very comfortable.

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I would like to thank Pieter Strobos of Columbia Sportswear for his support and Sarita Grobbelaar for all her patience and dedication in helping me to select the correct gear and footwear for the race.

Columbia’s motto is #TryingStuff, and I will definitely do justice to this with my run in Antarctica.

The weather in Cape Town is very pleasant and I hope to go for a nice run tomorrow afternoon.


I’m excited about the race in Antarctica and the challenge of raising R250 000 for Greenpeace Africa, and encourage you to support my efforts and the work of Greenpeace Africa!

Please make a donation and encourage others to do the same.

“Together we can make a difference!”

Follow updates about my preparations for The Last Desert Race, and work with Greenpeace Africa, on Facebook and Twitter, my daily blog, and via Greenpeace Africa’s  various online platforms.

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