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Engineers in polar challenge

Tired of the rat race? Want to try something cooler, but much tougher? Two young civil engineers felt that way and have also decided to take brief sabbaticals to complete the 2008 Polar Challenge – to walk to the North Pole.

Naturally, the event is gruelling. It involves teams of three, hiking 560km across frozen pack ice, among 80% of the world's polar bear population, from Resolute on Cornwallis Island to the site of the 1996 North Pole. The trekkers will then have to walk on to an abandoned airstrip where they will be picked up, at Issachen Mine.

Each competitor drags a sledge twice their body weight but stop at three checkpoints along the way.

Teams are trained in Wales and Norway before they head off. "Our target for raising money for WaterAid is £40,000, and we're working in numerous ways to achieve as much of this as possible.

"This includes training in public shaking collection buckets, giving lectures on the race and assemblies in schools, running marathons and triathlons dressed as penguins and a lots more," said Arctic hopeful Mike Woolliscroft, a construction manager from Taylor Woodrow, who together with colleague Richard Wall-Morris, another construction manager, and friend Connie Potter, make up the 'Lost Penguins' team.
Costs to enter are £54,000 per team. The Lost Penguins are looking for corporate sponsors or individuals to help them realise their goal of dodging polar bears on virgin snow.

But: "We are committed to funding ourselves completely should it be necessary," said Woolliscroft.

To donate, go to here, and for more information, go here.

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