Wed, Sep 15, 2010 - Page 17 News List

Aussie marathon man to run from North to South poles 澳洲超馬選手將跑步縱貫南北極

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An Australian ultra-marathon athlete who holds records for the fastest run around his own country and across its vast desert center yesterday launched a bid to run non-stop from the North to the South pole.

Pat Farmer, once dubbed Australia’s “Forrest Gump,” aims to raise US$100 million for Red Cross water and sanitation programs during his 21,000-km journey through 14 countries in the Americas.

“I believe I’m born with a gift,” Farmer, 48, told AFP.

“My gift is to be able to run long distances faster and perhaps further than any other person on Earth, so I figure I’d be a fool if I had this gift and didn’t use it.”

Though the trip has been some 10 years in the making, Farmer said it was a recent trip to southeast Asia that inspired him to dedicate it to the Red Cross.

“I saw children covered with needlestick injuries in a dump trying to break syringes down to sell the metal inside for bottles of water,” he said.

“It was a heartbreaking turning point for me.”

His 11-month voyage will take him from freezing tundra through the tropics, and Farmer expects to go through more than 40 pairs of shoes and 300 pairs of socks.

“This is by far the greatest challenge of my life,” he said, adding that he had been training “like a man possessed.”

“To be quite honest with you I don’t know if I can run from the North pole to the South pole,” said Farmer, who also served for a decade as an Australian government MP.

“But I do know that I can run for 80km, or 85km or 90km or 100km a day and I do know that I can get up the next morning and do the same thing the next day.

“I will take it one day at a time and I will achieve this enormous goal.”

Farmer’s run starts at the North pole in March and will continue through Canada, the US, Mexico and 10 South American countries before he arrives in Argentina to be airlifted to the final South Pole leg.(afp)

澳洲一位超級馬拉松選手,保有在自己國內廣大的沙漠跑得最快的頭銜,昨日對自己下新戰帖,將挑戰從北極跑到南極的壯舉。

派特•法爾莫曾被喻為「澳洲阿甘」。他的目標是透過這一趟兩萬一千公里,穿越美洲十四個國家的旅程,替紅十字會的水與環境衛生計畫募集一億美元。

四十八歲的法爾莫跟法新社說,「我相信我有個與生據來的天賦。」

「我的天賦就是能夠鍥而不捨,比世界上任何人能更快地跑很長的距離。所以我如果擁有這項天賦而不用的話,那我就是個笨蛋。」

雖然這項壯舉籌畫已有十年,法爾莫表示讓他下決定把它獻給紅十字會的,是最近的一趟東南亞之旅。

他說,「我看到孩童在垃圾堆裡,為了得到購買幾瓶水的錢,從注射器取下金屬針頭而將身體多處扎傷。」

「對我而言,這是個錐心之痛的轉折點。」

這長達十一個月的旅程,他將從寒冷的北極凍原,穿過南北迴歸線。而法爾莫預計將耗損四十多雙鞋,以及三百雙左右的襪子。

他說,「這無疑地是我畢生最大的挑戰,」又說他為了達成目標「著了魔似的」訓練。

曾經擔任澳洲政府國會議員長達十年的法爾莫表示,「老實跟你說,我不知道是否能從北極跑到南極。」

「但我知道我能一天跑個八十公里,或八十五公里,或者一百公里,而且也知道隔天早上起得來,並且能夠繼續做同樣的事情。」

「我會一天一天完成該做的事情,並且會達成這個巨大的目標。」

法爾莫三月將從北極出發,並且會走過加拿大、美國、墨西哥,以及十個南美洲國家,最後到達阿根廷,並搭飛機完成南極的最後一個行程。(法新社�翻譯:吳岱璟)

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