Ultra-marathon runner and multiple record holder, Pat Farmer, thrilled guests at St Joseph’s College with the inspiring tale of his recent 21,000 kilometre run from the North Pole to the South Pole.
More than 100 guests attended the College’s Books and Blokes Breakfast on 13 May, at which Pat Farmer spoke about accomplishing one of the greatest feats in human history. His journey, which started at the North Pole in April 2011 and concluded nine months later at the South Pole, was the longest and arguably the most dangerous run ever completed.
The journey, which was to raise funds for clean water programs for Red Cross International, saw Farmer run an average of 65 kilometres every day, some days clocking up than 100 kilometres. He travelled through blizzards and blazing deserts, and evaded polar bears,snakes, crocodiles and rogue militias. He defied unimaginable pain, suffered dehydration and stress injuries and almost destroyed his feet. Toward the end of his journey, while being blasted by ferocious winds and minus 40-degree temperatures, he set a new running record for the South Pole.
The St Joseph’s Books and Blokes events are part of the College’s year-long commitment to encourage boys to discover the joy of reading. Conducted in conjunction with the National Year of Reading, these events bring boys, dads, grandads and male staff members together with a special guest author to discuss their favourite books. Previous guests have included media personality Andrew Daddo, Western Force captain and Australian Wallaby, David Pocock, and Executive Producer of Sport at ninemsn, Lance Peatey.
In his book about the epic run, Pole to Pole: One Man, 20 Million Steps, Farmer chronicles the highs and lows of his journey and reveals how he kep tgoing through some of the most inhospitable places on earth. At the Books and Blokes breakfast, Farmer said he faced many obstacles when writing the book. He had been determined to record his thoughts at the end of each day of running, however some days he was so exhausted he would fall asleep while writing. He said although he was being filmed along the way, the filming could not access his thoughts or the desperation he often felt and he continued to write every day so others could intimately share his journey.
Farmer encouraged the boys to seek out new and different books that would teach them about the world and its people, and provide answers to many questions. “If you are feeling lonely or insecure, you can take comfort in a book and often find out how other people have dealt with similar situations to that which you might be facing,” he said.
St Joseph’s College’s next Books and Blokes event will feature ABC radio presenter, journalist and author Richard Glover.
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