Updated: Antarctic Speed Record Remains Unbeaten

Johanna Davidsson: Still number one. Photo: Johanna Davidsson

Wendy Searle and Jenny Davis set off separately in November to attempt new solo speed records from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole. On January 5, both women have passed 39 days on the ice, ending any hope of besting Johanna Davidsson’s sub-39 day record set in 2016.

Today, day 40, Searle has 105km to go. Davis’s tracker for day 40 puts her slightly further back, with 129km remaining. Both very respectable attempts, but not quite up to Davidsson’s mark.

In other Antarctic news, after completing his own solo run to the Pole, Tanel Tuuleveski has summited Mount Vinson. Tuuleveski topped out on January 2, completing an Antarctic double and ticking off the last of his seven summits.

Update: It appears that Jenny Davis is now having problems finishing the last degree to the South Pole. A thigh injury or rash has split open, and her one stove is not working very well and she is unable to fix it. In the polar regions, a stove is vital to melt snow for drinking water. Most polar trekkers bring two stoves and at least two pumps for this reason.


About the Author

Martin Walsh

Martin Walsh

Martin Walsh is a freelance writer and wildlife photographer based in Da Lat, Vietnam.

A history graduate from the University of Nottingham, Martin's career arc is something of a smörgåsbord. A largely unsuccessful basketball coach in Zimbabwe and the Indian Himalaya, a reluctant business lobbyist in London, and an interior design project manager in Saigon.

He has been fortunate enough to see some of the world. Highlights include tracking tigers on foot in Nepal, white-water rafting the Nile, bumbling his way from London to Istanbul on a bicycle, feeding wild hyenas with his face in Ethiopia, and accidentally interviewing Hezbollah in Lebanon.

His areas of expertise include adventure travel, hiking, wildlife, and half-forgotten early 2000s indie-rock bands.

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