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Sam Eve, 26, from Felixstowe, Suffolk, Tori James, 23 from Pembrokeshire, Wales and Felicity Aston, 27 from Hildenborough, Kent - the Pink Lady® PoleCats – have become the first ever all female team to complete the Scott Dunn Polar Challenge – considered to be the toughest race on earth.

They completed the 360-mile race and reached the North Magnetic Pole* just before midnight last night (Thursday May 5), achieving 6th place out of 16 teams thanks to a ‘sprint finish’ to pass two other male teams.

They briefly celebrated by waving a slightly threadbare Union Jack flag that Felicity took with her to the South Pole when she worked for the British Antarctic Survey.

Speaking briefly on a satellite phone before returning to Resolute Bay in Canada, Felicity Aston said, “Our first emotion is relief that we haven’t let any of our many supporters back home down, relief that all the money pledged for charity will be safely in the bank and relief that after a year of training and preparation we have made it – all three of us. Tori James is the youngest woman to ever complete the Polar Challenge race.

“The excitement of it all is starting to kick in. We are quite exhausted as we made a conscious decision to only sleep for one hour in the last 36 hours of the race because we wanted to pass two other teams we could see ahead of us.

Tori James added, “The team cannot wait to celebrate with everyone back home, our sponsors Pink Lady apples, who are absolutely delighted for us, our patron Caroline Hamilton and everyone who has worked so hard to make this possible.

“We want to tell the world how we feel but will have to wait for the plane to pick us up and take us back home. I’m not sure how we are going to be able to contain ourselves!

“Celebrations will start with a hot shower and a fresh set of clothes followed by a delicious meal!”

The Pink Lady PoleCats are the only all-women’s team taking part in this year’s internationally-renowned competition. The race involves 16 international teams of three people trekking in temperatures as low as -40°C with skis and hauling their own heavy sledges over shifting frozen sea ice. Throughout the arduous trek was the danger of encountering polar bears, which are at the top of the food chain in the frozen Arctic wilderness. There was also the risk of falling through thin shifting ice into treacherously freezing water.

The young women, who are sponsored by Pink Lady apples, managed to complete the race in just 13 days, averaging over 27 miles of travel each day.

Andy Macdonald from Pink Lady Apples said, “Anyone who has met the girls will know they all have star quality but their achievement is quite astonishing. They are an inspiration to us all about what can be accomplished through gritty determination, training and a desire to get the most out of life. They are quite an amazing bunch of ladies.”

The women are raising awareness and funds for the charities Breakthrough Breast Cancer and The British Schools Exploring Society (BSES), where both Sam Eve and Tori James work. Thanks to the generosity of their supporters, are set to raise over £20,000 for the two charities.


Please visit:
www.pinkladypolecats.co.uk
www.polar-challenge.com

- Ends -

* North Magnetic Pole position in 1996

New high resolution photographs of the Pink Lady® Polecats available on request – including pictures of the team in the frozen wilderness

It is currently anticipated that the women will return back to the UK on Monday May 9. Further details to follow.

Please contact Elodie Massol (020 7569 3043 / elodie@yesconsultancy.com) or Tina Fotherby (202 7569 3042 / tina@yesconsultancy.com) at The YES Consultancy for further information or interview requests.

Editor’s notes:

Tori James, 23, from Pembrokeshire, Wales, is office manager at BSES Expeditions, whose head office is in London.

Sam Eve, 26, from Felixstowe, Suffolk is marketing manager for BSES Expeditions, whose head office is in London.

Felicity Aston, 27, from Hildenborough, Kent is a travel writer who has extensive polar experience having worked for British Antarctic Survey.

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