Team firefly™ Ambassador Richard Parks this year recorded the fastest ever solo, unsupported and unassisted journey to the South Pole by a Brit in history.
Richard visited the firefly™ team to tell us all about his record breaking expedition.
Richard Skiing in Antarctica during his recent record breaking expedition
Richard a former Welsh international rugby player and the first person to climb the highest mountain on each of the world’s 7 continents and stand on all 3 poles within 7 months as part of his 737 challenge described Antarctica as “the pinnacle of his career”.
Last year in preparation for this most recent expedition, Richard took part in three gruelling challenges, the World’s highest mountain bike race - The Yak Attack in Nepal, the Jungle Ultra Marathon in Peru and The Brutal - a double Ironman in Snowdonia, Wales. He told us; “the firefly™ has played a significant part in my journey and recovery strategies over the past 14 months ensuring I maintain peak condition and stay injury free”. He went on to explain that “I realised during the Yak Attack how important to my expeditions the firefly™ was going to be, starting each new day with minimal muscle soreness was invaluable”.
Richard during the Yak Attack in 2013
Richard (with filming crew) recovering with firefly™ during the Yak Attack race
Richard took only 3 pairs of firefly™ devices on his expedition in Antarctica “Every gram had to be accounted for and meticulous preparation went in to getting my kit down to 68kg, so much so that I considered leaving my toothbrush behind for my firefly™ devices.”
It was particularly interesting to hear how he used the devices during his expedition. Richard allowed himself treats every seventh day whilst in Antarctica. There were jelly bellies, a letter from home and his firefly™ devices! In fact he used the following protocol:
Day 6: 1 ½ hours
Day 7: 1 ½ hours
Day 8: Slept in the devices to use up battery
Day 13: 1 ½ hours
Day 14: 1 ½ hours
Day 15: Slept in the devices to use up battery
Day 20: 1 ½ hours
Day 21: 1 ½ hours
Day 22: Slept in the devices to use up battery
We were all really inspired by meeting Richard and hearing his tales of Antarctica and what motivates him to take on expeditions of this kind. You can be inspired by Richard to by listening to his interview with Eamon Holmes on his return to London and following him on Twitter @richardparks.
A new television series of Richard’s epic journey and following him during his year of brutal preparation and endurance races will be broadcast on Channel 5 later this year. We can’t wait!