Town Fan Set for Record Polar Expedition
Friday, 11th Nov 2011 17:20
Town supporter Richard Smith is planning to become the first man to wear a Blues shirt at the South Pole when he sets off on a world record Antarctic expedition next week. Richard, 33, will be accompanying his friend Alan Lock, who if they make it will be the first blind person to walk the journey from the coast of the Antarctica to the South Pole.
Richard, who is from Milton Keynes but is currently living in Boston in the US, told TWTD about their epic journey: “Next week, I leave for Antarctica to be part of a world record-setting 570-mile expedition to the South Pole called Polar Vision.
“The record is that I will be accompanying my friend Alan Lock who will be the first blind person to walk the journey from the coast of the Antarctica to the South Pole.
“I set up Polar Vision with Alan, who suffers from Macular Degeneration, a disease which started to rapidly degrade his vision when he was only in his mid-twenties.
“At the time Alan was an officer in the Royal Navy but despite this setback he has completed a number of achievements, most notably running the Marathon des Sables, setting a world record for rowing across the Atlantic and completing his MBA at UC Berkeley Haas.”
Andrew, Alan and Richard
Richard, whose family originally hail from Felixstowe, says the aim of the three-man expedition, American Andrew Jensen completes the team, is to show that visual impairment doesn’t prevent people from achieving remarkable feats: “We are firstly trying to tell a good news story – the tagline of our expedition is ‘Seeing beyond limits’, which is something that I think most people can relate to.
“For those who are visually impaired, especially when this afflicts them in the prime of their life, it can seem as if so much of life is taken away from them. Alan’s story proves otherwise.”
As for Town, Richard says he will show his support by wearing his shirt at the completion of their trek and hopes the Blues will have made a journey of their own by the time he returns home: “I'm planning to be wearing my Town shirt at the Pole.
“When I call my parents from Antarctica, the first thing my Dad and I will discuss are the Town scores. I expect Town to be safely in the play-off places by the time I come back in late January!”
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