Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Did Todd Carmichael set a record to the South Pole?

Gladwyne's Todd Carmichael walked alone across Antarctica to the South Pole in 39 days. It's not clear if the effort is a record.

Did Todd Carmichael set a record to the South Pole?

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Todd Carmichael, during his first trek to Antarctica in December 2004.
Todd Carmichael, during his first trek to Antarctica in December 2004.

You're complaining about a little walk from the bus to the office in today's zero-degree wind chill.

Check out this trek that I wrote about in today's Inquirer.

Gladwyne's Todd Carmichael -- co-owner of La Colombe coffee and husband of Lauren Hart -- walked about 700 miles from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole, dragging a 250-pound sled of supplies. He arrived Sunday afternoon, about 39 days later. He's the first American to do this.

Carmichael is safe at the Amudsen-Scott station at the pole, no doubt having had a great meal and several showers. The burning question is whether Carmichael beat the record for the solo/unassisted trip, which Hannah McKeand of Britain set in 2006. She did it in 39 days, 9 hours and 33 minutes.

A spokesman for explorersweb.com/adventurestats.com, which keeps records, told me today that the group is awaiting final word from Carmichael about his start/end times. Based on its preliminary reports, though, Carmichael may have missed the record by a mere 37 minutes! This is the polar-explorer equivalent of Michael Phelps' photo-finish win in the 100-meter butterfly over Serbia's Milorad Cavic in Beijing.

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Michael Klein, the editor/producer of philly.com/Food, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here.

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