De Williams is training for something no one has ever done, to raise money for breast cancer research.
In an industrial freezer, amongst the frozen prawns and hams, marathon runner Deborah de Williams prepares for the challenge of a lifetime.
On the coldest, driest, windiest continent on earth, de Williams will attempt a world first in November next year.More stories from Today Tonight
She plans to be “the first woman to ever, or first person to ever, run across the Continent of Antarctica - so it is a pretty big feat.”
According to de Williams, “in summer can get up to minus 40, but on a good day minus twenty is what it will be.
Plenty have trekked across the icy continent but no one has ever run it. However the prospect doesn’t faze this 40 year old endurance veteran.
“I hold two world records and one for the longest continuous walk by anyone on the planet. And I just obtained last May, the world record for the longest continuous run by a female,” she said.
After a ten month break, the former Tasmanian of the Year is back pounding the bitumen in the first stages of preparation for Antarctica. No stranger to extreme temperatures, de Williams has already walked 16,864 kilometres around Australia for Kids Helpline - her runners melting in 54 degree heat.
She's beaten breast cancer and run around Australia for breast cancer research.
Along the way de Williams’s faithful hound Maggie almost ended her marathon running career.
“It took me one and a half laps to get around Australia - I ran it just under 10,000 kilometres. I tripped over Maggie and broke both my feet, but I didn’t know I broke my feet until 800 and something kilometres later in Darwin, and got told I'd never run again,” she said.
But there's no stopping de Williams. She’s strapping on heavy boots for soft sand training in preparation for the frozen desert which is Antarctica.
“There are times when you can’t see more than two metres in front of you, and there are going to be times when there is going to be storms. I realise all that, but at the end of the day it’s one foot in front of the other.”
Spurred on by the fact that 30 Australian women are diagnosed with breast cancer every day, de Williams hopes to raise $1 million for breast cancer research
“You know I think anyone who isn't following their dreams and pursuing their goals and doing what they love to do is mad,” she concluded.
- Running Pink - www.runningpink.com.au
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