IRISH marathon runner Richard Donovan is on course to attempt an unprecedented 1000-mile run across Antarctica later this year.
The 49-year-old is currently closing in on completion of a 3,100-mile run across America – from San Francisco to New York – as part of a training regime to prepare for his Antarctica ordeal.
Donovan has a history of extravagant running feats, having completed the first marathon-length run in the North Pole, while he also won the first South Pole Marathon in 2002.
With less than 500 miles to go in America, he is due in New York by September 5 after setting off in May and, all being well, the Galway native will commence his run across Antarctica in November.
Speaking from Ohio, the seasoned ultra-runner says his preparation run is as much about mental strength as it is about physical condition.
He said: "People might think why run across the US to prepare for something in Antarctica, but a lot of it is to do with the mental process you go through.
"The toughness and development is applicable to any climate. It's all about toughening up and looking at distances in a different way."
Donovan, who ran seven marathons across seven continents in less than six days in 2009, is tracking his progress in the US via GPS, while a support car pursues his route.
He originally signalled his plans to become the first man to run coast-to-coast across Antarctica via the South Pole in 2009, naming it “the final frontier of endurance running.”
And now the incredible challenge, which will be attempted in temperatures of -50 degrees and at altitudes of up to 9,300 feet, is edging closer to commencing.