A British Army officer has set the record for most of the Antarctic expedition miles after being the second person in history to hike across the frozen continent without help.
The 925-mile mission, along with its previous expeditions to the continent, means that Captain Lou Rudd, 49, surpasses a total of 3,000 miles of human travel in the Antarctic.
The triple father from Hereford ended the grueling endurance race on Friday in 56 days, two days after US researcher Colin O'Brady became the first person in history to cross the continent without help.
Rudd, a transport officer from the Brecon Infantry Fighting School in Wales, said he was pleased with the completion of the expedition he had undertaken to commemorate his close friend and explorer Henry Worsley, who died just 50 miles from exhaustion from the record solo crossing in the United States Year 2016.
He said, "My top priority and my goal was to come here and go solo, with no support and support across the continent, and I have. That has always been the primary goal.
"I would like to congratulate Colin – what a performance. To be honest, it's a small miracle that both of us have made a journey that has been tried before, but no one has ever succeeded, and then we tried it in a squadron of two of us. The fact that we are both done is absolutely fantastic. "
Rudd pulled a 140kg sled through 60 mph, temperatures below minus 30 degrees Celsius and over Sastrugi – wave-like ridges created by the wind – and survived a grazing bag of chocolate, nuts, cheese and salami.
"For me, the most important thing is that I completed my expedition – and I honored Henry's memory by carrying his family crest across the Antarctic. I know he appreciated that. That's really important to me.
"And we both did it very fast. Incredible fast. I finished it within a few days by a professional athlete and I'm very happy with it. "
The Army officer documented his Spirit of Endurance expedition in blog posts since he began on November 3, and described his coping methods during the brutal journey, such as a Winston Churchill audio book and a 1980s music playlist.