Ice challenge as Paula takes on South Pole

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IT IS the coldest, driest and windiest place on earth, but that is not going to stop warmhearted Paula Reid from crossing it off her bucket list.

The inspirational lady is taking on a 580-mile cross-Antarctic challenge to raise money for charity.

Paula Reid, 47, from Alverstoke, is walking the full distance of the South Pole. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (142517-5461)

Paula Reid, 47, from Alverstoke, is walking the full distance of the South Pole. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (142517-5461)

She hopes to raise money and awareness for Gutsy Gastros, a charity that helps children with chronic bowel, intestinal and gastric disorders, after she found out two friends had children affected by the conditions.

Not only that, Paula, 47, has set herself a list of 140 things to do before she dies and the unstoppable adventurer has already ticked off 108 of them, including sailing round the world, writing three books and climbing a volcano.

Paula, of St Marks Road, Alverstoke, said: ‘People love the bucket list.

‘They are pretty amazed that I have sailed around the world, but there’s normal stuff on the list too, such as buying a round of drinks for a pub full of strangers.

‘But the South Pole is the biggy.’

Paula, who runs her own leadership development company, originally set herself 100 things to do, but as she reached that quicker than expected, she added another 40 things to the list, including skiing the South Pole.

Paula said: ‘It’s all about inspiring people, that’s the best bit. You can do anything that you want to do.’

Now Paula is in training for the challenge of a lifetime and can often be seen pulling two tyres around Alverstoke as she prepares for pulling a sled on the icy mission.

If Paula completes the Antarctic challenge, which she leaves for on November 14, she will be one of an elite group of 313 people, who have skied to the South Pole from different starting points.

Paula’s expedition will take her from the Messner Start to the South Pole, a route completed by just 58 people.

Along her journey, which should take 38 days, she will spend up to 12 hours a day traversing through remote, freezing terrain with temperatures as low as minus 40.

But positive Paula is taking everything in her stride.

‘The main thing is inspiration,’ she said. ‘As the charity is for kids and teens, it is worthwhile.

‘There are lots of other charities, but I think it is the turn of the bowel, I am just glad I am able to do my bit.’