What is Run Antarctica?

Ultra-marathon runner and pain scientist, Donna Urquhart, embarked on the ultimate endurance challenge and set a new Guinness World Record for the longest Polar Ultramarathon at Union Glacier Camp in Antarctica from 15th Dec 2023 to 14th Jan 2024.

Through her experience of running in the coldest, windiest and driest desert on earth, pushing through sub-zero temperatures and winds of up to 100km/hr, Donna is now sharing evidence-based strategies on how it possible to push the boundaries of what we think is possible for ourselves with a combination of mental and physical strength.

Project Run Antarctica

Where: Union Glacier Camp, Antarctica
When: 15 Dec 2023 to 14 Jan 2024

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More than just a record

“Run Antarctica is about doing something that we are passionate about and discovering what humans are capable of, but equally, it is about showing other females what is possible for them and empowering them through training their minds and bodies to explore their own possibilities”

— Donna Urquhart

What is the aim?

We aim to empower females in sports by achieving a Guinness World Record for the longest polar run in Antarctica, providing positive and inspiring role models, and educating and empowering young girls and women through a holistic approach of integrating mental and physical training. Join us in our mission to create a brighter future for the next generation of female athletes.

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Do one

To achieve a Guinness World Record for the longest polar run of 1300 km in Antarctica.

See one

To provide positive and inspirational role models for young girls and women showing what can be achieved when both mental and physical strength is harnessed.

Teach one

To educate girls and women to develop a love of sport and discover what is possible for them through a holistic approach to sport.

Meet the team

Donna Urquhart

Ultra-Marathon Runner

Meet Donna Urquhart, a passionate ultra-marathon runner from Melbourne, Australia. With over 50 ultra-marathons under her belt, she has represented Australia at World and Asia Championships and conquered gruelling events like the 240km Coast to Kosciusko ultramarathon.

Donna is also an Associate Professor and pain scientist with over two decades of experience as a researcher, physiotherapist, and endurance athlete. Her expertise lies in integrating mental strategies with physical skills to optimize well-being and performance.

The Journal of Pain, 19(12), 1406 – 1415

Psychological Factors Associated With Ultramarathon Runners' Supranormal Pain Tolerance: A Pilot Study

December 2018

Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 37, 43 – 58

The psychology of ultra-marathon runners: A systematic review.

July 2018

Australian Journal of Psychology, 72(3), 235 – 247

Psychological characteristics associated with ultra-marathon running: An exploratory self-report and psychophysiological study.

February 2020

Rhys Newsome

  • Support Crew
  • Search & Rescue Squad Member
  • Endurance Athlete

Rhys is a husband and father and has a passion for coaching junior sport.

He is a senior Victorian Search and Rescue Squad member with expertise in alpine survival, over-snow vehicles, navigation and first-aid, and steep snow and ice rescue.

Since retiring from professional basketball, he has coached junior domestic and representative basketball and competed in endurance sports, including Hawaii World Ironman Triathlon Championships.

Over the past decade, Rhys has been Donna’s chief support crew in her ultra-marathons.

Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions

Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions (ALE) has over 30 years of experience in polar expeditions and is a leading provider of deep-field experiences, private retreats & logistical services in Antarctica. ALE will provide operations, logistical, meteorological and medical support at Union Glacier for Run Antarctica.

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Eric Phillips

Volunteer Project Advisor

Eric is an Australian polar explorer, adventurer and guide. He has completed ski expeditions across ice caps on Greenland, Ellesmere Island, Iceland, Svalbard and Patagonia. He was the first Australian, together with companion Jon Muir, to ski to the North Pole and the South Pole. Eric is co-founder and President of the International Polar Guides Association (IPGA).

Eric is a Project Advisor providing his expertise in conducting ‘foot’ expeditions and projects in polar environments.

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Andy Dubois

Ultra-Marathon Coach

Andy Dubois, is a highly experienced endurance coach who has been working with Australian and international athletes for over 20 years.

He has significant expertise in preparing athletes for multi-day ultra-marathons, such as Run Antarctica, that require running consistent mileage over weeks to months in challenging environments.

Andy works closely with Donna to prepare her physically and mentally for the Run Antarctica challenge.

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Anthony Lance

Physiotherapist and Volunteer Expedition Manager

Anthony is a physiotherapist with over 30 years of experience managing musculoskeletal pain and injuries in elite and amateur athletes. He is the Founder and Director of Southern Suburbs Physiotherapy Clinics in Melbourne (Australia). He has a special interest in managing and advising endurance athletes and has been working closely with Donna in preparation for her ultra-marathon events over the past 10 years. He is generously donating his time beyond the clinic to work in a volunteer capacity across all aspects of the expedition, including logistics and fundraising events.

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Paul Dykman

Digital Partner

Paul is a qualified engineer and the Founder of Quazic, a digital marketing agency specialising in website design & development.

Quazic provided a digital strategy and developed the website to kickstart the online launch of Run Antarctica with Donna. Paul continues to support the project by volunteering his time to help with digital strategy, website updates and systems/tools.

Paul is passionate about helping business owners leverage their strategies and vision through innovative digital solutions.

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Michelle Henderson

Volunteer Communication Strategist

Michelle Henderson is a media and communications specialist with a background in journalism. She has worked on communications, brand, fundraising and philanthropic strategy with some of Melbourne’s top health and medical research institutes, including Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Hudson Institute of Medical Research, the Peter Doherty Institute, Melbourne Genomics and the VCCC Alliance. She is an endurance runner and ran her first marathon in 2023. Michelle has developed the media strategy in the lead up to and during the challenge and is ready to take your call for interviews with Donna!

Annie Ting

Volunteer Project Manager

Annie is a mum of three kids and chauffeurs them around to their many sporting pursuits. She is a strong believer that active kids are happier kids.  She is an AFL Junior Coach and has a passion to help girls become resilient future leaders through sport.

Annie is an Engineering Manager with over 15 years in Project Management experience and will be working with Donna to help provide project stewardship to ensure the team is well-prepared for the many challenges along the way.  She is also excited to collaborate with Donna on the outreach programs with schools, sports clubs and corporations.

Gaby Villa

Volunteer Sports Nutritionist and Dietitian

Gaby is a sports nutritionist, dietitian, and founder of IntensEATfit. She specialises in optimising performance for ultra-endurance athletes by making food their best ally in sport and life. Over the past decade, Gaby has supported hundreds of athletes, including current backyard ultra world record holder Phil Gore, to overcome lack of energy and gut upset so they can fuel their bodies with confidence and race to their full potential.

After overcoming her struggles with body image and weight concerns for several years, Gaby has witnessed and lived the benefits of seeing food beyond its nutrients.

Gaby is on a mission to empower people to fuel with purpose while building a happy and strong body. She strives to contribute to a world that enables and promotes a healthy and active lifestyle for everybody.

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Trevor Gurr

Trevor is the father of 3 daughters (and 1 son), all of whom have kept up their sporting activities through their teenage years and into adulthood. He has been actively involved with all as a coach, team manager, program organizer and huge fan. In particular, he has implemented programs that focused on the development of young female sailors which were run by female coaches and mentors.

Trevor has been heavily involved in sport all his life as an athlete, coach and administrator, competing up to an international level. He took up distance running 5 years ago and competes in events up to half marathon.

Trevor has a background in management and project management across a few industries and, after seeing Donna present her vision, was inspired to get involved and bring whatever skills he could to help ensure its success.

Cherie Horne

Volunteer Expedition Advisor

Cherie Horne is a former Australian junior world-class middle/long distance runner; having won national track and cross-country titles over 3,000m and 10,000m.

She is also an accomplished high-altitude mountaineer and one of Australia’s leading mountain trekking guides. She has climbed 5 of the ‘7 Summits of the World’ and many mountains across continents. She also has 10+ years’ experience as a Kathmandu gear tester and clothing expert. Cherie is a natural motivator, leader, and communicator who has a unique ability to inspire people to embrace challenges, explore their potential and overcome their fears.

Cherie is volunteering her time as an Expedition Advisor, providing her expertise in selection of gear for the world record attempt and the support team at camp.

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