Beast from the East is pussycat for Arctic conqueror Steve

THE Beast from the East and Storm Emma may have turned Shaw and Crompton into a set from Frozen.
And the icy blast from Siberia may even have closed his school for two days.

Steve on his Arctic Ice Ultra Marathon

But St Joseph’s RC School teacher Steve Hill was positively glowing as temperatures plummeted.
After all, what’s minus five and minus six when you’ve endured minus 30, minus 40 and worse for more than a week.
Steve’s spent his half-term ‘holiday’ competing in the Arctic Ice Ultra Marathon, a journey of more than 230 kilometres through northern Sweden.
Just a few days after surviving frostbite, hypothermia and sleep deprivation, he found Britain smashed by snow, ice and gale force winds.
“It felt quite balmy to me,” laughed Steve. “I am not sure what people were grumbling about.
“It was nice it followed me back. It must have got attached to me.
“At least people haven’t yet started calling me the Beast from the East.”
Joking aside, Steve admitted his latest adventure was his toughest yet.
This from a man who has scaled Mount Kilimanjaro, completed the Mount Everest marathon, ran through a baking desert and last year finished six marathons in five days in the Amazon!
“It was a stunning place and an epic adventure,” he told the Correspondent. “But I did find it hard.
“A word that kept popping into my head was ‘hellish.’ They were long, long days of 15-17 hours at -35, -40 degrees.
“It was a real slog and grind. I just had to break it down into small manageable goals
“One step at a time, left foot, right foot repeat. One hour at a time, one mile at a time.
“On average it took me two and half hours to cover 10K.

The Northern Lights

“Stage one was 60kK stage two was 45K, stage 3 45K, stage four was 65K, stage five was a 15K sprint. I can assure you there wasn’t much sprinting.
“There were 24 of us from around the world who started. By the end of stage two, 10 had pulled out.
“It just brought it home to you how brutal and severe conditions were.
“There was a record amount of snowfall for that time of year.
“Stage one brought a record low temperature, stage two then became another record and stage three became the coldest it had ever been.
“The indigenous Sami people who were part of our back up racing team were shaking their heads.
“They kept telling us we were bonkers to be out in those conditions because they wouldn’t even be herding reindeers in those temperatures.
“The jungle was tough last year because it was the first time I had done any multi stage racing. And I learned a lot of lessons from that.
“I thought how could it be matched for toughness but and I do think this just pipped it.
“All my challenges have been difficult but this was the toughest.”

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