One Man, 20 Million Steps

Pole to Pole by Pat Farmer

I couldn’t believe after reading this book how I hadn’t heard about Pat Farmer or his amazing feat earlier. In 2011 he ran all the way from the North Pole to the South Pole in around 10 months 13 days or something close, ridiculously fast.

He documented his whole journey with a diary and also with video footage and photos to forever capture the ups and downs he experienced along the way.

The book is separated into chapters logging each leg of Pat’s journey through each country he has to travel through. It is written in a diary type of format including additional informational panels to explain running specific terminology and extra tid bits along the way. The book has numerous photo sections printed in brilliant colours which breaks up the text and enables you to really feel apart of the book. This makes it an easy and interesting read, especially for someone who may already have an interest in running or who likes true life adventure stories and who might not really like long winded books.

The prologue states that Pat had thought to leave the book unpublished for fear of putting readers off running, or for fear that certain aspects might bust the bubble that it was an easy task for him, but this fact clearly makes the book more appealing.

Personally I found the down to earth, no holds barred approach that Pat takes in his writing refreshing and a real testament

Filled with plenty of colourful pictures for the not so dedicated reader.

to how mentally strong he is. Learning about the difficulties he faced country to country and looking at all the pictures really opens the readers eyes to the dangers and preparation needed for such an adventure. Not only did Pat have to run through deserts, ice, snow, torrential rains, jungles and strong winds, but he also had to protect himself from confrontations, kidnappings, break ins and violence with Drug Cartels, Local Militia’s and armed bandits.

Many times throughout the book you question wether Pat’s dedication is admirable or just plain insane as you read about near misses and near death experiences he often has. But either way, no matter how far away those dangers seem in reality to the reader you can’t help but be jealous of the heart and passion of Pat Farmer as an everyday person, Red Cross Ambassador and as a runner.

Overall it’s an amazing journey, and an educational book that is a must read for all long distance runners and wanna be adventurers that doesn’t skip on the gorey details or hardships about a trip of such magnitude.