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Kirsty 'up the Pole' swapping office comforts for the Arctic

PUBLISHED: 18:39 19 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:08 05 October 2010

Kirsty... practice run in Canary Wharf for her Arctic marathon

Kirsty... practice run in Canary Wharf for her Arctic marathon

LEAGAL eagle Kirsty Devonport is going up the Pole to run a gruelling race in the freezing snow. She's giving up the comfort of her 29th floor centrally-heated law firm office in London's Canary Wharf to run in the North Pole Marathon

By Mike Brooke

LEAGAL eagle Kirsty Devonport is going 'up the Pole' to run a gruelling race in the freezing snow.

She's giving up the comfort of her 29th floor centrally-heated law firm office in London's Canary Wharf to run in the North Pole marathon!

The 31-year-old who's been spending her lunch breaks training in Artic clothing and heavy snow shoes (pictured) joins a bunch of adventurers at the weekend on the first stage of a trip into the frozen north for the 26-mile circular course in temperatures as low as minus-30 Celsius.

"I needed to do something different after having done the London marathon twice," she says.

"So I Googled 'cool marathons' on my computer and came up with the 'World's Coolest Marathon' at the North Pole."

Kirsty arrives in Norway in Saturday, then flies out by helicopter from Norway on Tuesday with 25 select runners from around the world to their base camp at the North Pole.

They have to wait for weather conditions calm enough to run. Last year's run set off at 3am!

Meanwhile, she's had psychological training to prepare her for her testing task from sports psychologists who include her sister, Dr Tracey Devonport, building her mental toughness and emotional intelligence.

She even went through the paces in an 'environmental chamber' at Gloucestershire University which recreates the freezing North Pole conditions.

Oddly enough, you don't actually have too much clothing, just three thin layers including waterproof and windproof top and bottoms. There's a danger of getting hot while running, even in the Pole.

"I was sceptical walking out of Itchy Feet travel gear shop in Wardour Street with just one carrier bag of clothing," recalls the woman with itchy feet for adventure.

"But I went into the simulated chamber where my body temperature was monitored and was surprised at how warm you keep while running."

Kirsty isn't exactly sure where she's going when she gets there.

"We don't know the exact course because it can change even while we're running," she explained. "It all depends on whether cracks open up in the ice.

"We also have to watch out in case any polar bears wander that far north."

The Yorkshire lass who has lived in Aldgate in London's East End these past five years promised friends and family to take snaps at the Pole, but isn't sure her digital camera would work at sub zero temperatures.

"I got a spare disposable from Boot's, just in case," she added.

"But there's no guarantee that even a camera with film wouldn't freeze up."

Kirsty is aiming to raise £10,000 for Leukaemia Research. That's just under £400 for every freezing mile if she crosses the finishing line - wherever that might be.

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Kirsty 'goes north' can be sponsored online at:

www.justgiving.com/kirstygoesnorth

Details of the North Pole Marathon:

www.npmarathon.com

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