Kirsty Devonport is planning to strap a pair of snowshoes to her feet and run the 26.2 miles on ice in temperatures of around -30 degrees Celsius.
The 31-year-old is undertaking the tough challenge on Wednesday, March 26, 2008 to raise money for Leukaemia Research.
Kirsty, from London, is receiving psychological training to prepare her for her testing task from University of Wolverhampton sports psychologists Andy Lane and Tracey Devonport – who is Kirsty’s sister.
The School of Sport, Performing Arts and Leisure lecturers are helping Kirsty to prepare for the gruelling marathon bydeveloping a personalised intervention programme including mental toughness and emotional intelligence. This is being done with help from colleagues at the University of Gloucestershire, who have provided access to their environmental chamber.
Professor Lane and Dr Devonport said: “Kirsty is a competent and experienced marathon runner, who completes the distance in an average time of three hours 30 minutes. However, the North Pole presents conditions she has not encountered before. We are working in collaboration with the University of Gloucestershire to assist her preparations via simulation training.
“We are using an environmental chamber to recreate the conditions of the North Pole as closely as possible. We are monitoring Kirsty’s behaviours to optimise her psychological preparation for, and response to, these conditions.”
Kirsty, who works at Clifford Chance, said: “I am trying to raise £10,000 for Leukaemia Research and will be funding the entire trip from my own pocket to ensure that all the sponsorship will go to the charity. The sponsorship is what motivates me to get up early to train, particularly when it is dark, wet and cold outside!”