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Last Updated: Monday, 2 April 2007, 15:56 GMT 16:56 UK
North Pole marathon on new hips
Steve Boswell
WO Boswell is thought to be the first to compete with new hips
An army instructor who has just had both his hips replaced is planning to tackle the North Pole Marathon.

Warrant Officer Steve Boswell, 39, is a physical training instructor at Whittington Barracks in Lichfield.

He needed two hip operations in the past two years and feared he would never return to his active lifestyle.

But thanks to the latest medical technology he plans to be among the 45 runners competing in -45C (-49F) temperatures on the ice cap on 6 April.

The procedure WO Boswell underwent involves resurfacing the top of the thigh bone with a metal cap supported with a metal cup in the pelvis.

Just a year ago I was confined to my bed unable to move and in some discomfort
Steve Boswell, North Pole Marathon competitor

Corin, the company behind it, say because the joint is longer lasting and more stable than conventional hip replacements it allows younger patients to return to their previous activities.

"This will be an awesome achievement if Steve completes the race," said Iain Dunbar, from the firm, which is based in Cirencester, Gloucester.

Dubbed the planet's most extreme run, the North Pole Marathon is a 26.2 mile (42.1km) run on top of 4m of ice.

Steve Boswell's new hip joint
The new technology is called hip resurfacing

WO Boswell says if he finishes he will become the first man in the world to run the event with two new hips.

"The thought of competing in this challenge is just absolutely mind boggling," he said.

"Just a year ago I was confined to my bed unable to move and in some discomfort. I can vividly remember thinking I'd never be able to do anything extreme again.

"It's been a long and hard slog but I'm a very determined person. This procedure has given me a new lease of life."

He will be joined on his run by army colleagues Sean and Rob Greaves.

All three are raising money for The Stroke Association and The Royal Star and Garter, which looks after injured service men and women.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Stephen Boswell is confident about the run



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