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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 September, 2004, 08:50 GMT 09:50 UK
Scots duo to take on South Pole
Craig Mathieson and Fiona Taylor
Craig and Fiona will be the first all-Scottish team visit the South Pole
Two explorers are set to become the first all-Scottish team to trek to the South Pole.

Craig Mathieson, 35, of Buchlyvie, and Fiona Taylor, 36, of Dunfermline, will set out on their 730-mile Antarctic expedition on 1 November.

Their two-month journey will be the first time a dedicated Scottish team has undertaken such a challenge.

They aim to raise 1m for four Scottish charities as part of their 100,000-plus sponsored trek.

Childhood dream

The intrepid pair work for accountancy firm Ernst and Young and have been planning the trip for more than a year.

Their bosses have footed most of the bill for the adventure and thanks to a host of other sponsors they have gathered the necessary equipment and training to make sure their plans are a success.

The Scot 100 will attempt to trek 730 miles to the South Pole

Craig, who works as a consultant and is married with three children, said: "I've been wanting to do this since I was 12 and when I met Fiona on a leadership course last year I thought she was the sort of person I needed to do it.

"We know what we're doing, we've left nothing to chance and we've covered every eventuality dozens of times.

"At the moment we're feeling a mixture of excitement to be doing it, fear - which I always find is a very healthy thing to have - and we're certainly very proud to be doing it for Scotland.

"We're also very sad to be leaving our families and loved ones behind but they are all behind us."

The pair have been training for more than 12 months and will have to pull their own sledges full of hi-tech equipment every inch of the way.

But it has all been worth it as far as the duo are concerned and neither of them would go back on their decision to take a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

No regrets

Fiona, who works as a director and is an experienced outdoor enthusiast, said: "I don't want to look back on my life years from now with any regrets of missed opportunities, wondering 'what have I ever done?'"

The pair are running under the title of Scot 100 in memory of William Speirs Bruce who led the only Scottish team on a scientific expedition to the Antarctic exactly a century ago.

As part of their fundraising activities a charity ball is being held at Linlithgow Palace on Saturday evening in their honour with all funds raised going to Cancer Research UK Scotland, ChildLine Scotland, MS Society Scotland and the Scottish Huntingtons Association.

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