South pole-bound runner makes Valley, Matamoros pit stop
Sat, 30 Jul 2011 18:07:43 GMT —
A man's journey from the north pole to the south pole had him making a pit stops in the Rio Grande Valley and Matamoros.
Pat Farmer told Action4 News that he TMs crossing the western hemisphere to raise money and awareness for the Red Cross.
The Australian man crossed from Brownsville TMs Gateway International Bridge around 6 a.m. Saturday.
Farmer was greeted by members of the Mexican Red Cross, Matamoros government officials and a small number of runners.
The former Australian parliament member said he wants to draw donations but also set an an example for young people.
"So hopefully, they'll look at what I'm doing here and say, 'If that man can travel the world on foot, I imagine what I can do with my own life,'" Farmer said.
The south pole-bound runner and the others got a police escort as they cut through downtown Matamoros.
Farmer TMs route will take him over Tamaulipas highways known for drug cartel shootouts.
He and his team will spend the night about 90 miles south of the border in San Fernando.
It's the same place where authorities recently found 193 bodies in a series or mass graves.
Mexican government is providing a security detail but Farmer told Action 4 News that he TMs not letting anything stop him from reaching his goal.
"To inspire people and to them happy about themselves, their lives and to show them what they're capable of doing. So, I'm not interested in the negative side of anything on this planet," Farmer said.
Running about 42 miles a day, or the equivalent of two marathons a day, Farmer hopes to reach the south pole by February.
Farmer said he maintains his strength eating an 8,500 calorie diet that mostly consists of fish, vegetables and fruit.
Although he's never been to Mexico before, Farmer said his warm greeting in Matamoros is just a sign of good things to come.
"Mexican people are incredibly friendly," Farmer said. "They're very supportive. I have many Mexican friends back home in Australia and I know that this will be a wonderful part of the journey."
For more information about the Pole To Pole Run: