Anaconda Man takes on the One Man Epic

(Posted - 28 Jan 2010)

Rapid Ascent’s charity partner, the Burnet Institute, is teaming up with the former race director of the Western Australian Anaconda Adventure Race, Tom Smitheringale, for his ‘One Man Epic’ expedition to the North Pole.

As a dedicated Adventure Racer, climber and now polar ice explorer, Tom is on a mission to reach the North Pole solo and unsupported, walking/climbing/swimming 700km in 60 days.

To put the difficulty of Tom’s challenge into perspective, in the last five years, five people have tried to do this journey, all failed and two died trying. Reinhold Messner rates it “10 times more difficult than climbing Mt Everest".

Competitors in the 2005 and 2006 Anaconda Adventure Race at Lorne and the Gold Coast would remember a giant orange-clad superhero by the name of ‘Anaconda Man’. Well we can now reveal that was none other than big Tom. And for those in the West, you can thank Tom for helping to establish what is now the world’s biggest adventure race in South-West WA.

Tom is undertaking the ‘One Man Epic’ expedition to help raise money for the Burnet Institute (hyperlink Whilst serving in the military in Africa many years ago, Tom witnessed immense suffering amongst the African people, and vowed to one day do something for those whose lives are devastated by infectious diseases such as HIV, malaria and TB.

In Tom’s words, “In Australia we have one of the world’s leading medical research institutes specialising in infectious diseases, the Burnet Institute. By making a tax-deductible donation to Burnet Institute, you will be supporting their mission of finding vaccines/cures for the world’s most serious diseases, and in so doing you’ll be supporting me in my goal of being the first Australian to reach the North Polo solo and unsupported."

Please go to to find out more and please donate generously.