Philly Man Walks to South Pole in Record Time

Todd Carmichael breaks old mark by more than an hour

With Christmas looming, Philadelphia coffee roaster Todd Carmichael got as far from Santa Claus as possible, walking all the way to the South Pole.

Carmichael, co-owner of La Colombe coffee company, finished the journey from the edge of Antarctica to the bottom of the world Sunday, according to He made the 700-mile trek in 39 days, 7 hours and 49 minutes, shaving an hour and 44 minutes off the old record, set in 2006 by Briton Hannah McKeand.

In addition to being the fastest to make the trip, Carmichael is also the first American to do it solo, as well as the oldest. Along the way, Carmichael dragged a 250-pound sled to elevations as high as 10,000 feet.

Footage From Carmichael's First Attempt

"I can only imagine how depleted he is, but from his voice on the phone, you'd never know it," Carmichael's wife, Lauren Hart, told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "He thought he could do it, but deep down, when you get down into that kind of situation, I think that he must have been thinking a few times, 'What am I doing here?'"

Wayne Moore, a physician's assistant working at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, posted an update to, Carmichael's Web site:  "To all his very concerned friends and family, he has made a rapid recovery from the trip and has become a local hero at the station."

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