Freezer Woman

Reporter: Jacqui Quist

In an industrial freezer amongst the frozen prawns and hams, marathon runner Deborah de Williams prepares for the challenge of a lifetime.

It is the coldest, driest, windiest Continent on earth and in November 2013 Deborah will attempt a world first - "To be the first woman to ever, or first person to ever, run across the Continent of Antarctica -- so it is a pretty big feat", Deborah said.

"They say in summer can get up to minus 40 but on a good day minus 20 is what it will be, but don't forget there is no wind in here", Deborah said. Plenty have trekked across the icy Continent but no-one has ever run it but the prospect doesn't faze this 40 year old endurance veteran. "I hold two world records and one for the longest continuous walk by anyone on the planet. And I just obtained last May, the world record for the longest continuous run by a female", she said.

After a 10 month break, the former Tasmanian of the Year is back pounding the bitumen in the first stages of preparation for Antarctica. No stranger to extreme temperatures, Deborah has already walked 16,864 kilometres around Australia for 'Kids Helpline' -- her runners melting in 54 degree heat, she's beaten breast cancer and run around Australia for breast cancer research.

Along the way Deborah's faithful hound Maggie almost ended her marathon running career. "It took me one and a half laps to get around Australia -- I ran it just under 10,000 km. I tripped over Maggie and broke both my feet but I didn't know I broke my feet until 800 and something km later in Darwin and got told I'd never run again", Deborah said.

But there's no stopping Deborah. She's strapping on heavy boots for soft sand training in preparation for the frozen desert which is Antarctica. "There are times when you can't see more than two metres in front of you and there are going to be times when there is going to be storms -- I realise all that but at the end of the day its one foot in front of the other", Deborah said.Spurred on by the fact that 30 Australian women are diagnosed with breast cancer every day, Deborah hopes to raise $1 million for breast cancer research "You know I think anyone who isn't following their dreams and pursuing their goals and doing what they love to do, is mad", she said.

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