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Former Royal Anglian ready for world record race

PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 March 2010 | UPDATED: 15:19 14 July 2010

Former Royal Anglian Regiment officer, Ian Couch, in training at Pulham Market for his trek across the 500-mile Greenland ice cap.

Former Royal Anglian Regiment officer, Ian Couch, in training at Pulham Market for his trek across the 500-mile Greenland ice cap.

Adam Gretton

He has served in some of the most hostile parts of the world and become one of a select few to have rowed three ocean crossings.

But a former Royal Anglian Regiment soldier is set to take on one of his toughest challenges next month when he embarks on a world record race in sub-zero temperatures.

He has served in some of the most hostile parts of the world and become one of a select few to have rowed three ocean crossings.

But a former Royal Anglian Regiment soldier is set to take on one of his toughest challenges next month when he embarks on a world record race in sub-zero temperatures.

Ian Couch had risen to the rank of major after 17 years with the army regiment, but left two years ago to pursue a career in endurance adventure activities.

The 40-year-old from Pulham Market, near Diss, is now hoping to break a new world record by skiing and running 600km across the Greenland Icecap in 12 days.

The father-of-two has been preparing for the gruelling challenge and minus 50C conditions by dragging a tractor tyre across his home village during the comparatively mild British big freeze.

Mr Couch, who has completed two rows across the Atlantic, one across the Indian Ocean, and a run across the Gobi Desert since leaving the army, said he hoped to inspire other people to take on endurance running, rowing, polar, and mountain events.

The former major, who served in Northern Ireland and Bosnia before becoming an army trainer, aims to begin his latest trek on April 20 with friend Ben Thackwray. They are braced to ski and run 18 hours a day with a heavy sledge from the east to west of the Greenland Icecap after aborting an attempt last year after Mr Thackwray suffered a frostbitten hand.

Mr Couch, who grew up in Costessey and attended Norwich School, set up the Adventure Hub activity company in 2008 after leaving the Royal Anglian Regiment.

He became hooked on endurance events after completing a five man row across the Atlantic two years ago and is set to receive his first Guinness world record certificate later this year after being involved in the fastest crew to row across the Indian Ocean last May.

“It is like a drug and I get so much pleasure from it and am so lucky. I am trying to make a living from it, but if I can try and help people realise their dreams they will find they are capable of much more.”

“We have a finite lifespan and there are lots of things to do and see. The military training has been an enormous help and has helped me to push on when I've been cold, tired and under stress. It has become second nature to me,” he said.

To follow the record attempt, visit www.adventurehub.com.

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