Lieutenant Scott Sears of the First Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles has returned to the UK and spoken to the press for the first time since reaching the South Pole unassisted.

Speaking to Forces News he said: "[It's] very, very nice to be back and get plenty of food in me, to be honest, that’s why I’m most excited about being home."

Describing the biggest challenge as the wind, he added: "It wasn’t that I had some massive storms with 150 mph winds that you can get down there.

"It was just a relentless headwind directly into my face at about 20 knots up to about 28 knots every day for about a month.

"The coldest I’ve ever been still, I’ll be honest, is in Brecon on my Platoon Commander’s Battle Course.

"So, you can go to Antarctica and Brecon is still the coldest place on Earth… That put me in very good stead to go down there."

He completed the 702-mile trek in 38 days, posting a victorious message to his blog on Boxing Day:

"After 38 days, Bessie and I have made it the pole and officially broken the world record as the youngest person ever to have reached the south pole solo, unsupported and unassisted."

The Bessie he refers to is the name of his trusty sled.

Bessie Sled
Credit: Antarctic Gurkha

Lt Sears - who is tennis star Andy Murray's brother-in-law - is 27 years old, and has beaten the previous record by two years.

Andy Murray's mum Judy congratulated him on Twitter.

The Guinness Book of Records has yet to confirm whether the feat will make it into the record books.

The east London-based brother of Kim Sears was pulling a sled weighing around 100kg containing all his food, fuel and equipment, and he was burning approximately 10,000 calories per day.

He covered the distance without help or resupply, but he said the term solo is "incredibly misleading".

"'Absolutely could not have done this without the help of my co-presenting sponsors The Shackleton Company and Juice Plus. Both have been instrumental in equipping and preparing me for this expedition."

Antarctic Gurkha 3
Credit: Antarctic Gurkha

On the penultimate day, Lt Sears said only snacks and music on his iPod kept him going after he found it hard to go on.

He wrote: "I couldn't have asked for better weather but well and truly hit a wall midway through the day. I wanted to make sure I was under 30km from the pole for a good finish tomorrow. At 38km left to go I hit the wall, I've never experienced anything like it, I would take a couple of steps and just stop, everything was just saying 'no more, not one more step'.

"I'm not sure what is more surreal, the fact I'm so close to finally reaching the pole or that the shortbread and pepperamis I bought from Asda in Shoreditch are still acceptable to eat after opening them at the start of November!"

Lt Sears has raised more than £33,500, above his original £25,000 target, for the Gurkha Welfare Trust to help rebuild schools in Gorkha, Nepal, destroyed in the earthquake of April 2015.

His fundraising page can be found at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/scottsears.

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