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Dr Ed Coats was plucked out of obscurity and thrust into the limelight, when he was chosen to join James Cracknell and Ben Fogle on their epic race to the South Pole earlier this year. The race was the first of its kind since Captain Scott was beaten 97 years ago by Norwegian Amundsen.

Ed completed a two day training course and aptitude test to win his place on the expedition, beating more than 650 applicants from across the UK for a place in the team.After racing for 473.6 miles, having faced crevasse fields, battled blisters, frostbite and hallucinations as well as catching pneumonia,Ed, James and Ben, otherwise know as Team QinetiQ, crossed the finish line in second place, just 20 hours behind their Norwegian rivals.The trio, who had little cross country skiing and no polar experience between them prior to the race, trudged up to 20 miles a day in temperatures as low as -40 degrees Celsius all the while pulling 70kg pulks behind them.

The trip was followed closely by the Daily Telegraph and BBC Breakfast and was filmed for a primetime BBC documentary series, which is to air this summer.

Even before taking part in the South Pole Race, the intrepid doctor was no stranger to physical hardship. His achievements include representing Great Britain as a decathlete, captaining two teams that swam the English Channel in 2003 and he has completed the Karrimor Mountain Marathon. He has a degree in Aerospace Physiology from the University of London and has just completed a law degree whilst juggling his day job.

Ed is now back working as a doctor of obstetrics and gynaecology in a busy Maternity Unit in Bristol. He is also concentrating on his corporate speaking work, delivering motivational and inspirational talks, both on his own and with fellow team mates James and Ben.

In his spare time, Ed regularly enjoys keeping fit through running, swimming and road biking and took part in The Bristol Half Marathon in September 2008.

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