Relive the Great Race

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by allen houston

two explorers' historic life-or-death battle to be the first person to the south pole will be revisited during a night of dramatic readings and commentary sept. 22 at the american museum of natural history.

the special celebration will pay tribute to norwegian explorer roald amundsen and british royal navy captain robert falcon scott's 1,800-mile odyssey, overcoming obstacles such as starvation, frostbite and merciless weather to be the first to plant their flag at the bottom of the world. the 1911 race captivated the imagination of the world.

"it's a spectacular story and piece of human history that's more well-known in europe now than it is here," roberto borrero said. "we wanted to help change that."

as part of the night of festivities, two actors from wabash college theater dressed in period costumes will read from the explorers' journals. after that, a panel featuring liv arnesen, a modern-day polar adventurer, and felicity aston, an antarctic scientist, will discuss how the race shaped artic exploration and science. ann bancroft, who along with arnesen became the first women to ski across antarctica, will moderate the panel.

"one of the things we're excited about is that the panel is composed entirely of women. during the heroic age of exploring, it was mainly a field for men and we wanted to show how that's changed," borrero said.

the free event begins at 6:30 p.m. as part of the festivities, the museum will open up its race to the end of the earth exhibit featuring artifacts from the race between 5:45 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. for people attending the event.

tickets are first come, first serve. the event is being co-hosted by wings world quest and the norwegian consulate.

for more information, visit

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