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Harry plans South Pole charity race

Prince Harry has revealed he is planning to join a group of injured servicemen for a charity race to the South Pole.

The royal, who took part in a Walking With The Wounded trek to the North Pole in 2011, is already patron of their next project to Antarctica.

He missed out on a bid to conquer Mount Everest with the group last year because of his military commitments and he withdrew early from the successful North Pole expedition to attend his brother's wedding.

But the 28-year-old said as long as he is fit enough, he will dust off his skis and head south for the race which starts in November.

Harry said in Afghanistan: "I've got the Walking With The Wounded South Pole venture coming up.

"Medically, if I can do that, that's perfect because I'd love to do it. Because missing out on the whole North Pole thing was a real dig in the ribs, but that was another experience I had with a bunch of military guys who are really sound."

The Walking With The Wounded South Pole Allied Challenge is a race between teams of armed forces personnel from Britain, the United States and the Commonwealth who have sustained physical or cognitive injuries in the line of duty.

During the four-week Antarctic expedition the racers will trek a total of 210 miles, drag sledges - known as pulks - weighing more than 150lb (68kg) and face temperatures as low as minus 45C along with savage 50mph winds.

Harry would expect to trek between nine and 13 miles each day, battle against extreme weather and encounter vast crevasses, moving ice-shelves, glaciers and snow storms.

The prince said his career in the Army has given him a better understanding of charities for injured armed forces personnel and veterans.

Harry has been on a number of visits to hospitals and therapy centres where wounded servicemen and women are treated and rehabilitated.

He said although he will leave the military "at some point", he will always keep the connection with Walking With The Wounded and the rehab centre at Headley Court in Surrey.

"They (wounded personnel) know that myself and my brother have got military experience, and being surrounded by other guys in the military, I like to think that you can speak to them on the same wavelength," he said.

"So I'll always have a connection with the wounded servicemen and women.

"And based on the fact that we'll be finished here (Afghanistan) in 2014-15, that's not where it ends.

"You think of how many people who have lost legs and lost arms - and also mentally as well - there's a lot of scars that are going to be left on a lot of people.

"And the support for that is going to be paramount for the rest of their lives.

"So even when this stops that's going to continue for them, and that's what we need to remember."

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