UK
07/12/2013 21:46 GMT | Updated 07/12/2013 21:50 GMT

Prince Harry South Pole Race Called Off For Safety Reasons

Prince Harry's race to the South Pole with injured servicemen has been suspended amid safety concerns.

Harry had started off on the gruelling charity trek with a team of injured British servicemen and women against groups from the US and the Commonwealth in an expedition organised by the charity Walking With The Wounded.

Ed Parker, the expedition director, has taken the decision to suspend the race to the pole, but is determined that all the members will make it to the South Pole as one group.

On the charity website, he said: "We have had a tricky couple of days. The weather remains good but the terrain is very difficult, far harder than we were anticipating and because of various factors, I have decided to suspend the race.

prince harry

The teams will continue the mission together

"The reasons for this are entirely safety based. I am looking at the three teams. They are going really well but people are beginning to get very, very tired.

"With our doctor here, who I am in constant contact with, we just feel we are beginning to push people a little too hard, so I have suspended the race."

The charity's website said this is "certainly not the end" for the challenge, but added that steps have been put into place to ensure that all of those involved are kept safe.

The team members are determined to prove their strength and courage but this must be done without jeopardising anyone's well-being, the charity said.

The final leg of the challenge will begin from the team's second allotted checkpoint, 112 km (70 miles) from the South Pole.

The team will be driven to this point and, over the course of the next seven days, will move as one whole allied team to reach the South Pole together.

Harry's team-mate on UK Team Glenfiddich, Guy Disney, said: "The first four days was a full-out slog. It really tested every single individual mentally and physically.

"I think everyone, including myself, has managed to get a hell of a lot out of it and it will be an experience that will live with us for the rest of our lives.

"However, due to a few small injuries - nothing too serious - and the weather, it is really putting us behind and so the race element has been stopped, but for very good reasons."