Prince Harry and team reach South Pole

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NEW: Prince Harry and a team made up of servicemen and women reach the South Pole

Organizers called off competitive aspect of the charity event

The team trekked more than 200 miles

CNN  — 

Prince Harry and a trekking team made up of servicemen and women reached the South Pole on Friday, organizers for the Walking With The Wounded charity said.

Three teams of seven participants each, representing the United Kingdom, United States and the Commonwealth, which consists of several countries long affiliated with the British Empire, took part in the charity event.

Originally, it was a race among the three teams to reach the South Pole, but organizers called off the competitive aspect because it was putting undue strain on the participants.

Harry – himself a member of Britain’s armed forces, having served in Afghanistan and elsewhere – has had a long association with this charity.

In several ways, he’s been preparing for this latest mission for a long time. That includes taking part in a Walking With The Wounded expedition to the North Pole – even plunging into the Arctic Ocean’s freezing waters – in 2011 before withdrawing to attend his brother William’s wedding. More recently, he traveled to Iceland for training and even spent 24 hours in an industrial freezer in preparation for the South Pole trek.

The teams had to trek more than 200 miles (322 kilometers) across the sparse continent, in temperatures as low as -35 degrees Celsius (-31 Fahrenheit).

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