Ice Ultra 2014 Race Report - Stage Two
Well this stage lived up to its name in ways none of us wanted. The day started with a total whiteout over our base camp...
Stage 2 – The Snow
Well this stage lived up to its name in ways none of us wanted.
The day started with a total whiteout over our base camp, which was a shame as it overlooked Sarek which is a sight pulled straight out of Lord of the Rings! It seems the adverse weather and floods in the UK, have manifested themselves as incredibly mild temperatures and huge amounts of snow here in above the Arctic Circle.
Over a metre fell on parts of the course with our base camp seeing a good few feet. Even with the already diverted route going around the mountain we had many challenges making sure the route was safe, indeed we needed to build an entirely new route again for this stage due to the massive snowfall. The original diversion finding a huge snow cavern that the athletes could have stumbled over.
With the new route set we were finally ready for the off at 12:50, no small achievement and all the runners enjoying the adventure and all amazed by the new route we’ve managed to set within a 3 hour period. The new route set off across a large lake, the runners having to stick to our trails or they would find themselves neck deep in snow! The route then took a path in to the forest where the nature and beauty of the backdrop were not lost on each of the athletes, frozen waterfalls, running springs and snow covered trees led the way for the next 20km, still tough under foot with the fresh snowfall.
After CP2 the look changed dramatically – most noting that it looked especially Russian or James Bond like as they passed the huge Hydro-Electric plant and the dam – holding nothing back except Ice at this point of course! Ed came in first again today, with Xavi still in touching distance 2nd. There’s a large group coming in from 3rd all the way back to 12th in a relatively short amount of time, Camilla Gry-Elmann bringing up the rear in her Grand Slam attempt.
Mark Purdy has been pulled from the race on medical grounds, his muscle injuries deemed far too serious to carry on. How Mark finished stage 2 with the injuries he had it pretty amazing stuff – we’re sure we’ll see Mark again on another race soon.