All the runners are back at Race HQ after a bitterly cold but beautiful day marching up and over Mt Kabla. Temperatures scarcely climbed above -20 today and at times, especially up on those exposed slopes, dropped further than that. Despite the shorter distance of this stage it has still been a very long day for some of the runners after difficult day yesterday.
The runners and most of the race team spent the night at the remote cabins at Aktse. These hunting cabins are cosy and heated by wood burning stoves and will have provided a very welcome respite from the plummeting temperatures yesterday evening.
Those dot-watching our tracking system will no doubt have noticed that a few runners didn’t start the race today. Rest assured that all are safe and well here at Arrenjarka HQ and all will be fine. We are cautious when it comes to cold injuries, especially in the Siberian conditions we’ve had so far, and will take any runner out of the race who we deem to be at risk before they develop serious problems.
Kari McDonald, Quintin Potgeiter, Roberto Fusaro, Martin Ruppert, Peter Kleist (we’ll miss that amazing beard!) and Sharon Firmin are out the race as of yesterday. A few more have been brought in with the medics this evening and will be monitored before deciding if they can continue tomorrow. More on that when we have it.
Damian Hall continues to run as if he’s taking a summer time jog around his local park no matter what we throw at him. He came in today arm in arm with Fabian Brietsamer who had an amazing day today after requiring medical attention for a muscular problem yesterday. Not far behind them, once again, was Tom Wittek who is also looking very strong. Katie Baker, who never seems to look phased by the conditions, remains first female.
The views up on the mountain today were breath-taking and we’re very excited to share the pictures and video our intrepid media team have been gathering. Mikkel Beisner and Ryan Lovejoy have become an integral part of the BTU Team and will go to any length to get amazing photos and videos of our runners.
The last time our tired ice runners were at Arrenjarka they spent a long, freezing night under canvas. Mercifully, this time we have provided cabins – which is just as well as the temperatures continue to fall on this clear, star strewn night. They have all had a chance to warm themselves by a roaring fire, to dry their gear and to curl up in an actual bed. We’re spoiling them really.
Tomorrow we’re back on the route we’ve done in previous years. There’s very little climbing involved in tomorrow’s stage, but the remaining runners face long hours crossing a seemingly endless stretch of frozen water which covers the second half of the distance. Last year, this bloggist described that stretch as like being on a treadmill you can’t get off, it is extremely difficult to judge distance on this featureless terrain and the distant mountains on each side don’t seem to change as you march. For those arriving at the next camp at Laxholmen in the dark the lights of the finish line will seem to hover, never getting closer, for hours. It’ll be a mental test as much as a physical one.
The remote and tiny island of Laxholmen and it’s scattering of log cabins, has no electricity which will make communication with the outside world difficult. We’ll be doing our best to keep you up to date and remember, you can follow the GPS trackers at
[arve url=”https://youtu.be/Lp7i2JBtbIw” title=”Ice Ultra Documentary Preview 2″ /]