The forecasted high winds made going seriously difficult throughout the day today as the runners crossed an exposed plateau after the first climb. This only worsened as they took on the big climb between the final checkpoint and the warm cabin at the end of the stage. The runners could do nothing but pray that the wind was behind them. A 20mph wind speed when it’s -18°c will make it feel closer to -35°c. There has been no easing the runners in to this race, it’s sink or swim right from the start.
The runners who have crossed the line talk of white out conditions as they took on the last ascent with visibility so low that it was barely possible to see the next trail marker and certainly not any further beyond it. The Sami team are racing up and down the mountain keeping an eye on the runners and relaying a trail in the snow for them to follow.
It’s been a similar baptism for the medics who quickly reacted to a case of hypothermia and frostbite today getting much needed treatment to a runner at lightning speed. The race is over for the runner in question but, thanks to the speed of the medical team, they’re making a very good recovery. The medics are busy again now tending to battered feet and swooping on each of the last runners as they appear at the finish line. The last few runners are crossing the final climb in darkness now.
The runners were happy to find that they have a real bed in a cabin with a roaring wood burning stove tonight giving them a good chance of the sleep they desperately need to recover from the day.
Vicente Juan Garcia, who we knew would be strong after his amazing performance in the Jungle Ultra last year, set a pace which will be difficult for anyone else to match today. He flew through the snow, almost making it look easy.
The forecast for tomorrow is warmer, sunnier and wind free. The only 2 significant climbs of the tour are done. That should perk everyone up.
|13||Ann Marie Larkin||112||07:30:00||19:26:00||11:56:00|