The temperature dropped to -22°c last night. There were some very tired runners at the start line this morning. It’s been another sunny day though and the runners soon thawed out.
Today has been as much a mental test as a physical one. Clear visibility on this stage can be a blessing or a curse. On one hand you see the beautiful surroundings; the mountains and pine forests that sprawl around you. On the other, almost the entire second half of the course is one long frozen lake on which you can see destination and know you won’t reach it for hours. It doesn’t seem to be getting closer. It’s especially bad for anyone out there long enough to end up crossing in the dark. Those lights appear at the end of the lake and seem to move away as quickly as you shuffle towards them.
The runners are into their groove now and, though starting to look fatigued, they seem to be getting it. The pre-race admin in the morning looks well-oiled now as each of them falls into their own routine. With the monster stage tomorrow they will need to be absolutely on top of their admin tonight.
There are still runners out there on the ice and the temperature is dropping fast. There are warm huts waiting for them though with beds and wood burning stoves to keep them toasty.
Vicente continues to look inexplicably strong. The fight now is around second third and fourth places with Austrian, Jungle Ultra veteran Karl Heinz Reigl, Japanese runner Takao Kitada and Dutchman Taco Jongman fighting it out.
They’ll all need to get as much rest as possible as tomorrow is the longest stage. A 64km grind and with snow forecast for the whole day, it’s going to be a tough one.
|14||Ann Marie Larkin||112||07:36:00||16:57:00||09:21:00|