Stage One t
https://youtu.be/AaBjdPITE-cook it’s toll on the runners yesterday. There were 3 DNFs (2 of whom are re-entering the race today) and a number of people who were out on the course for in excess of 12 hours; an awfully long time to be exposed to the elements out here. It was a shell-shocked set of runners who emerged from the huts this morning.
Still, they quickly perked up as the sun rose over the mountains showcasing how beautiful this area can be when the weather isn’t trying to scour the skin off you.
Today’s stage was cut short after a decision by our Sami guides. The last 16km of this stage is one continuous lake crossing and the Sami discovered yesterday that the wind had brushed the ice clear of what scant snow had fallen there. None of them had seen anything like it before and described the lake as looking like an Ice Hockey rink, blasted smooth and friction free by the gales. What we had now was a 16km slip hazard. Even in snowshoes the wind had made the surface to smooth to traverse. None of the runners were disappointed to hear that they would have a shorter day today.
It’s been a totally different day from yesterday. They runners have been smiling and chatty all day, trading jokes at the checkpoints and even stopping to take a few photos of the winter wonderland they’ve found themselves in.
Vicente has had another incredible day and appears to be unstoppable. Still, anything can happen in these conditions. Poor kit management can put you out of a race here; any failure to manage your own condition will be punished by the Arctic.
We have a large heated hut at the end of today’s stage to welcome the runners back. They’ll have plenty of opportunity to dry their socks and maybe even have a snooze on a comfy sofa. We suspect they’ll curse us later though when we evict them and they head for the teepees for another night in the cold.
Another sunny and clear day forecast for tomorrow but they’ll likely have a very cold night before that.
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