It’s easy to assume that 15km is an easy day compared to the other stages. We even call it The Sprint! Nobody was in a sprinting mood this morning. It is unsurprising that the runners had each put their all into the mammoth Stage Four. Their packs are lighter today but they and their supplies are exhausted. It is easy to underestimate this last 15km stretch but this is still the Arctic. The medics had to keep a few people back this morning who they don’t feel are ready to risk another few hours in the cold.
The race finishes in Jokkmokk and if the race team found it an incongruous experience being back in civilisation again after 5 days we can only imagine what it feel like for the runners. Still, they seem to have embraced their reacquaintance with normality, a few of them have already wandered off to raid the local supermarkets for supplies.
The tired but ecstatic runners cross the line in the centre of the town are greeted with hearty hug from their Race Director, a small snowy mountain filled with cans of beer and coca cola, a rotisserie chicken, cookies and a roaring fire to sit and eat them around whilst they wait for the others to arrive. The atmosphere at the finish is one of relief, happiness and comradery. A few have already made emotional phone calls back home.
They’ll have a few hours to recuperate, take a hot shower and sleep in a real bed before the evening’s festivities. Tonight we will all get together for some local cuisine, a medal ceremony and almost certainly a few local beverages as well! If previous year’s are anything to go by the runners will defy their tiredness and trade stories long into the night. It’s their night and they have earned it!
|Name||Race No||Total Time|
|14||Ann Marie Larkin||112||50:48|