Friday, December 23, 2011

Race Around the World - except you can't see it.

As I listen to the wind blowing outside the station editing pictures for this blog, I am further amazed that we followed through with annual "South Pole Race Around the World" with less than a mile visibility and 20 to 25 knot winds.  Yes, indeed, perhaps it is freeze dried brains, maybe just a once in a lifetime thing for many so we braved the elements and appreciated the warm temperature reducing the risk of frozen lungs.

The alarm woke me from a deep sleep and I got up to prepare to walk the race around the world.  I checked the weather:

It was a lovely -1.1 but reporting 25 knot winds.  Outside I could not see past the summer camp.

Others in the ladies room were asking the same thing, are we still having the race at these conditions.  I was feeling under the weather yesterday so I almost just weinied out on the race, telling myself they would not hold the race in these conditions and got back into bed.  I did not fall back to sleep in 10 minutes so I knew I was up for the day and got up and dressed and ready.  Holiday brunch was not going yet, but James was ready on the espresso machine so I got a cappuccino (made with instant milk and seems to be one of the few ways the powdered milk actually works) and a bowl of Rice Crispies and headed down to the lounge where my secret stash of box milk (real milk but ultra pasteurized and is stable warm for travel) my sister sent me for Christmas would supplement both of my breakfast components.
And they are off for a Race Around the World in 18 to 50 minutes.
And she made it to the end in good shape.
Indeed, it seemed the race-was-on so a bit on the tardy side, I had my gear on and headed out.  I did put a pair of shoe warmers in my hiking boots which were actually almost burning my feet as I headed out.  A fair sized gathering of colorfully dressed folks were at the starting line and in a couple minutes they started us off.  Some were on skies, some running, some walking and a contingent of vehicles and floats followed us around on a slightly longer route.  The track when around the pole marker, clockwise around the station, going out past the arches and in front of summer camp - where the wind was in our faces.  Almost to the dark sector (now on the other side of the world) the track wound around a bit and past the visitor's camp and back to the pole.  It was a total of 2.3 miles. I hoofed it the whole way, not even attempting a run, in fact, stopping for pictures and I came in second to the last.

Merry Christmas Eve from South Pole station.  You can pick up the photos by clicking here.

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