Slow and Steady Wins the Race

…well, completes it, anyhow.

Daniel and I ran our first race ever, a Christmas morning 2.1 mile course at 10,000 foot physiological altitude, with a -25 windchill and soft ice underfoot. Participants in jogging clothes and costumes ran, jogged, walked, skied, drove snowmobiles, Pisten Bullys and tractors decked out like parade floats.

Click to enlarge photos.

Participants getting ready to race around the world

My goals in the race were to jog the whole time—optimistically jog, I told people who asked if I planned to run the race—which I did, except for to snap a few pictures, and to clock in under half an hour. I had spoken to a real skier/runner who said he hoped to be able to average 12 minute miles due to the terrain and altitude, so I thought 15 minute miles was okay for a novice runner.

Elissa and Fire Captain Don



Ralph, Eric and Max don't let safety get in the way of fashion--check out those snowmobile helmets

The male winner ran the race in 13:32 minutes, and the female winner ran it in 18:22 minutes. Daniel was close behind the female winner, beating the second place woman, and I ran it in a little over 28 minutes. The male and female winners of the race get to fly to McMurdo in a few weeks and run their sea-level marathon. I have heard that the South Pole contestants do quite well and often win this race due to the drop in altitude.

Daniel crosses the finish line at 18 or so minutes–we didn’t get an official time, unfortunately
Kiell crossing the finish line

After the race we had brunch, eggs to order, potatoes, fresh fruit and cheese, pastries, scotch eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, coffee. We returned to Summer Camp to shower and start getting ready for evening festivities and dinner. People get pretty dressed up for holidays—Thanksgiving was like this, too—some people went all the way in suits and ties, dresses heels, and makeup. It’s fun to see everyone dolled up like that since most of the time we’re quite dirty due to showering restrictions, and lots of people tend to wear their issue clothes, like the Carhartt overalls, even when their workday is over.

I put Charlie Brown Christmas on, with my laptop on the sink in the bathroom while my friend Rachel showered and got ready to serve wine at the second of three dinner seatings. When it was time, we started with appetizers and eggnog in the hallway outside the galley, musicians singing Christmas carols while we noshed. Dinner was delicious, beef wellington, lobster tail, basil mashed potatoes, green beans with hazelnut shallot butter, challah, red wine and cherry pie with fresh whipped cream and orange chocolate for dessert.

After dinner we played four games of paper telephone (I don’t really recommend laughing so hard on a full stomach), followed by dancing until 1 in the morning in the galley before going back outside to the midnight sun and walking home to our little jamesway room to go to bed.

Paper Telephone
Thinking hard…


Merry Christmas, everyone, we missed you tons.

3 thoughts on “Slow and Steady Wins the Race

  1. What a wonderful Christmas. Congratulations on the run times. That would be super for me at sea level. Blessings in the new year and lots of love.
    We’re supposed to be in Paris right now but I got very sick the night before departure and had to cancel. Would love to see Patis in snow!

  2. looks like you are having a great time and eating well also. weare eating too well also… of reconing comes 1/1/11. we miss you and love you, Gram

  3. Glad to know Paper/telephone has made it to the pole as well as some of the folk dances. I’m guessing everybody is glad Kiell was able to come along this year as well. Always a “glue” child. Just like she was as a teen at FUS.

    We couldn’t be prouder of both of you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s