…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.
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.
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.
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.
Merry Christmas, everyone, we missed you tons.