It was an „early morning start“ today after a „late night go to bed“ yesterday. The plane was taking off at 6.55 to bring me now to Oslo. And finally, sitting in the plain now is concrete enough to make me being happy looking forward to this unique event, to race against the nature and to push my limits further. And there are also all these crazy people I‘ve joined already on Facebook to talk about our lives, our event in a few days and all the things we are planning to do. We will have a lot of time to do so. This all reminds me to a statement of a 93 years old athlete who was saying: life is not about adding years to it but to add more life to the years. How true.
During the last days I didn‘t get in that „Yes, I am ready and happy about doing it now“-feeling and the flu is still jumping around in my body. But today it took me 20 minutes in the plane to get in these positive feelings with sun shining through the window of the plane. Hey, it‘s about one year when I‘ve decided to go up there and hours I have spent to train, to find the right material, to test it and to share ideas and experiences with others.
In about half an hour we will land in Oslo where I will leave the airport to do some spinning, to eat and to relax at the hotel just across the street. Later I will meet Ali (the Lebanese desert runner and mister interview), Linh from Canada, Frank from Germany and many others to fly together up to Spitzbergen where we will land at 9:30pm. By the way, at some shops up there they have posters at the entrance saying:
On sunday we will have the race briefing by Richard Donovan who is the guy behind this event and himself a very successful ultra runner. Richard was the first guy running a marathon on all continents and at the pole. At this time everybody will be up there: about 48 runners from about 20 nations and 3 tv teams from asia and south america.
At 9am on monday our russian special aircraft will fly half of the group to Camp Barneo, which is close to the pole itself. The plane then goes back to bring up the second group leaving at 4pm. From then we are off-line, about 4600km north from Zurich with about -30°C. Actually it‘s a bit warmer but temperatures will drop till tuesday. At least I hope this as my clothing concept is made for this temperature and not warmer. Camp Barneo is operated by a very experienced russian team. It is like a hub for everybody going up there. It has been built just a few days ago and will be installed for some months. We will stay in tents of 10.
Raceday is Tuesday and the start is planned for 10pm. But as I can understand Richard will also consider the weather constellation. So, in a certain way it will be a „stand-by“-start which underlines the character of this race. For most of us it‘s more about you and the arctic than being faster than the others. But let‘s see. I could imagine that not only the polar bears up there are having sharp and long teeths 😉
To follow whats going on up there you can check the facebook-page of the event. In earlier years there were football games, speedy swimming sessions and after the race russian wodka parties. Let‘s see. Anyway, Richard will give his comments and the results of the race via satellite phone to somebody in Spitzbergen to post it in facebook. So, even up there we have almost a live broadcoast.
I guess we will back latest in Spitzbergen during the evening of the 10th and I will update family and friend latest on the 11th with pics and for sure some stories to tell. It‘s my week now.