2015 Polar Bear Marathon - Well my friends, Know No Boundaries made it to Churchill, Manitoba for the 2015 running of the Polar Bear Marathon. It was ALMOST a bust as our luggage did not come in to Winnipeg, Manitoba until Thursday night (the 19th) & we had a 7:30 AM flight the next morning.
Arriving into Churchill , we got our first impression of the local weather. . . . . .
Sunny & warm!
After we got our luggage (you know, the luggage that almost wasn’t!), we headed off to the Tundra Inn in town.
Friday night, Albert Martens (our race director), gave us some words of wisdom & assigned us to our Support Vehicles.
After this, we headed back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep (really?)
A quick pre-start photo to be sure I had all that I needed.
(Can you say Brrrrrrrr?)
Race morning was not as windy, but every bit as cold. Temperatures at the start of the race were -8 F with a wind chill of -22 F.
After Oh Canada sung by the local children of Churchill, & a quick pre-start photo, we were off into the sunrise.
No fanfare, no starting clock, just a BANG of the shotgun & we were off; each of us keeping track of our own times.
I hung with a couple from S. Carolina as we shared a support vehicle (remember, there are BEARS OUT THERE!).
The sunrise was beautiful & it allowed all of the runners a glimpse of God’s beauty!
From town out to the airport road, it was mostly ice, so “running” was spotty at best. Most of us were just trying to stay upright.
Just past the airport road, the course turned to gravel, so the footing was much better.
As in all races, it is always good to read road signs & follow directions. Here is one sign that one doesn’t see every day!
Despite the temperatures, I was warming up pretty quickly, My balaclava was on, then off, then on, then off. My zipper was up,
then down, then up, then down & my gloves were on, then off, then on, then off.
During one of the off times, I snapped a shot of my hand! WEIRD, EH?
Mid-race, the urge to take a Selfie was overwhelming.
Onward I ran, mostly toasty, but the tops of my feet were beginning to get cold & I was beginning to slow down (I always seem to be undertrained. I couldn’t imagine how I’d perform if I actually trained harder.). Note to Self: I noticed that with my thin Injinji socks + heavier wool socks, my Hokas were a bit snug; even before the race began. I suspected this would happen!
By the Half Marathon point, I was a bit farther behind than I cared to be & my feet were pretty cold. I decided to call it good at the Half Marathon point. I mean come on, less than 100 people in the world have ever run a marathon OR half marathon on the “edge of the arctic” here in Churchill.
Good thing we were in the van, eh?
(Bear: “Why do I always leave my can opener at home when there is food around?”)
Some photos courtesy of Power to Change Films.