South Pole Race Around the World: 2 miles

Trip Start Dec 18, 2008
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Trip End Feb 17, 2009


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Where I stayed
Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Antarctica

Flag of Antarctica  ,
Friday, December 26, 2008

I did not participate in this, but it's an event worth noting, and I did watch second half from the galley windows... forgive me, I was really exhausted, and what most people don't realize is that South Pole is, in addition to being one of the coldest settlements on earth, extremely dry and sits on top of a glacier at over 9,000 feet above sea level.  Employees are given a prescription of Diamox, which helps you acclimatise to high altitudes.  It isn't a fix all, but rather makes your body process things faster, making you pee more frequently, and dehydrate if you aren't a diligent water drinker.  It does get you to the end goal faster, however.  

From the window I could see the two mile track, which doesn't sound impressive, but some crazies actually run this on foot (definitely not a requirement in the Race Around the World) and cross the finish line hacking up blood.  No joke.

This race takes place every year on Christmas day and provides Polies another chance to dress up and ride various contraptions around the ice.  This year there was a traveling living room, snowmobiles dragging various contraptions, and a Fuelie (a.k.a. guy who works with fuel) with a 55 gallon oil drum strapped to his back.  Then, like any respectable sporting event, everyone gets matching shirts!
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