Race #8 – Arctic Ice Ultra – End of a Journey (Part 2)

Stage 2 & 3 – Exhaustion

Hypothermia and frostbites became a serious concern for many competitors after Stage 1, Paul included. He had suffered frostbite like conditions over his nose and face so the medical staff was monitoring him closely overnight to make sure things don’t get any worst. To be honest, he was a little scared because the right side of his nose, on top of being swollen, had lost all feelings along with his right cheeks. Of course he wanted to complete the 8 Deserts Challenge, but he wasn’t about to do it at any cost.  Losing his nose over a challenge, however great, was not worth it.

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Race #8: Arctic Ice Ultra – End of a Journey (Part 1)

The Beginning of the End

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Some time has gone by since our last race in the Arctic Tundra. As our World Record journey comes to an end, Paul and I have a chance to reflect on what had transpired. However, not everything has sunk in yet.  After all, our victory lap of sorts at the 121st Edition of the Boston Marathon awaits us in 4 weeks time! It still seems unbelievable even now that we have completed eight of the toughest desert ultra marathons on the planet in just under ten months.

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The Final Confrontation: Race #8 Ice Ultra

On Feb 24th, 2017, Paul and I will embark on the final leg of our journey, putting a stamp on our own mark by completing the 8th desert race in 10months to be in sole possession of the Guinness Book of World Records for The Most Desert Races Ran in One Year. The last race, Ice Ultra, will take place near Gallivare, Sweden (in the province of Lapland), 100km north of the Arctic Circle.

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Race #7: Oman Desert Marathon – The Pursuit of Immortality 

After Trans-Pecos Ultra, getting to the host town of Muscat for our next race was top priority.  With the Oman Desert Marathon being only 5 days away and our World Record Breaking Race, nothing could be left to chance!  We began our journey by flying from El Paso to Phoenix; then from Phoenix to New York; then from New York to Baku; then from Baku to Dubai; and finally from Dubai to Muscat.  Again, cheap flights played a major role in our 50+hr flying odyssey.  Come to think of it, we even lost a day of rest due to the time difference! (I guess this happens when you fly across 13 time zones)

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Race #6: Trans-Pecos – The Duel In Texas

With only fourteen days between races, Paul and I wanted to maximize our recovery by traveling to our race host town in El Paso, Texas (USA) as soon as we could. Not too surprisingly, getting cheap flights and minimizing flight times do not work hand in hand. Our itinerary involves breaking the trip into two legs. A three-night stay in Santiago, follow by another 40 hours flight to El Paso with a few layovers. All that adds up to having only seven real rest days before Trans-Pecos. Without us realizing, our attempt to compete in 4 self-supported desert races in 6 weeks (4in6) is starting to take its toll. Continue reading “Race #6: Trans-Pecos – The Duel In Texas”

Race #5: Atacama Crossing – Triumph in Atacama

Of all the races in the 8 Deserts Challenge, Atacama Crossing is the one race that Eric and I dreaded the most.  There are two reasons for that:  terrain and lack of rest.  I had first read about this race almost one year ago while researching for our World Record Attempt.  It was talked about as the most technical and challenging race of the 4Deserts Series.   When a race promises sand dunes, river crossings, gravel fields, salt flats, and everything else, you know it is going to be tough.  More importantly, with this being our first back-to-back race amounting to less than 7 days rest, our conditioning and recovery prowess will be put to the test. Continue reading “Race #5: Atacama Crossing – Triumph in Atacama”