Friday, October 14, 2011

Parting Thoughts

As the days before my departure for Kangerlussuaq have slipped away, I've undergone a curious transformation. The prickly feelings of nervous anticipation that have been building over the past 50 weeks have floated off like dark clouds on a spring morning, replaced by a cold and enveloping sensation of terror.

Not having visited Greenland before and having accumulated precisely zero cold weather running experience has hardly kept me from forming a number of cock-sure beliefs about the environment, the course and my performance.

For example:

  • Although the temperature on race day is likely to be around 15-degrees Fahrenheit, the air in Greenland is exceedingly dry and there is very little wind, so it actually feels much warmer. Really.
  • The race has a net dissent of 1600 feet, with the last 20 miles, a smooth downhill amble, making for easy running. The first 2.5 miles, however, are a rapid climb up a sheer ice face.
  • Reviewing 10 years of past results reveals not a single DNF! "If everyone finishes," he chuckles, "how tough can it be?" Or, perhaps, the names of those who fall into crevasses, get trampled by muskoxen, or succumb to hyperthermia are expunged permanently from the records.

A Travel Note...

My Polar Adventure is hitting the road. On Tuesday, I fly to Copenhagen, arriving Wednesday afternoon. The following morning, I and 99 other madcap marathoners will board a plane for Kangerlussuaq. (If you refer to a map, you'll note that my travel route is a bit like flying from Los Angeles to Toronto by way of Krakow.)

I expect to tour the Russell Glacier on Thursday and review the race course with my new mates on Friday. The real test of nerves and frozen family jewels begins bright and bitingly early on Saturday.

If technology serves me well (a 3% likelihood), I'll be blogging here and posting photos to Facebook and Picasa at annoyingly frequent intervals.

I look forward to seeing you all in sunny Southern California soon.


  1. ...I'm wondering if your reference to Krakow has anything to do with the required equipment?
    just saying..

  2. Good luck - have a great time. Ken

  3. Good luck tomorrow, Keith!!!! I'm sure you will do great! Just stay away from the crevices:-O

  4.,after reading the above,I'm questioning your sanity????? ha ha...just joking, kind of!!! I have an idea...can you slide down the icy hill the last 20 miles??? lol
    Bottom know you're driven and prepared and will accomplish this feat! There is no doubt in my mind and I'm clairvoyant...thought you knew!
    Good luck, Keith...your friends and family are cheering for you!

  5. Totally cool, Keith! Best of luck in that icy white stuff that is a curse to me.
    -SOCAL all the way...Lora Z