On a calm Thursday afternoon, a group of ten turned out to participate in Casey’s newest sporting club event, the inaugural Antarctic Running Club’s (ARC) five kilometre dash.
It started with the 2km lap of the ski loop testing each competitor’s skills of running on snow and ice. On successful completion of the ski loop, competitors then moved from the snow to the gravel surface down the road to the wharf.
Most had forgotten about the hill we had just ran down until we hit it again on the way back up.
With lungs burning, calf and thigh muscles aching, saliva drooling and cursing ones intelligence on why they had entered the race, it was time for those with enough energy to make a break for the finish line, which was located on the emergency helo pad outside the red shed.
Line honours went to scientist Dan Wilkin from head office in Kingston, closely followed by met observer Craig George and then first female Bec McWatters.
The following Sunday the second fun run took place. This time it was a 10km event starting at up at the Casey Ski way and finishing once again outside the red shed.
Priscilla (Casey bus) ferried 16 eager participants to the skiway. Sadly, there were some participants who mistook the departure time and were unable to make the start of the race. However, the starting Marshall was encouraged by the number of starters who had arrived and deemed the race official for track record purposes.
There were those who jogged, others skied, and of course the mandatory walkers, who made their way back down the hill to the station.
With eyes soaking up the views of icebergs glistening in the distance with the soft afternoon light, and lungs filled with the freshest air in the world, it was a reminder of the immense beauty Antarctica provided us to experience in any way possible.
Bec McWatters took out first place on skis with a new record time of 42 minutes. Nevertheless everyone felt like a winner from the experience of completing the course, and all vowed they would participate again if and when the opportunity arose.
These events would not be possible without the support of the Station Leader, the Medical doctors and FTO’s.
What’s next for the ARC? Stay tuned for the next big event.