The warmth of the sun rises and the deep blue skies are clear; the frozen Arctic ocean opens a network of pathways into the relative southern portions of the northern lands. Those are the days when the red colour of the cold air shimmers off the rocky landscape. The best days for hunting, the best days for playing and for me, the best days for running.
Suddenly a sun dog is created, surrounding the outer portions of the bright rays. A cloud devours the light and soon the wind begins to howl. It sweeps up and crashes down stripping the bare landscape. Creating crevasse on the eastern portions of the mountains and depositing the remains on the west. People glide down the main road as others force themselves against the wind up town. The cold bites. It hits hard against your skin. It strikes against your outer layers slowly creeping towards the bone. These are the days where it is harder to force yourself upwards.
Whatever type of day. I continue to run. There are some considerations that must be taken. I am not about to go do 30 minutes of tempo on the barren landscape with 90km/hr gusting winds and a -30 degree wind-chill. However, I do happily run up the side of a mountain only to deal with the nipping craze during my cool down.
A community member the other day asked me for advice on running in the Arctic. Although I often think I am the only one who would ever continue a training regime up here . There are many others that might consider it too. If you are a thrill seeker, someone who has made it your goal in life to do something like this, here are few of the main differences between running in southern portions of Canada compared to the high Arctic:
So, on the harder days, when I am alone, I remember one specific moment. It was back in Guelph, before I had even thought about any Arctic Adventure. The wind had picked up throughout the day, as our large group of girls ran together down the long gravel road facing the wind. I said “Pretend this is an Arctic wind, forcing us backwards with drifting snow plunging into our skin.” Like most times the girls just laughed. Well on the days when the wind howls it is exactly like that, except maybe a bit colder!
By Geneviève Lalonde
A collection of stories and tales. Reminiscing the past and exploring the future.