…..Apparently they make brilliant firelighters…..
Our survival course over the past few days has been a real bonus to the preparations for the race – not only have we learnt that tampons make great firelighters but it has also given us the chance to go out and test our sleds and kit in a ‘safe’ environment, as a group.
It’s amazing how difficult it is to start a fire when you’re up to your thighs in snow and the wind is blowing a gale. Bearing in mind I usually struggle to light the wood-burner at Judith’s parent’s house, you can imagine that I didn’t exactly relish the challenge, but got it lit eventually.
A lot of the course was about recognising the signs when things are going wrong (like when you sign up for race in the Yukon in winter?) and how to deal with them. Dealing with things followed a general pattern – don’t be stupid, stop and treat it now because you’ll look like a right wally if I’ve told you what to do and then don’t do it. I was pleased to hear we have a surgeon volunteering on one of the checkpoints so amputations won’t be a problem.
The weather here has been unseasonally warm – upto minus 2C today which I think was a good few degrees warmer than London. Maybe I should have just run along the Thames instead! Thankfully it’s freezing down nicely tonight so hopefully shouldn’t be slushy on the first part of the trail tomorrow. The weather varies so much from place to place here that although it was just below freezing in Whitehorse, it was around minus 20C at the finish line – how are you supposed to pack for that?
Race starts at 10:30 tomorrow (Saturday) morning Yukon time which is 18:30 on Saturday in the UK. If you want to witness my peaks of delight and troughs of dispair you can track my progress at the following link: http://trackleaders.com/yukonultra
See you on the other side.