Thursday, July 14, 2011

Are We Crazy? Baikal!

Two friends from high school and I have decided to meet turning 40 head-on and we're going to have a mini reunion in Russia... They'll join me in Moscow and we'll head to Siberia to run the Lake Baikal Ice (Half) Marathon on March 4th! Wonder if more friends will join us...


From the Ice Marathon's site:

"The Lake Baikal International Ice Marathon offers competitors the unique opportunity to race across the frozen ice surface of the world’s largest, oldest and deepest lake. This extraordinary event takes place in one of the most beautiful places of Lake Baikal, and is based in the small town of Listvyanka, 65 km south of Irkutsk (a major stop-over on the Trans-Siberian route)...

Prior to the start of the race, competitors some years are required to partake in the precautionary ritual of “vodka sprinkling”, in order to pacify the spirits of the Great Baikal ( introducing the novel element of starting a marathon with a shot of vodka)...

The course is predominantly flat, but the surface is hard at times and uneven. Although it’s mostly covered in a soft layer f snow, there’re areas of highly polished ice that create conditions similar to an ice-rink. Wind can add to the already bitingly cold temperature and provide serious resitance to progress across Lake Baikal. Though, often the weather is sunny and with no chill factor one can even get some sun tan.

The utterly featureless landscape gives little or no sense of perspective to competitors. The finish line at the port of Listvyanka can be seen almost from the start line. It is a long, cold, lonely ( if not to count the mobile 8 to 10 feed and drink stands) 42,2 km trail across the baren white landscape, where progress is marked only by checkpoints positioned at 5 km intervals ( with hot drinks, food and, for the brave, some more vodka)."




ARE WE NUTS???! But what fun!!!!! And just to clarify, we will do the HALF marathon, not the full one! Egad, I'm not utterly insane!

8 comments:

The Expatresse said...

First, gawk! Am *I* that old? I didn't think you were old-- you know what I mean. I just thought there was less than a DECADE between us.

That said, I think it is an EXCELLENT idea! WHAT a great adventure. How many people can say they ran this marathon (or half marathon . . . it's all good).

Tina in CT said...

I hope more of your MPS classmates will decide to hop on the wagon and join you. What a fantastic way to turn 40 and reconnect from 1990.

ji said...

You ARE nuts! And we're looking forward to seeing you!

Amanda said...

Sounds like mad fun!! Crazy definitely - but also great experience. I hope some of my friends will be up for something similar in 20yrs time!

Are you able to run on the snow? Or is this a walking event!

Banker Chick said...

Visiting from your mom's blog and yes you are nuts, but a good nuts. What an adventure. Hope you enjoy your summer in the US.

sveske said...

Oh wow! My husband and I are thinking about doing it! - I heard about it from Katherine B. who "has a friend doing it"... -katie

Rachael said...

Yes, you are nuts. My US girlfriends and I are talking about meeting 40 head on with a trip to Mexico. (But just for the record, I have another year...) LOL.

Where else but in Russia would you start a race with a vodka shot. Too funny.

Cheers for you for ambition though!

AND...I am REALLY hoping I can swing a visit to you while you are still in Russia, and I know this year may be my last chance, so we need to talk about that, but...I was thinking spring. =)

ЮЛИЯ said...

My mom grew up on lake Baikal. I spent every summer there during my childhood. The place is incredible!

They have all day train rides along the lake. We took it one day in the late summer and it was unforgettable. I am not sure if they offer it during winter time.

Make sure you visit Taltsy. It's an open air-wood village-museum like place. Not far from lake Baikal. Very popular tourists attraction.