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Stauchy Blog » Blog Archive » The Race Around the World - Monday, Dec. 25 (JRS & LAS)

The Race Around the World - Monday, Dec. 25 (JRS & LAS)

We did sleep in a little. Unfortunately, we missed the annual POW ceremony with the veterans on station, but Lynette did manage to stand on 2 feet in time to head out to the Pole for The Race Around the World. It’s a Christmas tradition here at the Pole, which involves three laps on a 5-k course around the Pole. For higher resolution pictures, see the photo gallery: Christmas at the Pole

From the stories we’d heard about years past, it was an event that we certainly didn’t want to miss! We got up and got dressed, noticing that the race was starting fairly soon. We walked out into the hall, and had the fortunate luck of running into Emrys, the NOAA guy, and Tim, the Met guy. They asked us if we wanted to ride on their float during the race. Having planned on walking the course, we were thrilled (especially Lynette) to have the opportunity to ride instead. We followed them out the DZ where they had a snow mobile waiting (We rode on the couch — Lynette on the left with her legs crossed and Jason in the middle). There was a sled on the back, to which they had cargo strapped a couch from the summer camp lounge. We jumped on the couch, and we were off towards the pole. We thought we were riding in style until we got there and saw the electricians pull up beside us. They were pulling a sleigh that was all decked out with Christmas cheer. It was a pretty fun site. At least we were better off than the other motorized entry, which was just a plain snow mobile.

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Everyone gathered around the starting line, and soon the race was on. The motorized vehicles let the runners, walkers, and skiers go first. There was even a dude on a bike, which was just funny looking! We started a little after the peds, and before long, we were passing them, all the while flag jousting the other snow mobiles. We finally passed the last runner (or first runner, depending on your point of view), we were almost done with the first lap. It was Curtis Moore, the GA, and he was hauling ass! During the second lap, we were joined by the firefighter’s truck, which was blaring music from their loud speaker.

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We were also joined by an entry from Ice Cube. They had hooked up their temporary drill camp shower to a small snow plow. There were people chilling out on the sled in front of the shower, and every once in a while a half naked guy would step out of the shower into the -20 degree air. It was hilarious!

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We finished our three laps around the snow sculptures that had been carved during the previous weeks and then waited for the peds to finish. Curtis won by a comfortable margin of over a minute with a time of 15:14. Rose Meyer, also a general assistant, was the first woman, coming in at 20:17. The first three men and first three women get to go to McMurdo to run in a race there in January.

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After the race, we all headed in for brunch. After brunch, we headed back to our room to open some presents. We got some nice, warm cozy socks from Marianna (one of Lynette’s best friends from Ga. Tech), and we opened a box full of goodies from Grace (Lynette’s mom), which contained one of my all-time favorite candies, cherry twizzlers. (-JRS)

We lounged a bit, watched a movie in our room, and gorged on some new snackies before heading down for the awards ceremony for the race. All participants got a free t-shirt for the race, regardless of how you “run” the race. As Leisl said, that’s the beauty of this race, in particular. One year, they gave shirts to the crew onboard a plane that flew the route in the air.

Given the lack of scheduled activities for the afternoon, the usual crew decided to skip out on the “carolling on the ice” that goes between stations on the ice and hit the volleyball court. It was an unusual day on the court - complete with some out-of-nowhere arguments. But, it was, in general, a good time as usual before breaking off for dinner. Jason and I decided to skip the usual galley dinner and fix a couple of “to go” meals that my mom had sent and spend the night in watching a movie.


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