Caren Ware's Blog

May 1, 2013

Now we know why penguins waddle. It was a waddle that second half of the marathon

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 9:57 pm

282930Out the corale area and back onto the course and into the mounting wind and rolling hills and  there was that lone penguin suited runner with his flopping wings. I followed him for miles.

Okay, gals, fashion would be my least of concerns.  I was having trouble with fluids.  My stashed water bottle was frozen solid.  My camel back  tube had frozen though the Gatorade still sloshed in my pack against my body.  Have you ever tried to drink out of the pour in opening of a camelback?  It doesn’t work.  The bladder bag folds and bends and doesn’t permit the liquid to pour out straight.  It splattered and froze all down the front of my Patagonia pullover and down my neck.  Now, I was totally out of even a sip of liquid.  I actually had to beg a few drops off a fellow runner, leaving him short supplied also. I did eat the brownie I snagged from the ship’s kitchen as it was softer than my flash frozen cliff bar.  A volunteer graciously poured some fluid in my extra hand-held bottle and handed it to me for the last lap.  Within minutes, I could feel the popsicle through my gloved hands.  Bum.  I should have sipped when I could have. It was already frozen.3332

So on we trudged as the temperature played harsh havoc with our depleting bodies.  But the vastness became intoxicating and the absence of music became better music to my ears.  I was memorized by the scape.  A place that has 360 degree sunrises and sunsets and luring casts of shades and sunlight.  For now, the lure was a storm.  But it too captured a mood.  It was reminding us who Antarctica is and can be.  I was glad the ipod had been cast of because in the silence I began to hear the land.  A sea-lion barked, gulls squealed, the waves crashed against the rocks below, and metal lashings clanked like quaint chimes on our ship bobbing way out in the bay. I was struggling physically, but glorying inside.  This was definitely a place you had to feel in person.  My feeble words would never convey. I  respected the power of this place that forcibly slowed me down.

My knees did start to rebel to the undulating surface and all the sprinting downhill.  They locked up and refused to allow a full stride. “ Really, body”, I complained.  But you know, again, I am kind of thankful for the lingering time it made me take to be out there.  Someone kiddingly said, ‘I am going to stay out here as long as I can to get my money’s worth out of this trip.”  My knee was giving me no choice.  I think most of us were in the same condition.

A few fast photos at the finish and wisdom told me to put every layer I brought back on and get back to the ship. We all did. Through those choppy waters we bounced, getting sprayed by chilling water in our black fast zodiacs.  We left St George’s Island with heart-felt honor to have wrestled with Antarctica. We were humbled by it.  Tamed by it. Not taken lightly, forever changed by it.  And that was only the beginning of our epic journey to the end of the earth.

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