The Halley Marathon

At -10 °C and with a slight breeze taking the temperature down to -16 and with an icy, slippery surface, running anywhere would seem a little foolhardy. But last Sunday 24 of us at Halley base set off in the Halley Marathon: 8 ½ laps of the base perimeter to make up the required distance. The course had been groomed, and although this made
it firm underfoot, it was quite icy, in fact most of the runners wore the rubber foot spikes seen last winter around the Lakes.

Start of the marathon

I had done some training with Dean although this had been interrupted by bad weather in the weeks preceding the race, and we had aimed to run a constant pace of 35 minute laps to bring us home in just under 5 hours. In the end, 3 of us: me, Dean and Ian Prickett ran together, and we went off too fast, the first 3 5km laps were done in 27 mins each, resulting in bad cramp for Dean on lap 6 and 7, but we stuck together and came in joint 2nd in 4 ½ hours. Everybody finished the race, with 2 even skiing it; and as the main point was to raise money for 2 charities (see we were all pretty chuffed to have raised £4000.

25kms in to the Halley Marathon
On the way to an equal 2nd placing!

No rest though, and with aching legs I was off for a supposed two night stop at the Halley 6 site. I only took a toothbrush, and as the stay turned into a week I was ready for a shower when I got back. Halley 6 only has 3 bedroom containers and a hole in the ground for a toilet, but nobody seemed to mind, as the place is quiet and away from the hubbub of the main base (15km away).

Halley 6 dining room
Halley 6 living quarters
Nearly complete, the Halley 6 build
A low evening sun

With most of the modules now at Halley 6 all the rest of the workforce are travelling to the site in a container on a sled being pulled by a tractor. It takes an hour and is pretty cold, as we are resident at Halley 6 (only 12 beds) we call them “the illegals”, looking for work.

Transport to Halley 6

We have 4 natural inhabitants sheltering at the site; some Adelie penguins have come inland to moult. When they are ready, and before the sea ice traps them on the continent, they will head north to the warmer latitudes.

A bit like us……

A young Adelie Penguin moulting

Series - Antarctic Painting

  1. Polar Painting
  2. Journey South
  3. The Journey Continues; Iceberg Ahoy!
  4. Ice Ice Baby
  5. The Weddell Sea
  6. Nearly there!!
  7. Halley 6 : On The Ice
  8. All Work and No Play
  9. Different Shades of Grey
  10. Racing Penguin
  11. The Move Begins
  12. Moving Postcard from Antarctica
  13. Winter approaches
  14. The Halley Marathon
  15. The Final Week
  16. The Journey North
  17. Antarctic Painting – Year 3
  18. Antarctic Demolition

9 thoughts on “The Halley Marathon”

  1. Well done Ian for running the marathon. Looking good at the front of the pack in the first picture.

    Will it be a bit sad to leave? We’ve had more snow this weekend, but it’ll be gone by the time you get home. You’ll be arriving in time for the early daffodils.

  2. Some weight loss, but mostly put back on….. :yum: :yum: , and Rachel is right , there was a lot of John Waynes about the week after the race. luckily by Tuesday my legs were ok and by midweek I couldn’t even tell I’d been running. Maybe I didn’t try hard enough! 😀

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