All teams have now completed the Pioneers Ice Run bringing to a close two weeks of three wheeled Siberian chaos
An on-the-ground Ice Run finish line party update from Mr. Tom - founder of The Adventurists with a selection of photos from teams during the Run.
So there it is. All the teams came out the other side of the world's first Ice Run alive. At around 2am on the last day of the adventure the last 3 teams staggered across the finish line in Salekhard, bringing to a close 2 weeks of chaos in Northern Siberia. The last to arrive were The Incaredible Wallabies (UK & Australia), Ural Crazy (USA & Australia) and solo rider and mentalist Eric of Windy City Wanderers (USA).
The Incaredible Wallabies set a new, if slightly obscure, world record of being towed 400km on a Ural by a Ural. A feat made more colourful by doing it in the dark during a snow storm. They arrived fiery eyed and knackered, mumbling about ghosts in the machine. Earlier that day Team Apache (UK & NZ) dragged themselves across the finish line.
Team Numb Nuts and Guinea Pig (UK) arrived the night of the day before during which Mechanical Mounties, Ural Buff and Tundra & Lightening arrived. Leaving Ice Ice Maybe who arrived the day before that, a team I had pegged as the least likely to arrive in one piece actually arrived second, and more impressively without hospitalisation. And of course Xie Xie who where e first to arrive.
With teams heading off a day early we squeezed the finish line party back a night and woke up the sleepy town of Salekhard. Four bottles of vodka with the starters warmed us up as we drank a toast from each person there. 30 minutes later and we had toasted all manner of obscurities and the night swam beautifully into a giant train wreck as you might imagine. High spirits of both kinds mix curiously. Several glasses, chairs and dignities were rapidly destroyed and we left the restaurant for the town's only night club.
Proud exclamations of staying up till the morning train gradually withered away as one by one they lost the ability to stand, walk, speak and see. Master William's intermittent dance/sleep routine on stage went down like a sack of shit in an elephant zoo and he was ejected at great speed by a team of bouncers big enough to defend a small nation. And so it was that myself, Nick and Jools were the last standing as the bell rang for 5am and we too gave up the night.
This morning the air is thick with tales of adventure. Of how Teams Guinea Pig and Numb Nuts were stuck for three days on an impassable track - travel was so slow it took three hours to ride what they could walk in 30 minutes. Of how Eric drove his bike into a massive snow filled ditch and was rescued by a tank. Olly of Team Numb Nuts recounts his favourite moment barrelling along an ice road at night at a speed that frightens him just talking about, with his iPod in and his favourite music (Aqua) turned up to 11.
Everyone is comparing numb toes and fingers and wondering when, and if they will work again. Tales of gangsters and guns, of mechanics and frustration, of speed and not much speed, of freezing and of adventure.
Till next year then. Who fancies it?
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Bad Week Good Week
Stories from on-the-ice-road - tales of wolves, bear meat, 2km drags, burnt arms, cross-bow related lip incidents...
First to Finish
Team Xie Xie were the first to finish the Pioneers Ice Run, read an interview with them and Mr. Tom at the finish line...
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