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Call it The First Great Race – along with the longest, darkest and quite possibly coldest.
A half-dozen dogsled teams and a handful of straggling spectators gathered at the dog kennels at the edge of Longyearbyen under an inky polar night twilight in minus 22 Celsius cold for a decidedly unceremonious start of the first-ever Mørketidsløpet Svalbard race at about 10 a.m. Saturday. Participants are seeking to complete a 150-kilometer single-time course (as compared to “multi-stage” races featuring untimed rests) from Adventdalen to checkpoints at Freyahytta and Vindodden before returning to town.
About Post Author
I'm a professional transient living on a tiny Norwegian island next door to the North Pole, where once a week (or thereabouts) I pollute our extreme and pristine environment with paper fishwrappers decorated with seemingly random letters that would cause a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters to die of humiliation. Such is the wisdom one acquires after more than 25 years in the world's second-least-respected occupation, much of it roaming the seven continents in search of jazz, unrecognizable street food and escorts I f****d with by insisting they give me the platonic tours of their cities promised in their ads. But it turns out this tiny group of islands known as Svalbard is my True Love and, generous contributions from you willing, I'll keep littering until they dig my body out when my climate-change-deformed apartment collapses or they exile my penniless ass because I'm not even worthy of washing your dirty dishes.