Very few places excite taxi drivers, but Mongolia seems to do that to everybody. Pavel was chock full of questions, of a place that at this time of year is one of extreme beauty, temperatures and terrain.This time last year, I was running from the reputed birthplace of Genghis Khan to the modern day capital of Ulan Bataar, thinking it was much easier to run in the extreme cold, than it was to drive. Temperatures had dipped to minus 45, and the driver had the blowtorch out to unfreeze the radiator and the diesel tank. Interesting.
In addition to the longer run, last year I took place in the inaugural Genghis Khan Ice Marathon. There is something very special about running on a frozen system in Outer Mongolia, with a yurt as the base camp, and the howls of huskies ringing in our ears. Eleven hardy competitors took to the start line, and only two got a touch of frostbite in temperatures of minus 35 (it was a beautiful clear day). The question I get asked most is what I wear. In short I use lots of thin layers, including two pairs of gloves, and a special ice shoe with studs in the bottom (Merrell All Out Terra Ice).
So this year, I am joining Sandbaggers at the World’s Coldest Burns Supper, followed by the Genghis Khan Ice Marathon mark 2. We will have the opportunity to catch up with old friends, and to update on the various Yamaa trust projects that are ongoing.
It will not be boring, and it will not be warm.