Why the Yukon Arctic Ultra Race?
I’ve recently neglected my blog a bit because I spent a month away from Estonia. Unfortunately, in most places there was no internet connection, so my emotions could not really be transmitted in real time, but I’ll make sure to share my backpacking photos and videos with you in my next blog post. For now, I would like to give you a glimpse of my new challenge, so you could understand what it is and why I decided to take it on.
When I finished the desert marathon Marathon Desables 32 last year, it made me feel so good, that I can’t even describe the feeling – you just have to be there to understand.
Why the Yukon Arctic Ultra Race?
Last year, after completing the desert marathon successfully, one of the competitors joked, that the next one will be the Yucon Arctic Race. I, of course, was curious what it was. When I heard more about it, I just had that feeling of … oh, maybe I should really do it! At that time, it was certainly not an exact plan, because it just seemed too crazy and a bit of a “suicide” to take it on.
My main goal has been to learn from these challenges, because this is the one thing that pushes me forward in my life and I can use this knowledge in my work. Although I completed the desert marathon, I had a lot of difficult moments, but during the race itself I did not think about them. If anyone asked me what was most difficult, then I would say that with these projects it is most difficult to find people who will come along with it all. I also never had initiated a charity project. It became a real challenge for me, because collecting a budget amount through grants is much more difficult than it may seem.
All this has taken time, and I am glad we got the first charity project together. I use the term “our park” because, with this project I wanted to show that in reality there is not just a single person, but a whole volunteer team, behind the initiative – as evidenced by the names of all the supporters, written on the stand of the health park square!
With Yucon Arctic Ultra Race I would like to invite even more Estonian people to work together and help create 10 new training parks in Estonia. The desire is to bring together small communities and create something nice that would help highlight the right values. Exactly three months ago, I was advised to read “What Doesn’t Kill Us” by Wim Hof, and in doing so I got a lot of inspiration and ideas on how to improve my workouts and results, and I am immensely enthusiastic about the book.
I have been doing various breathing and cold exercises since January to help my body fight everything that is waiting for me. One might even say that I have become a victim of human experimentation!?
Participation in the Yucon Arctic Ultra Race is definitely a challenge – the mere idea of waking up and going straight into the cold water was, at first, quite strange. The first month of training, I stayed under the cold water for 30 seconds to 1 minute, and now I have extended this time.
It can be said that I’m leaving my comfort zone and getting to feel what real life is. Everyone can certainly do this, but it’s not about how you go into the cold environment, but how you can control your body in cold weather, so that you don’t freeze too quickly. I have also been testing, by means of breathing exercises, how to confuse my inner “computer” so that the body is able to absorb oxygen faster, which can prevent the formation of too much lactic acid in the muscles. That’s my goal at the moment, but whether it really works, will become clear in the course of further workouts. Of course, I have not yet understood everything, but I’m working to make the journey more enjoyable than it really is.
The most problematic will be the equipment that I have to order and which I plan to tailor to fit me, because it is going to be a race in really extreme conditions. My previous interview, in which I confirmed that I am aware of all the dangers, is also a testament to that.
In total, it is necessary to complete 690 km in the snow, carrying all the food and supplies on a sledge behind you. The fact that I am going to take part in the competition does not scare me as much as knowing what has happened to people in the previous races. It motivates me to better prepare for the challenge. This is one of the world’s toughest races, and this fact is also reflected in the number of sign-ups which, including me, is currently 18 people.
There is a lot of work and overcoming boundaries ahead, but I will do my best to come back from the Yucon Arctic Ultra Race in one piece.
There are still challenges to write about – so stay tuned!