Described as ‘Longer than England, colder than vodka and harder than granite’ this is the first time that a race such as this has been attempted and competitors from Russia to America are raring to become the first to walk on water and reach the finish for the World’s first Siberian Black Ice Race
[Adsense]Siberia is in demand and the Siberians must think that us people from around the world are totally and utterly mad! First it was The Adventurists with their Siberian Ice Run – a race on old school Ural motorbikes with sidecars starting at the southern end of the River Ob and finishing in the North Siberian town of Salekhard… a race that finished very successfully I might add despite some very interesting encounters and experiences along the way including tales of wolves, raw bear meat, 2km drags, burnt arms, cross-bow related lip incidents, tow trains, Russian Mafia, frozen faces, technical candles and police encounters to name but a few.
“Someone’s dog got munched by a wolf last week – the Siberian version weighs in at 100 kilos… which is a whole lot of fur and teeth!” said one team member. “The “boss” has “asked” us to go to his club. He openly introduced himself as a gangster. Please god this turns out ok… Scare / intrigue” another tweeted followed by “We’re not allowed to pay for anything. Politely declined the prostitutes, but accepted a beer. Kinda having fun…”
But now to other Siberian shores…
Lake Baikal, Siberia
This new adventure is organised by Extreme World Races and is definitely the stuff that some of our readers would want to know about! You will be too late for this year, but can follow it with interest and grab a place for the next if the challenge appeals to you!
The Siberian Black Ice Race begins on the 17th March – perhaps everyone will be wearing shamrocks for good luck? If the nuance of that comment is too oblique, you will surely know that the 17th March is St Patricks Day! Anyway, back to the race…
The race is to be held on Lake Baikal, the world’s oldest and deepest (averaging 744.4 metres or 2,442 ft) ice lake. It is also one of the clearest lakes in the world. Located in the south of the Russian region of Siberia, between Irkutsk Oblast to the northwest and the Buryat Republic to the southeast, it is the most voluminous freshwater lake in the world, containing roughly 20% of the world’s unfrozen surface fresh water. In the winter it is covered with black ice – eerily spooky.
The race starts in the ancient Cossack city of Irkutsk in one of the world’s most beautiful wildernesses. It ends 379 miles later if you go for the marathon version, or you may prefer the 155 mile sprint. For both races you have a choice of non-motorised forms of transport such as bike, ski, foot, kite-ski or kite buggy. Competitors will have to be self-sufficient on the ice with temperatures as low as -40 degrees C and winds of up to 100km/h.
The World’s first multi-discipline race: kitesurfing is one option
There is a 7-day deadline for the sprint and a 14-day deadline for the marathon.
This is an entirely new category of endurance racing and the world’s first Multi-Discipline Race across the lake.
Alternative transport for the Siberian Black Ice race
Extreme World Races are also honorary guests at the Irkutsk Winter Games and the filming of the Race will also be shown at Cannes Film Festival to audiences across the World. Tony Martin, Race Organiser and CEO of Extreme World Races; “To be welcomed and featuring at the Irkutsk Winter Games is an honour. For any adventurer, to take part in a World’s first is a challenge of their life. To think that you could be the first to reach that goal is something that cannot be underestimated both mentally and physically. With Marathon competitors also completing their journey on the legendary Trans-Siberian Express this is a race that will certainly be remembered”.
The team from Extreme World Races left England today en route for Siberia in time to set everything up before the contestants arrive. It is not yet known exactly how many racers will be taking part as a colleague in Russia will be bringing some local challengers along. East meets West – this will be an interesting challenge!
You can keep an eye on the Siberian Black Ice Race on the Extreme World Races website at www.extremeworldraces.com for all the up to date information on the race and to follow the racers’ positions… and for more information on how to enter the next Lake Baikal Race visit www.extremeworldraces.com/races/siberian-black-ice-race/
Check out the video… the ice is certainly black and obviously very very thick!
All photos by kind permission of Extreme World Races