Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Laser Antarctic Championships 2008

I've decided that I need to start a new Laser regatta somewhere in Antarctica ...

Having too much time on my hands the other day, I started thinking about some long term running and sailing goals. Sort of picking up from where I left off in the rambling schizophrenic conversation with myself back in January, in which I had poured scorn on "participation goals". Or at least part of me did.

Runners know all about participation goals. 99% or more of the runners that enter a marathon are not trying to win it. They know they have no hope of that. Some may be aiming to achieve a certain finish time, but for most the only goal is to have a good experience and to finish in one piece. Some folk don't find that quite challenging enough and start setting themselves goals like running a marathon in every one of the fifty states of the USA. Others with a yen for travel set out to run a marathon on every continent.

How many continents are there? Let's see ... North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia. That's six. Oh, plus the one we always forget, Antarctica. That's seven. Yeah, but for the purposes of a marathon challenge it will have to be six, right? There's no such thing as a marathon on Antarctica is there?

Oh yes, there is. There's actually a travel company Marathon Tours and Travel that arranges trips for runners wishing to travel and compete in marathons all over the world. The bulletin on their home page is currently touting tours to the marathons in the Medoc region of France (run through 59 vineyards), Easter Island and Australia's Gold Coast. And to satisfy the ambitions of those marathoners yearning to achieve the goal of running a marathon on all seven continents, they do organize an Antarctic Marathon.

That's sounds like a pretty cool goal - to run a marathon on all seven continents. Especially as it would involve travel to some exotic locations and plenty of opportunities for some side trips and exploring.

But, hey, I'm a sailor first and a runner second. Why not aim to compete in a major sailing championship on every continent? I've already sailed World Championships in Europe, and North and South America. The Laser Master Worlds this year are in Korea and in a couple of years are in Australia. That's doable. Africa is tougher. The last time the Laser Worlds were in Africa was 1996. Must be due soon.

But that still leaves Antarctica. Wonder how practical it would be to organize a regatta there? I do notice that those crazy folk at Marathon Tours and Travel have been arranging an Antarctic Kayak Championship since 2005.

Hmmm. I need to talk to them about this Laser regatta they need to organize...

5 comments:

Tim said...

Cool idea!

Tillerman said...

So can I count you in Tim?

Anonymous said...

Bring your dry suit!

hold fast said...

Oddly enough, i happen to know a few sailors who work in Antarctica. A Lazer regatta there doesn't seem so absurd, given the one great running event they already have: The 300 Club. To gain entry to the club, you have to be a member of the winter crew, who get isolated during the 6-month austral winter. When the outside temp. drops to -100, they stoke up the sauna to +200, and after "getting up to temperature", the participants run out to the Pole (a hundred yards or so), make a quick lap, and return to the sauna... The 300-degree temperature change is supposedly... interesting... especially given that the runners wear only shoes and a kerchief over their mouths (to help keep the lungs from freezing).
i'm sure a frostbite series wouldn't be far behind, given the right nudging...

Tillerman said...

That 300 club sounds bizarre. Are there any pictures? I guess that technically it counts as a circumnavigation too in that you do have to cross every line of longitude.

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