University of Wisconsin-Madison

Week 52 at the Pole

NSF/A. Dixon
NSF/A. Dixon

The Race Around the World, an approximately two-mile course at the South Pole, is one that some folks take seriously, with planning and preparations aimed at bringing them across the finish line first. After all, the prize, an extralong shower, is something anyone living at the South Pole station would covet, as shower time is rationed there.

Then there are others who treat the race as a great opportunity to dress up and run around outside—around the world, that is, since the track circles the geographic South Pole, crossing through each time zone. Those in it for fun can sometimes be seen racing on sleds, skis, or even bikes, as IceCube winterover Ian Rees is shown doing (above) alongside another IceCube resident, Jake Feintzeig, on foot.

This year’s race fell on Christmas morning. Their special Christmas meal of lobster and beef wellington seems like an appropriate reward for race participants but also a nice fuel supplier for the next sporting event, a flag football game held the following day, on Boxing Day.

NSF/I. Rees
NSF/I. Rees
NSF/I. Rees
NSF/I. Rees