RacingThePlanet Blogs 2022

View All Posts 2022 From : Ian Lyster

Ian Lyster
The Long March

19 August 2022 08:40 pm (GMT+02:00) Helsinki, Kyiv, Riga, Sofia, Tallinn, Vilnius

 Good evening from Camp 5 – The last camp!


And so we near the end of this adventure, and an adventure it has been.  High peaks – lots of them, steep descents on tired legs and sore knees, all the time wondering if another step is possible. ?


Stage 5, aka “The Long March”  was yesterday, and personally finished for me at twenty minutes past midnight last night.  50 miles of varied terrain, culminating in the last few miles on a road.  I have never been so happy to see the Racing The Planet flags that signify that camp is very close!


After such a long day I expected to sleep long and hard, but neither of those conditions were met, unfortunately.

“Awake” again early, but this time there was no rush or need to repack the backpack for the day’s trek.  A rest day in camp by a beautiful Finnish lake was on the agenda.

We had access to a traditional Finnish sauna, and in true Finnish style, the proper process is:  Dip in lake (~60F), sauna, lake, sauna and one final lake dip to cool down and rinse.  Fabulous!  ?


A quiet few evening hours remain, and hopefully a better sleep before the last push to the Finnish finish line tomorrow around lunchtime.

Apparently the race directors are not letting us of lightly for the last 7.4 miles.  We have been promised lots of swampy marshland to start with (wet feet right from the start! ?, then a 400 meter climb to the top of a peak, followed by the final descent to the flag.

It will be a nice way to put the icing on this particular cake. ?.

Comments: Total (1) comments

Brett Lemley

Posted On: 22 Aug 2022 01:53 pm

Superhero status for you!!! Awesome job and amazing feat! I can’t wait to hear all about it when you return!
Ian Lyster
Stage 4

17 August 2022 08:44 pm (GMT+02:00) Helsinki, Kyiv, Riga, Sofia, Tallinn, Vilnius

 Good evening campers!


Stage 4:  Well, lots of miles again today.  Long roads for legs 1-3, and then the sting in the tail, Leg 4.  The powers-that-be kept the best for last with an almost torturous climb to the top of a Fell, with stunning view.  And then it was time to descend, but unfortunately the “brakes” are definitely what they were for Stage 1!

That said, clenched teeth and the promise of some more freeze-dried food at camp was all the motivation needed.


The race staff organized for us all to have reindeer soup as a special treat for getting this far.  Delicious ?


So, here we are on the eve of the last “real” stage, Stage 5, which is a double.  My plan...  Start, walk and finish at whatever time I hopefully make it through gate 55 miles later.  I don’t plan on stopping for sleep at the lone “overnight” stop, but will pause a while for a yummy freeze dried meal.


The objective, get to Camp 5 some time tomorrow night, and then rest up for the last 6 miles to the final finish line on Saturday morning.


Almost there.  I just need my feet, ankles, calves, knees, quads, back and shoulders to hold on just a bit longer.


See you all soon.   TTFN  ? 

Comments: Total (4) comments

Brett Lemley

Posted On: 18 Aug 2022 02:42 am

Awesome job!!! And great job blogging too by the way! This next one sounds amazing!! You are going to see some things few people have seen and I know you are going to get there strong!!

Amy 👩🏼 Lyster

Posted On: 17 Aug 2022 07:10 pm

Awesome impressive and inspirational. Keep in trekking. The Lysters think you are the Man. Love you

OliviA Lyster

Posted On: 17 Aug 2022 07:09 pm

Hi dad😃 I missed a few blog posts but sounds like you’re doing pretty well… cool! Finish up and eat some real food!

Gustav Joyce

Posted On: 17 Aug 2022 06:37 pm

Awesome, Ian. You make this look easy. All the best for tomorrow, its a monster, but I have full confidence that you will get to the end. Serious respect!! Good luck I will track things through the live updates.
Ian Lyster
Stage 3

16 August 2022 10:54 pm (GMT+02:00) Helsinki, Kyiv, Riga, Sofia, Tallinn, Vilnius

 Good evening campers ?


Stage 3 completed!  A hard day today with a long climb to the top of a Fell – but the views were spectacular.  Tricky descent with roots and rocks again.

Then a long trek along “The Old Post Road”.  Numerous water-filled ditches to negotiate, and some challenging little “inclines” ?


To finish up the daily stroll we had a long haul along some gravel forest tracks and roads – very hard on the feet and completely unforgiving – the road that never seemed to have an end!


Anyway, all done for today.  Tired feet and muscles.  Thinking of dialling it back a bit tomorrow to save some fuel in preparation for the “Long March” on Thursday.


Thanks to my family and friends for providing such amazing support and encouragement.


See you tomorrow. Ian

Comments: Total (3) comments

Gustav Joyce

Posted On: 17 Aug 2022 02:27 pm

Well done, Ian. Amazing progress!

Gustav Joyce

Posted On: 17 Aug 2022 02:27 pm

Well done, Ian. Amazing progress!

Brett Lemley

Posted On: 16 Aug 2022 10:47 pm

Amazing!!! Number 2 down and you are still rocking it!!!
Ian Lyster
Hello from The Pallas Lake!

15 August 2022 07:02 pm (GMT+02:00) Helsinki, Kyiv, Riga, Sofia, Tallinn, Vilnius

Hello from The Pallas Lake!


Stage 1 & 2 down!  ?


Stage 1 was a challenge with some serious ascending for 3,000 feet after a “water feature”.  Stunning views from the top of Pallas Fell over the surrounding lowland forests.

4 miles in a forest navigating through rocks and roots required some focus for fear of a wrong footing.

All good though.  Sore and tired in a very satisfied way.  Great group of people!  Personal GPS moving time was 5hrs 59mins


Stage 2 today.   Faster and generally more forgiving landscape, except for the 7 miles through forest wonderland comprising rocks and roots again.  Glad to see the checkpoint 3 flags denoting that the end of that section was very close. ?

A very long climb away from CP3 had me muttering some expletives under my breath!  Forest road finished out the remainder of Stage 2.

Upon arrival in camp, I took my weary feet down for a long soak in the icy waters of the lake close by – gorgeous!   Dipped my head in to “wash” my hair ?, and some brave souls went all in and swam around.

Personal GPS moving time 6hrs 13mins.


Stage 3 tomorrow.   TTFN campers!  ?

Comments: Total (4) comments

Scoop Carlile

Posted On: 16 Aug 2022 11:15 am

Sounds beautiful! Power on!

Brett Lemley

Posted On: 15 Aug 2022 10:22 pm

Sounds amazing! I’m sure the water fest great after the day’s work! Keep it up!!

Brett Lemley

Posted On: 15 Aug 2022 10:22 pm

Sounds amazing! I’m sure the water fest great after the day’s work! Keep it up!!

Gustav Joyce

Posted On: 15 Aug 2022 07:12 pm

Well done, Ian. Sounds awesome. I can highly recommend the swim in the icy waters. That will rejuvenate body and mind. Good luck with tomorrow, we look forward to move feedback. All the best, Gustav
Ian Lyster
It’s time…

13 August 2022 07:28 am (GMT+02:00) Helsinki, Kyiv, Riga, Sofia, Tallinn, Vilnius

Good morning campers!

Well, it's happened.  The final wake up in the comforts of the hotel here in Rovaniemi, before we all board the busses for the ~3.5hr ride to Camp 1 and the official check-in.

it's a gloriously sunny morning in the gateway to Lapland, and I'm taking that as a good omen ???.

Lots of fellow racers piling into the hotel dining room for the final "real" meal until next Saturday.

The atmosphere is interesting.  It's easy to spot the RTP newbies such as myself, who seem to have a slight air of trepidation about them, whereas the seasoned hands look far too relaxed and comfortable! ?.

Anyway, a very friendly atmosphere all around.  Time for a short walk by the river to kill time before we leave.  TTFN.

Comments: Total (4) comments

Brett Lemley

Posted On: 15 Aug 2022 12:36 pm

Great job on stage 1! Keep up the positive outlook and enjoy the views!!!

Amy 👩🏼 Lyster

Posted On: 15 Aug 2022 12:13 pm

Pictures are incredible. Looking strong. Can’t wait to hear about stage 2

Gustav Joyce

Posted On: 15 Aug 2022 01:44 am

Well done on stage 1, Ian!! How was it? How are you feeling?

Olivia Lyster

Posted On: 14 Aug 2022 01:14 am

Exciting!! Keep it up :)
Ian Lyster
Enjoying Rovaniemi!

11 August 2022 10:06 pm (GMT+02:00) Helsinki, Kyiv, Riga, Sofia, Tallinn, Vilnius

More than twenty four hours after leaving Houston, Texas, I finally arrived in Rovaniemi very late on Tuesday evening.  The idea of arriving early was to mitigate some of the jet lag before starting the race.  I'd say that has been only partially successful so far! ;)

Looking forward to getting started, and eating enough of my food packs that I can move my sleeping bag from the outside to the inside of my pack.  I have been seeing other competitors and they seem to have everything inside theirs.  How does that work with all the food?  I am interested in learning the tricks of the trade from other ultra experts.  It's time to try to sleep again.  TTFN

Comments: Total (0) comments