The Last Desert Blogs 2018
View All Posts 2018 From : Raymond Chak
29 November 2018 03:29 am (GMT-03:00) Brasilia
Day 2 we started after lunch for a 4 hours race, so after finish dinner I was too tire and unable to post any update here. The ship was marching to another destination at night, so the ship wasn’t quiet and steady as I expected. Not sleeping so well in the rough sea and I wasn’t feel good when I get up at Day 3. Despite the sleeping problem, I still have a long day to manage. We have to walk 10 hours on Day 3 in a track of approximate 2km.
Back to Day 2 Danco Island, it’s a lovely small island occupied with thousands and thousands of penguins. Those penguins are not afraid of human and would come very close to us. I don’t know what they are thinking or what they are trying to do, looking for food? Or looking for partners? Some of them seem having a good time and enjoying the sun whereas some of them walking here and there all times, I don’t see any food or prey around, they just love walking around. We need to walk on a hilly circuit track approximately around 7km. Coz I’ve no plan to compete with those fast runners, so I spent a lot of time watching those really cute penguins and taking photos up close with them. I got some really nice penguins photos on top the hill there. Day 2 was easy and relax.
29 November 2018 03:18 am (GMT-03:30) Newfoundland
As I said in my previous diary, I wasn’t sleep well after Day 2, so I’m not in good mood when I woke up on Day 3. Fortunately, we have a lovely sunshine to cheer up for us most of the day.
We have a smaller circuit on Day 3, each lap is only around 1.5km. The place has a right name, Paradise Island, it’s a beautiful island surrounding by huge islands and glaicers nearby. We have to walk up and down a small puffy snow mountain. The view on the island is magificant, the sea surrounding the island is calm, we can see reflection from mountains and glaicers clearly in the sea. I cannot stop taking photos on several spots that I like very much when I pass by each time repeatedly.
Despite all amazing landscape, quickly the place reminds me a place call prison where inmates would walk around in small playground all day to kill time. Just like us, walking in cycles. Every time when fast runners run pass me, they look like squirrels running fast in spinning wheels. For those who like me, slow walker, I feel myself like a prisoner walking in infinity loops.
29 November 2018 02:44 am (GMT-03:00) Brasilia
I set myself a target today before race start. I don’t know how long the race will last, but I want to complete a marathon today. When I’ve set a goal for myself, my spirit become complete different. Yesterday my mood was super low, but today I almost run non-stop for the entire 8 hours.
Today is real game challenge, the weather is horrible at start. The race was delay for hours due to weather. Wind would not stop the race but it’s not safe for the inflatable jet boat to take runners on shore. Most of the time today we were walking under ultra-strong wind, wind here in Antarctica blow from every directions. Rain and snow also non-stop today, my entire body is soaking wet, I have a water-proof jacket and pants, so my body was dry, but my gloves are not, so I’ve been running with my hands wet inside a pair of wet and cold gloves almost whole day.
Despite the weather situation, it didn’t slow me down, contrary I ran faster and complete more distance than I ever ran before. During the 8 hours run, a lot of things come into my mind, my sons, my family, my supportive colleagues, my good friends, my run buddies and my superstar coach, Mr. Chow, he taught me a lot which are really useful even when I’m running here in Antarctica.
Apart from good friends and friendship, I also think about my good food, I need to have some really good food when I back in Hong Kong, hot food, definitely hot food.
The Amazing Chung, a fireman from Hong Kong, break all previous official record and completed the first 250km by the closing time today.
Thanks to my love, she always supportive to me, and she make her husband become an honor member of the 4 Deserts Club today.
26 November 2018 05:22 am (GMT-03:00) Buenos Aires, Georgetown
Day 1 is a really tough day! We all have to run 12hours today on the first island we land in the amazing Antarctica. The weather is amazing today (from Antarctica’s perspective perhaps), gentle snowing, heaving snowing, wind chill, strong wind, you name it, we experience it all within one day. I ate a lot energy bars today whenever I pass by check point in order to give my body sufficient energy. No matter how much I ate, first thing I return to my cabinet, first thing I did is to grasp things that I can put into my mouth, chocolate, chips, gummies… It was freezing on the island under strong wind and heavy snow, what a wonderful Day 1!
Island we landed today is called King George Island, it’s not entirely covered by snow, the island contains a number of research facilities of different countries, Russia, Argentina, Spain, and China! The Antarctica is not owned by any particular country, many countries built their facilities on it, mainly for science research. Today we walked past most of their facilities.
Mr. & Mrs. Fung and I all completed Day 1 together. Day 1 difficulties is really beyond our expectation. Compare with the deserts we covered in the past, today we all feel like it’s the most challenging stage we ever had. The feeling of walking on snow is much harder than sand dunes. Especially when strong wind and heavy snow blowing right on your face. We all have to keep moving on the island so as to keep our body warm, ie. We didn’t stop much on the island during our 12hours walk. I thought I wore enough during the day, when I back on ship having my hot shower, then I realise my toes and all my fingers are freezing hurt.
Despite all the above, Day 1 is challenging and fun, no one get hurt or injured. We all looking forward to our Day 2.
17 November 2018 03:16 am (GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi
On the eve of leaving Hong Kong for my final challenge in the 4 Deserts series, I'm busying packing my lugguage and runner's equipments. After 9 months training, tomorrow I'm leaving Hong Kong to Auckland and then via Bruno Aires to Ushuais, there we will onboard our ice-breaking ship, the Plancius, to start our 10 days journey to the Antarctica. I'm fortune that Diane will travel with me the entire journey to Antarctica and support me throught out the race. I'm really looking forward to see the white contenient and enjoy the race. Most important, for charity and for our next generation in Hong kong. Hope more will join our mission and support Zheng Sheng College and RunOurCity.
We sincerely thanks for your selfless support and donation. Wishing you a very successful Year 2019.
Raymond, the Desert Runner