Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Nome

Beat finished his thousand-mile journey across Alaska on Sunday evening, side by side with Marco Berni of Italy as they dragged their sleds up onto Front Street in Nome. They hoisted them under Iditarod's burled arch at 7 p.m. on the dot, for a finish time of 28 days and 4 hours, adjusted for Daylight Savings Time. And just like that, the ongoing battle against extreme cold, wind, ice, blowing snow, overflow, isolation, and desolation that had become Beat's life ... was over. He finished to walk to Nome. I can hardly believe it.

I wanted to write a proper post about that final day, which is why I haven't updated my blog for a couple of days. There's been little time, but I wanted to post a quick update for the friends and family who may have not seen my Facebook posts. Beat is doing well — some frostbite and windburn on his cheeks, a few blisters on his feet, and superficial muscle soreness along with fatigue and hunger. But he's otherwise not worse for the wear. The physical maladies and pains he experienced early in the race seemed to iron themselves out and he fell into a rhythm that didn't break down his body too much — which is necessary if one wants to continue forward motion for four solid weeks.

The Iditarod Trail never made passage easy for Marco and Beat. Their final days along the coast were wracked with deep cold and wind, and the slightest transitions from moving to stopping were a struggle. I'm going to work on a final write-up for my now-neglected Half Past Done blog about it as soon as we get back to California. We leave Wednesday.

This past month of traveling around Alaska, connecting with the wonderful people up here, embarking on cold-weather adventures, and following Beat in spirit has been an incredible experience for me; I can't even imagine how fulfilling Beat's journey must have been. Thanks for following along. More soon.