Frostbite weather not keeping participants from 135 mile raceGrand Forks, ND (WDAZ TV) - Extreme athletes from all over the world will be in International Falls, Minnesota on Monday for the start of a 135 mile outdoor race.
By: Kayla Strayer, WDAZ, WDAZ Staff Reports, WDAZ
Grand Forks, ND (WDAZ TV) - Extreme athletes from all over the world will be in International Falls, Minnesota on Monday for the start of a 135 mile outdoor race.
A race that will put athletes to the test through Minnesota's harsh winter weather.
Alison Kelly, Racer: “We are out this morning doing a training ride for the Arrowhead 135 bike race.”
David Sears, Racer: “The icebox of the nation. Average starting temperature is minus 20 Fahrenheit.”
Sears: “You start to fall asleep while you're pedaling.”
All make for a long, harrowing 135 mile ride of survival.
Sears: “I've seen people with blackened toes and whatnot. It gets pretty serious.”
Only 135 racers compete.
Sears: “Because it's such a vast distance and because of the temperatures and the chances of people getting frostbite, possibly dying.”
To prepare for such a dangerous race, the bikers meet before dawn. They cycle around Grand Forks, even in blizzard like conditions. But being physically fit is just half the battle.
Sears: “It's very tough psychologically when you're out there. Especially if you're by yourself and it's 10 below.”
This race isn't about finishing first but finishing at all.
Sears: “It's quite daunting. I've attempted it twice in the past. I've never gotten past the half-way point.”
As race day inches closer, bikers say they're getting nervous but still confident.
Sears: “I feel good this year. I'm riding with a partner from Minneapolis.”
But why even attempt such a challenging race?
Sears: “It's just something different to do and it gets you outside. Especially in the winter around here you got to make your own fun.”
The race ends in Tower, Minnesota. For More information go to ArrowheadUltra.com.