The coldest day of my life …. so far !

10 11 2010

Woke up this morning with one thought on my mind – today was going to be the coldest day of my life so far!

It wasn’t encouraging that when I went out to get the newspaper from the end of the drive in a blisteringly warm 8 degrees – I actually felt cold! and shortly I was going to be nearly 40 degrees colder!!

Arrived at Bisham Abbey with plenty of time to spare and sat with Greg Whyte  (see pic – little ‘n’ large ?!?) prior to entering the climate chamber, who gave me my 4 point warning ….. any lack of feeling in the tips of my fingers, tips of my toes, nose or ‘other well known extremities’ were to be reported immediately as having an inch or so lobbed of any of them for frost bite was not that inviting !!

It was bloody freezing – we entered the chamber at -20˚ and this is where I begin to get amazed at technology – I was wearing thin thermal underwear and what appeared to be 2 thin ‘wick away’ layers as instructed, my specifically designed fell running boots and two pairs of thermal socks. The gloves were massive – thin innerds, second layer and an outer layer that looks like one of those hand things you wave at Wembley Stadium.

The problem as ever was getting started – the race at the North Pole will have a gap between us leaving the tent, lining up and actually starting to run. This can be as long as up to 10 minutes so we stood around and chatted for 5 and got very very cold.

I was then put on the cross trainer as in those temperatures a running machine could not operate and something remarkable happened … I got warmer and the longer the session went on the more the kit worked – toes were marginally cooler, hands and other appendages seem to be fairly snug.

There were a few issues that we will need to sort out … in covering my ears, mouth, and to a degree, my eyes I seem to be creating my own, slightly claustrophobic environment around my face, where breathing into my own thermal covering steamed up my goggles, made breathing that much harder and made the moisture on the outside of my facial covering turn to ice … not sure that Armani will adopt this look next winter !

Wind chill was fun. The chamber was at -20˚ with a wind chill factor added of – 11˚. I spent the last 40 minutes at -31˚.

In the words of Gloria Gaynor ‘I survived’ apparently with everything in good working order and then Greg and I went for a run around the grounds at Bisham on a beautifully sunny autumnal morning ….. it is amazing how this project seems to take me a million miles away from the rest of my every day life!!

They think its all over .... I was wrong - this is just the beginning !!

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