As we lead up to our discussion of The Brief History of the Dead in April, we’re sharing articles and news of related interest.
In my last post I alluded to the many important scientific and research programs that are continually happening in Antarctica–but quite a few sporting events take place there, too.
Runners who have tried everything else might want to tackle the Antarctic Ice Marathon in November. Set on Union Glacier, it is located a mere 650 miles from the South Pole and boasts “breathtaking views” (perhaps literally?) as well as “breezy” conditions known as katabatic winds. Katabatic winds can rush down elevated slopes at hurricane speeds! Brrrrr.
Sound too easy? You could participate in the “Four Deserts” race, recognized as the world’s leading endurance footrace series. The Four Deserts races take place in the Atacama Desert in Chile, the Gobi Desert in China, the Sahara in Africa, and in Antarctica. Antarctica is considered to be a desert because the extreme cold freezes water vapor out of the air, and annual snowfall on the polar plateau is equivalent to less than 5 cm of rain. There are no liquid lakes or rivers: it is the driest continent on earth.
Sports are a big part of life for the people living and working in Antarctica as well, with residents participating in everything from dodgeball to rugby to “local inventions such as human-sled-tractor-pulls,” according to an ESPN article.
And although the “sports” connection is tenuous, Antarctica was also just showcased as the backdrop for the 2013 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.
In April, the St. Charles Public Library and Elgin Community College are cosponsoring a variety of events for “Our Community Reads.” Members of the community are encouraged to read the book, The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier and join in the conversation.