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Team Xie Xie first to complete the Siberian Ice Run

EC CommunityJames HipkissComment

As the day began to draw to a close at the finish line in Salekhard the distant sound of a badly tuned 650cc engine fluttered over the horizon.

Through the icy haze appeared the two bright blue jackets of Team XieXie. They had made it - despite the locals warnings that it was impossible - the first team has reached the Arctic Circle and the finish of the Pioneers Ice Run 2012. The inevitable back slapping and man hugging ensued followed by a reasonable attempt to imbibe a sizeable proportion of the available vodka in town.

While they could still speak normally I thought I would ask them some of those question things.

Tom: So, you've made it to the other end. Surprised?

Scott:We're very proud actually to be the first people ever to do it.

Michael:Friends and family expected us to to die. We weren't sure we would finish, but as it turns out... Scott:...a few moments of doubt, but here we are. We wouldn't recommend sleeping without a sleeping bag at minus 30. Tom:So that was a high point I imagine?

Michael: It fell off during the day because of poor packing, then after a game of paper scissors stone, I lost and went without. It was probably one of the worst moments in my life. I was too scared to close my eyes because I thought my body would shut down and I would die. I was in all my clothes so the only good thing about it was that I didn't have to get dressed in the morning.

Tom: Splendid work. Any more winning moments?

Michael:I think the best moment was driving at 80kph down the ice roads, jumping the bike off the kickers at the side of the road with Salekhard on the horizon.

Scott:Yeah that was a real joyous moment. And then the Siberians, they were just incredible people. Michael:On to the north pole!

http://www.explorersconnect.com/expeditions/siberia/vehicle/-/the-ice-run-siberia-12954/