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!