GOING TO EXTREMES: Newcastle’s Jodie Tersteeg, in Antarctica above, could be accused of running hot and cold after taking part in very different Parkruns. Picture: Maria Brundin
JODIE Tersteeg is used to running in 30-degrees-plus heat around her home town.
But the Novocastrian runner has taken her love for the sport to new extremes, braving subzero temperatures, ice and snow to complete the first Antarctic ‘‘Parkrun’’ at the weekend.
Ms Tersteeg, a director of the Newy and Blackbutt parkrun, organised and completed the five-kilometre run along with 10 participants from their field camp on the Ross Sea ice-shelf.
‘‘To run here is a massive privilege,’’ she said.
Ms Tersteeg has a background in environmental science and is studying Antarctic studies in New Zealand.
The trip to Antarctica was a collaboration between Antarctica New Zealand and the University of Canterbury and gave her the opportunity to combine her two passions.
Organising a parkrun on the coldest and windiest continent presents challenges.
Medical facilities were hours away and the weather, though a stable minus 10degrees on Saturday, is prone to drastic changes.
The right type of clothing was crucial, she said.
In bad conditions, frostbite to exposed skin could happen in only a few seconds.
Runners wore multiple layers and spent extra time on their warm-ups to get accustomed to the cold.
‘‘Because the wind had blown in piles of snow over the track, it was very soft and hard to run in,’’ Ms Tersteeg said. ‘‘The soft surface was a challenge because you sank into the snow, something I am not used to from back home. I thought I was going to snap my ankle a couple of times.
‘‘The run was definitely harder than at home.’’
The uneven terrain and snow made it more challenging, and trying to breathe properly was difficult, she said. Ms Tersteeg first found her enthusiasm for running after taking part in the Newy Parkrun: ‘‘I started doing Parkrun in October 2012 and I got addicted straight away. ‘‘They’re just a great bunch of people and I’ve made so many friends.’’
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