I did the Polar Nights 10k race in Tromsø yesterday. Truely a course which will be burned into my head for some time. I think if the race had been on Friday, it might have been reasonable ( 30F and streets covered with packed snow). Unfortunately it started warming up and raining on Saturday morning, so by race time at 3:00pm it was about 37F and the rain had turned the course into a combination of rutted wet ice, gravel, slush, and puddles. Mostly wet ice. I had my shoes spikes screwed in a little bit too far I think, they were working on the flat areas but every time we had to go uphill my feet would start slipping backwards a little bit on every step. The wind was blowing somewhere between 20-30mph most of the race, I didn't feel it when we started in downtown but as soon as we got out of the main part of the city it just about knocked us over. Anyway the course was the same for everyone, and it was fun in a sick sort of way :)
Some guy wiped out into a huge puddle of melted snow in front of me about half way through the race. I think that must have been a long 5k back for that poor dude.
They had the course marked with nice little oil lamps the whole way, and a lot of volunteers helping us at the corners. I'm not sure how they got all those volunteers to show up. Let's see, stand outside for a couple of hours in the cold, pouring rain, high winds, in the dark, sounds like fun! I finished 33rd in the men's group for the 10k, out of 111 starters. I think there were 3 women that finished ahead of me. I was impressed with some of the people that ran the half-marathon. That had to be a tough slog in that weather. The woman that won the half finished in 1:28 something, which is pretty fast for running on ice.
Tromsø is a nice city, I can't see that much really because it's dark, I guess I'll have to come back sometime in the summer. Maybe all the ice will have completely melted by then :)