Ultramarathoners Kate Coward and Kari Gibbons of the Twin Cities completed the first leg of their “Double Arrowhead,” running to the start of the official Arrowhead 135, from Tower, Minn., to International Falls. The Arrowhead extreme race began Monday morning.

The photo above (Gibbons, left, and Coward) was posted on the women’s Facebook page devoted to their odyssey: 135 miles by foot to International Falls, and 135 miles by foot back to Tower. Their hope is to be the first women to do it. Gibbons posted video at a halfway point.

Here is an excerpt from a Facebook post by Coward early Monday:

"It went by fast! Kari and I have some truly incredible hours, enjoying the trail, woods, solitude, and feeling grateful we can do this. Couple of warm soft days were pretty taxing. Last 72 miles was a big push starting at 5am Saturday with a short stop halfway and then onward to IFalls in time for the Arrowhead 135 racers meeting. There is so much we want to share but no time now. Still trying to recover and be ready for the 7:04 start this morning. Lower extremities sore and achy, but all else good. Going to get colder here with a -13 start - perfect conditions!"

And they did start. While tracking devices for Coward and Gibbons weren't working Monday morning, freelance photographer Scott Rokis said they were toward the back of the pack "and in great spirits." Track the women and other racers here: http://trackleaders.com/arrowhead18

More on the Arrowhead is online at arrowheadultra.com.