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Long Day, Rest Day And Final Day

8th March 2013 02:16 AM[(GMT-04:00) Santiago]

Yesterday was the long stage of 75km. It was a different start to last year as we had to cross salt flats until the second checkpoint. The salt flats were impossible to run on as they were like hard corral with no placing for our feet. A large group stayed together through these first two sections and then we picked up the pace on the way to checkpoint 3. Our group reduced down to about 5 as we ran a very long 14km section of salt flats and a massive dune that we had to climb. After the dune we descended to checkpoint 4 at about 45km. I picked up the pace after this checkpoint and managed to build a 10min lead by the next checkpoint. By the final checkpoint of the day I was 25mins ahead, although I didn’t know that, and running as strong as I could after being on the go for 60km. I arrived in just over 9 hours and happily waited for the others to arrive about 26mins later. Today is a rest day while we wait for competitors to finish the long stage, the cutoff is 12pm on Friday. Tomorrow is the final stage which I think will be quite short and hopefully less than an hour to the end of the race.

Comments: Total (10) comments

Vanessa Walker

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 10:26 AM

Good luck for the last day, my love! I'll be at the finish line waiting for you :)

Deb Brous

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 14:55 PM

WOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOODan, you've done it, congrats what an awesome achievement, well done cuz :))

Julian Walker

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 15:17 PM

What a star. Am so happy for u Dan, u ran a great race. Having followed it day by day I realise there is so much more to this than meets the eye. Hope u & V have an awesm celebration tonight.

Keith Kemsley

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 15:20 PM

Hey No 1, Living up to your eMail name. will change it to nilli secundus Well done old chap gfand Granny

Paul Emant

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 18:18 PM

Incredible. Well done, Daniel.

Peter Edmeades

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 19:34 PM

Well done Dan - your old school has been following your progress proudly - you are the talk of the boys!

Jonathan Rowland

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 20:31 PM

Well done Dan! Brilliant run!!! I very proud of you my son!

John Shively

Posted On: 10 Mar 2013 18:52 PM

Daniel, A very impressive win. You really blew the field away with your Stage 5 run, and it was clear the race was essentilly over when you finished that run. You had a cheering section here at Pebble. John

Jay Vaghmaria

Posted On: 11 Mar 2013 14:03 PM

Daniel. Congratulations on your fantastic achievement.

Sandy Suckling

Posted On: 12 Mar 2013 02:01 AM

Hi Daniel, congrats awesome effort... hope to see you in a desert in the future all the best Sandy
Stage 4

6th March 2013 02:53 AM[(GMT-04:00) Santiago]

Today’s stage was theoretically a little easier than yesterday with the main challenge being 14km through the salt flats. I started off well and ran slightly in front of a group of about five until the first checkpoint. From the checkpoint Vlad and I moved ahead during a 12km section on mostly flat and rolling sandy desert terrain. We opened up a gap of about 10mins on any of the followers by the time we reached the second checkpoint. From there we entered the salt flats. I found them harder, more firm, than last year which meant that it was easier to run and keep a good pace in the salt flats. I moved slightly ahead of Vlad and pushed hard for the last 20km home. It was a big effort, but I’m pleased to have moved a few minutes further into the lead. I’m hoping that the time will give me an advantage, no matter how small, as we go into the long stage tomorrow.

Comments: Total (23) comments

Cleve Walker

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 03:16 AM

Great tactics and awesome stage win. Good luck on that long march. Cleve and Julie

Jonathan Rowland

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 05:39 AM

Fantastic Dan! The long one today is yours too! With your training and pacing yourself today you will have a good run! Enjoy my son! Well done!

Jenna Beyleveld

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 05:41 AM

Congrats on all your wins so far, so awesome. Good luck with the long march today! Jen.

Jamie Cawood

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 06:38 AM

Great work Daniel! I am inspired. Makes Crow Pass Crossing look like a stroll along a stream! Tracking your progress and praying for you! Heater and I will be thinking of you on our 8 miler tomorrow morning... Still running in the snow with Ice bugs! Go hard or Go home bro!

Susan Rowland

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 06:52 AM

What a star! Well done special boy. Good racing today on the long one - enjoy

Frances Batzofin

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 07:14 AM

Well done Daniel. Keep up the strong running. I still cannot imagine running in the heat. I can't remember which stage you have a swim but enjoy. best wishes for a successful run from all the Batzies

Julian Walker

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 07:19 AM

Fantastic run Dan. This is more distracting then the cricket. Heres to u having a good day out today. Julian

Debs Brous

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 07:34 AM

Dan you are a machine, well done , have a great long day, don't forget to smell the roses (or cactus, blade of grass!!!) enjoy the last leg :0)

Massimo Passamonti

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 09:05 AM

Dangerous Dan... Extra-ordinary performance man... I am sure that if you look ahead of you, you can already see the finish line my friend... Advice: go for a warm-up run before the last stage; it took you 7km to catch up with me last year :-)... Well done champ!!

Kevin Boyle

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 10:36 AM

Phew! We feel like we are taking every step with you Dan! We know you can do it, because you don't know the meaning of Difficult! From the frozen North of England. Kevin and Val xx

Shayne Stoik

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 13:10 PM

Yeah Dan! I am following the race closely and am very pleased to see you are in the lead. I am very impressed! Keep up the good work!

Dalene Barnard

Posted On: 08 Mar 2013 02:52 AM

Congratulations!!!! Well done. Hi Daniel I am a South African watching Amanda and in contest all of you. Your effort was absoluut remarkable. Well Done Enjoy the last few days. Dalene

Cleve Walker

Posted On: 08 Mar 2013 03:18 AM

!!!AWESOME well done. enjoy the rest day. We are really proud of you. Julie and Cleve

Marc Wilson

Posted On: 08 Mar 2013 04:56 AM

Awesome running Daniel! In awe. have a great final stage.

Ian W

Posted On: 08 Mar 2013 05:38 AM

awesome performance Daniel - I am super proud of you!!! enjoy the final stage!!!!

Jonathan Rowland

Posted On: 08 Mar 2013 05:56 AM

Brilliant Dan!!! Well done! Fantastic achievement so far and a fine example for other aspiring runners! I'm proud of you my son! Have fun on the last stage tomorrow!

Susan Rowland

Posted On: 08 Mar 2013 07:24 AM

Hey special - what a runner! rest well and enjoy the final stage tomorrow. lots of love

Susan Newham

Posted On: 08 Mar 2013 08:36 AM

Well done Daniel............you are amazing. So proud of you. Sue and John

Mike Newham

Posted On: 08 Mar 2013 10:19 AM

Fantastic Dan! Well done mate. Enjoy the last stage - I'm sure you'll bring it home in style!

Jenna Beyleveld

Posted On: 08 Mar 2013 11:04 AM

Amazing run, Daniel! Well done! Enjoy the final stage tomorrow and congratulations on a phenomenal performance. Jen.

Julian Walker

Posted On: 08 Mar 2013 13:54 PM

What a run Dan. I am in awe of how you handled what has to be one of the toughest around. Hope you have a cool chill day and enjoy the last stage. Cheers .. Julian

David And Linda Thompson

Posted On: 08 Mar 2013 16:53 PM

Following the race with interest, especially having been to the Atacama Desert just before. It was also great to meet up with Daniel and Vee a day or so previously. Keep going Daniel, only a few (!) kilometres more

Roberto Rivola

Posted On: 08 Mar 2013 20:54 PM

Great job Dan! You learned a lot of lessons last year :-) I am waiting for the backpack review ... Enjoy the last stage and the last river crossing. See you soon!
Stage 3

5th March 2013 03:49 AM[(GMT-04:00) Santiago]

Today is thought to be the hardest stage as the four sections of the stage are rated: difficult, moderate, difficult and difficult! The stage starts with soft salt flats, continues with a soft sandy road, returns into more salt flats and finishes up with sand dunes and climbs. After the last two days of very hard running I was hoping to run this stage a little more conservatively as we’re not even half way yet. That plan didn’t last very long as I ran into the lead with Vlad in the first few kilometers. However, later in the stage the pace was a little slower and I ended the day feeling strong and excited about tomorrow and the long day on Thursday. I’m happy to be in the lead (even if only by a small margin) and also happy to have finished the “hardest” stage feeling good.

Comments: Total (8) comments

Sandy Suckling

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 04:22 AM

Awesome effort Daniel... you are on fire... stay strong Woot Hoo Sandy

Jonathan Rowland

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 06:18 AM

Good stuff Dan - I have a feeling that there will be the opportunity to slow the pace today and stay at the front if the photos are anything to go by. I think your training and the long run in stage 5 will be the decider! Keep it up my son! Im proud of you! love Dad

Francisco Bórquez

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 12:34 PM

GO DANIEL !!!! and remember run as if you were escaping from lions :)

Axel M

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 14:17 PM

Dan my main man!! I am über thrilled to read how you have performed thusfar!! All best wishes for the next stages!! Stay strong! Axel

Argyrios Papathanasopoulos

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 14:51 PM

You're doing an amazing job Daniel!I'm so impressed with your performance and determination to keep your first position. Looking forward to read about how things will go at the long march.Keep your spirits up and think ONLY of positive thoughts!You bring back all the beautiful memories from this tough race for me but to be honest with you, I am glad that I am following all your adventures from the comfort of my home instead of fighting the high temperatures and the horrible salt flats ;-)You're a hero Daniel!Just finish the job and get what you deserve...a glorious place on the podium!Good luck my friend! We will be watching you !!

Gonzalo Acevedo

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 18:05 PM

Felicitaciones Daniel, un abrazo

Mike Heatwole

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 18:18 PM

Keep it up Daniel. Keep your focus on the prize! Excited for you and congrats on a strong start. Heater.

Monserrat Muñoz

Posted On: 07 Mar 2013 01:32 AM

Congrats Daniel! At the office we are following the race through this website. We are very excited to see how well you are doing in the race, and also very happy to see how joyful you look running. Peace.
Stage 2

4th March 2013 04:01 AM[(GMT-04:00) Santiago]

Thank you everyone for the comments and messages. They help a lot and keep me motivated to run hard - which is exactly what happened today! It was a beautiful stage where we ran through a canyon, up a mountain, down a massive sand dune and through some salt flats. I ran well and at a measured pace to checkpoint 1 as the footing was tricky and it was easy to fall and trip up. After that we climbed to a tunnel where Vlad (who is 2nd) and I opened a gap on the others and ran together for the rest of the stage. It was another quick day and we ran hard again. The salt flats were better than I remembered from last year and we ran all the way through them to the last tree in the desert. From there the race was on and we were eyeing each other Western style and holding a very fast pace on the last 4km to the finish. Luckily for me I managed to win in a sprint finish and gain another 1sec on Vlad. Hopefully tomorrow won't be as exciting which will mean I'll have an easier day!

Comments: Total (1) comments

Vanessa Walker

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 21:48 PM

Hi lovely boy, I'm so proud of you! Keep up your fantastic effort. Only 3 more days till I see you at the finish line :) I love you!
Check-in And Day 1

3rd March 2013 04:20 AM[(GMT-04:00) Santiago]

Yesterday we checked in and I had no problems with any of my gear. My pack came in at 6kg which was the 3rd lightest when I checked in. I had a fresh last meal at camp and a great night's sleep so I was ready to go in the morning. It was great to be back at Rio Grande and in the desert again. This morning's stage was about 30km and involved a lot of descending from the first camp, which is the highest, followed by a tough climb at the end of the day just before camp 2. The terrain was not too bad, mostly rocky and only a few sandy sections. I ran well and in the front group all of the day. We split up on a series of climbs after checkpoint 1 and I was runnning in the first two where we kept a more reasonable pace after the very fast start. This allowed the others to catch-up and we went through checkpoint 2 as a group of four. In the next section the group slowly split up again and I was running in 3rd place during a 5km climb at the end of the day. I caught up to second and moved ahead and then just before the end of the climb the leader went off the trail for a break and I took the lead. I ran home hard and finished before they had even put up the finishing banner. I was really happy with today's result. We ran really hard so I expect the pace to be a little slower tomorrow, but that's tomorrow's challenge. [Felipe: estoy tan cansado para escribir en espanol tambien, lo siento!]

Comments: Total (24) comments

Kyle Walker

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 09:25 AM

Well done on the 2nd stage Dan! very impressed!! Keep it up. Hope today is going strong.

Meghan Kemsley

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 15:27 PM

My cuz well done crazy to run across a desert haha but pretty awesome. Good luck xx love Meg's

Steven Sleuyter

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 15:40 PM

go go go Daniel !!!!!!! a lot off support from your belgium fan club ;-)

Cleveland Walker

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 18:16 PM

Another stage won, WELL DONE!!! Keep your eye on the Aussie he seems pretty strong. Julie and Cleve

Ian Waddell

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 18:35 PM

Well done on 3 stages in the bag - awesome running!!!! Good luck for the 76km stage - this will be the make or break - you have got the goods and I know you can do it Daniel!!!!

Jonathan Rowland

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 20:17 PM

Fantastic Dan - great going! Keep it up my son! Great tactics - stage 5 will create the split! You are on the CBC web by the way - an old boy showing the young 'uns what your mettle is! love Dad

Susan Rowland

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 20:19 PM

Way to go special!

Julian Walker

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 20:29 PM

Ama'zing Dan. Tomorrow is huge. Will be holding thumbs for you having a good run. Hang in there you can do it.

Hannisze Yong

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 21:09 PM

You are AWESOME, Daniel!! Argy & I were at the edge of our seats for the past 3 days, following your every move :-P We are cheering you on all the way from UK. Try to get as much rest as you can after each stage so that you are fully recharged for the next. You are doing GREAT!!!

Massimo Passamonti

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 21:24 PM

Amazing Daniel... Keep going man!!! only day 4 and 5 left and then it is all downhill. Good luck my friend!!!

Maida Pino

Posted On: 05 Mar 2013 23:19 PM

GO FOR IT DANIEL, I KNOW YOU CAN WIN THIS RACE. May the road rise to meet you, May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face :)

Scott Bell

Posted On: 06 Mar 2013 00:32 AM

Hello from Nashville! WOW...You really did show up ready to tackle Atacama 2013! Looks like your hard work is paying off. Looks like the competition is pretty stiff out there to say the least. Best of luck...I'll be keeping up.

David Coltart

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 08:52 AM

Daniel, This is a just brief note to tell you how proud we all are of you. Thank you for flying Zimbabwe's flag so high. Our thoughts and prayers are with you today as you go into the final leg. I have just spoken to your Dad and he is bursting with pride, as are we all. Senator David Coltart, Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture. Zimbabwe

Lindi Mpofu

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 09:01 AM

Go Daniel!!!

Sharon Pickup

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 09:11 AM

As a member of the Zimbabwe Youth council board i would like to wish you the very best. We are proud of your achievements. Keep flying high the Zimbabwean flag

Debbie Taylor

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 09:19 AM

We are rooting for you! Here in Zim.

Melissa Sibindi

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 09:28 AM

What an incredibe achievement! I love my country and am so proud, inspired and grateful when athletes like yourself excel while flying our flag so high! Congratulations!

Colin And Laura Shreenan

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 09:46 AM

Wow, amazing! Keep on keeping on! What a wonderful testimony of ability and endurance. God bless from us at Renewal Fellowship, Marlborough, Harare!

Kudzi Nzombe

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 09:48 AM

cumon Dan!!!goodluck

Jennifer Munro

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 09:54 AM

good luck!

Peter Dunning

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 13:16 PM

Just seen the news on facebook via David Coltart. I used to work with your dad and his brother many years ago. Keep going and win that race!!

Bron Grey

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 14:07 PM

Saw the news on David Coltart's FB. Well done Daniel. Good luck for the last bit... go go go!

Colleen Sanderson

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 15:48 PM

Saw the news on David Coltarts face book. Well done to you. We are proud that you still chose to fly our flag. My son is at CBC. Will make a mention of you to the school.

Sigrid Stone

Posted On: 09 Mar 2013 17:47 PM

Fantastic!! Saw news from David Coltard's website.Lovely to see Zimbabwe Flag flying so High!