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Feet of Endurance

Feet of endurance

By Simon Penn

While dehydration has claimed its fair share of victims, feet have been foremost among retirements from RacingThePlanet: Australia 2010.

After battling for 13 hours to finish day three, Jennifer Aldassy from the US left the start line for stage four but was forced back soon after because of blisters.

“Yesterday was 13 hours of walking on glass, that’s what if felt like to me with all the rocks, it hurt so bad,” she says.

“I had a good cry last night when I decided I was out, but then this morning I felt good so I thought I could do it.

“I started, but I just can’t do it. I managed the heat well, my muscles are fine, but not my feet … it’s just so frustrating because my body’s good and my brain’s good, but not my feet.”

Australian Pip Crichton was set to start day four but was told by event medical staff her blisters were likely to get infected if she continued and she risked septicemia.

“They don’t want me to go,” she says. “I feel really strong so it’s very hard.”

Katalin Pataki, who hails from Hungary but lives in Perth, sprained her ankle early on day three but pushed on to finish. But the combination of the ankle injury, blisters and losing three toenails kept her from starting day four.

“From here up, it’s fine,” she says, pointing to her troublesome ankles and feet.

“It’s very disappointing. I didn’t think that just because of this, something so small, I wouldn’t be able to continue, it’s just frustrating.”

Stephanie Anderson, from Paraburdoo in Western Australia, was unable to start stage four but hoped a day’s rest would allow her to re-join the race.

“I wish I had some other feet,” she says. “I still hope to do the long stage, I just need to give my feet a day to dry out.”

And even RacingThePlanet veterans like Irishwoman Diana Hogan-Murphy, who is still struggling on, are not immune to foot trouble. “The legs are feeling great now,” she says. “ But my feet are the worst they’ve ever been.”

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