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Stage 5
30-Oct-2009 07:40:13 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Sahara Race (Egypt) 2009
The long stage, and this entire race, has been an incredible journey.  We kept a steady pace for 90 straight kilometers, stopping only momentarily to refill our hydration systems.  The task seemed nearly impossible but we never lost confidence in ourselves.  We feel like we have the ability to overcome more than we eve knew was possible.  We also appreciate the importance of hard work, preparation, determination and team work.  Tomorrow morning we board a bus for the pyramids at Giza, where we will have a cermonial finish. We look forward to seeing our family and friends who have offered us so much support.
Comments (10)

Stage 4
28-Oct-2009 02:37:24 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Sahara Race (Egypt) 2009
We've been fighting off extreme heat (around 120 degrees) and various muscle pains in both legs, but once again we crossed the finished line in strong form.  We feel great mentally after getting through a difficult 4 day stretch.  Freeze dried foods are becoming a chore, but the GU pineapple energy gels are still a real treat.  We can't wait to find real pineapple when we reach Cairo.   Thanks to super glue, velcro, and duct tape from our emergency repair kit, we made quick fixes to our failed UK Gear gaitors.  One thing we have learned for is all sand is not created equal.  There have been plenty of kilometers of deep, soft sand that really slow us down and drain our bodies.  One bright moment of each day is seeing the emails and blog comments sent to us from our family and friends at home.  Once again we want to express our gratitude to all of those who have supported us along the way.
Stephen Minar & Brian Vogel
Comments (12)

Stage 3
27-Oct-2009 02:01:14 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Sahara Race (Egypt) 2009
The struggle doesn't end at the finish line each day.  It is a real challenge to walk around, eat, unpack, repack, tape up our increasingly blistered feet, and take care of the other small daily tasks that normally would come easy. Additionaly, we've had a few equipment malfunctions such as the zipper on both of our UK Gear gaiters breaking... thankfully duct tape has proved useful once again.  Today's stage began with dune running.  Because we are the last to the start line almost daily, we got caught up in some traffic on the ridges of the dunes.  After that cleared, we kept our strategy of starting off strong and ran the first 10km at a strong pace.  We trekked most of the day in the heat and took a 5 minute rest at an oasis.  It is the only oasis we will see during the race.  The going was extremely tough and we found ourselves in the 40th position after the last checkpoint.  We pushed ourselves and were able to overtake 4 runners to finish 36th for the day. Honestly, we are happy to be in the race after three grueling days as many competitors, including veterans, have been forced to drop out of the race.  Thank you for the emails and blog comments, any encouaging words are greatly appreciated. 
Stephen Minar and Brian Vogel
Comments (9)

Stage 2
26-Oct-2009 02:18:16 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Sahara Race (Egypt) 2009
Wow.  What an experience.   Thankfully we are in this together; there have been plenty of trying moments where we wouldn't have gotten through it alone.  We started out the day with a strong run through the first 12km until we reached the first checkpoint.  We began trekking and took it step by step at a steady pace for most of the remaining 44km.  The dunes were painful and beautiful.  It was almost impossible to climb them but well worth the effort when we reached the top. From the top of the dunes we could see camp, and we broke into a run to overtake several other racers.  With our strong finish, we tied for the 25th position for the day. We are completely drained and know we have a long journey ahead the next few days.  Our tent and the camp have seen several participants drop out.  We are grateful are bodies haven't let us down.  Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.
Stephen Minar and Brian Vogel
Comments (9)

Stage 1
25-Oct-2009 01:04:50 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Sahara Race (Egypt) 2009
After arriving in Cairo we spent the night making pack adjustments and boarded a bus the next morning.  One of the buses in the caravan broke down and we spent several hours at a rest stop waiting.  We did not arrive at camp until after midnight - a twelve hour journey.   There was no time for blogging.   This morning the race began.  It was an incredible rush after months of training and preparation.  We ran the first 25k while the temperature was (relatively) cool.  Around mid day we began trekking.  We arrived at camp, finishing the first stage together in the 30th position.   After crossing the finish line, it was a struggle even making it to our tent.  The quads and shoulders are extremely sore from the weight of the pack (around twenty pounds without water).  We are fortunate to have our feet in good condition.  All the research put into gear selection really paid off, as we stayed shielded from the sun.  We are now off to prepare for the next day and get much needed rest.  Thank you to all of those who have supported us.  The Sahara is a beutiful and special place. 
Stephen Minar and Brian Vogel
Comments (1)

Trumbull, Connecticut
Stephen Minar: Research Analyst for Morgan Stanley Brian Vogel: Professor at Nankai University
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