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RacingThePlanet: Ecuador 2015 Blogs

Let the fun begin
26-May-2015 01:44:57 AM [(GMT+10:00) Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney]

Having adventurous family and friends is a bad idea. I was encouraged to go out there and do something fun, a distraction and something to train for. It was a spontaneous decision and with 90 days to go I signed up for a 250km, self-supported endurance race in Ecuador....Fun right?

Now, I am not that mad and do have a little experience under my belt. For the past 10 years I have participated in a few endurance events and supported my husband on several of his mad adventures. Gareth ran The Atacama Crossing in 2010 and The Roving race in Nepal 2011, I had the privilege of coming along and joining the fabulous volunteer team on both occasions, where I have made lifelong friends, all craving adventure in the most remote corners of the world.

It has been a big decision to attend a Racing The Planet event as a competitor. I am sure anyone that has volunteered for a RTP event would agree, we work hard, barely sleep, make some amazing friendships and get extremely excited every time our checkpoint book if full by the end of the day.

It is a week full of adrenalin, incredible excitement when you see a competitor you know in the distance and complete admiration of the effort everyone has put in to get through the day.

So I want to experience a RTP Event from a competitors side, I want to run/shuffle/walk in to the checkpoint, have Bev take my number, Tony fill up my water bottle, get the doc to look at my feet, give Riitta or Sam insightful comments for the Breaking news updates, relax a little and probably get ushered along once I have spent too much time in the checkpoint.

With only a couple of months to go, my top priority is to get fit...I am still not sure what my strategy will be walk/shuffle/run, but my approach is realistic. The one thing I have done is arrange some altitude training, something my usual running tracks in Sydney will not be able to offer. My coach Joe Bonington at Joe's Basecamp has especially kitted out his new gym with a intermitent hypoxia chamber for altitude training and this is the perfect excuse to spend some time in there.

I have purchased a bag (Raidlight Olmo 20L) and still deciding on shoes, but all the other stuff we have lying around at home.

On my to do list is sort out my race nutrition. As a Dietitian I find this the most challenging part, when planning for a race like this I certainly don't practice what I preach. I know the concepts behind adequate endurance nutrition, meeting your daily calorie requirements, 30-60g carbs x hour, 1.2-1.4 g protein per kg BW a day, high or moderate GI foods, 150-350 ml fluids every 15-20 minutes, but with a self-supported race and an idea of keeping my pack to a minimum, I don't think I can carry sufficient food to meet my needs. I will just have to be happy with the delicious freeze dried, high calorie meals at the end of the day and lots of yummy sugary snacks to get me through the run (there is no way I can eat those gels!), stick to the bare minimum of 14000 kcals and hopefully not lose too much weight during the event. Gareth did manage to run in Nepal with gastro and only eating a pack of noodles a day (not recommended).

So to sum it all up, the clock is ticking, time is running out and my idea of fun will be here before I know it. I have two months to figure out how I will transition from being a volunteer to a competitor, I have to get fit (and handle the high altitude), I have to sort out my race nutrition and I have to figure out how I am going to finish this amazing adventure in Ecuador....good thing I speak the language.


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Andrea Andrews

Posted: 13-Jun-2015 08:54:37 AM

Hi Budgie, I am not an expert in Sports Nutrition and I have not yet finalised my daily meal plan, but for now this is what I'm planning. I have purchased the 450kcal Expedition foods Breakfast (good old porridge and sultanas), I have had these on previous races and they taste ok. I have gone for the smaller size as I don't think I could manage the 800kcal serve. With breakfast I have a instant milk coffee. During the day I will be running with Tailwind, an electrolyte/carbohydrate mix, I have 2 sachet per day, each are 500ml, 200kcal, 50g CHO. I will also carry some simple carbs to fuel the day (skittles, starburst, gu chomps) I can't stand the gels but they would be a good option too. I also have a mini clif bar (28g) per day. I will be having Clif shot recoverite drink at the end of each day, great CHO:PTN drink to refuel after a long day. For camp I have a Expedition foods meal, I have purchased the 800kcal portion for dinner as I will be pretty hungry after a long day of running. It is a bit of a gamble not to have 3 meals per day, but I am being realistic and I don't think I will be in camp early. For those runners out there that are moving at a faster pace a meal for midday would be suggested. I am also carrying a few treats, now as a Dietitan you would expect me to have a whole bunch of healthy stuff but to be honest when your out there you get to eat whatever you want and it's the few treats in the bottom of the bag that get you through the day. I have a couple of sachets of instant chicken noodle soup, some BBQ chips, some pretzels (anything salty really) and a instant hot chocolates to finish off the day. Hope this helps and as everyone will recommend, trial your food, train with the drinks you are planning on running with and from previous experience we all plan our meals to the most minute detail, but when running our gut becomes quite irritable and foods that can normally be tolerated become disgusting. When we were on the Roving Race in Nepal 2011 everyone had gastro and Gareth survived on nearly no nutrition as he was unable to stomach food. I just hope this does not happen to me as I get really cranky when I'm hungry :)

Budgie Wright

Posted: 10-Jun-2015 02:19:29 PM

Hi Andrea - As a NON-dietitian, I have NO idea what to do other than take the advice of others so I don't starve on this little jaunt. What will you be taking and what little pearls of wisdom might you have for a soon-to-be-fellow-struggler, please?!

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RacingThePlanet: Ecuador 2015

Sydney, Australia

Clinical Dietitian Manly Hospital

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RacingThePlanet: Ecuador 2015 competitor


Sydney, Australia

Clinical Dietitian Manly Hospital

Why are you competing?
I have been a volunteer for two RTP events, I
would now like to experience an event as a

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