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RacingThePlanet: Ecuador 2015 Blogs

Stage 4: Just Don’t Pass Out into Crater Lake
30-Jul-2015 03:30:00 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

From looking at the elevation chart, we were all ready for a pretty epic day 4.  Today had the most climbing, and we were going to hit the highest point on the course (13,500+ feet).

We started the day by running straight up along a river.  This was a pretty nice stretch, as we had crazy mountains on either side, and crossed a number of bridges (and by bridges, I mean logs).  After this stretch, we then turned and went straight up one of those epic mountains.  It was a pretty crazy climb to get out of the valley.

The next two sections of the course was more and more climbing towards Crater Lake.  I had actually jumped out in front at this point, as I was feeling pretty good early on.  I had one really scary moment, as five dogs surrounded me biting at me.  I still have no idea how they all missed, but that would have been game over if one of them made contact.  It took me a little bit to pull myself back together (as if my heart rate wasn’t out of control already).

I hit checkpoint 3 and thought it would be smooth running until camp.  I was very, very wrong. The crater was crazy steep, up and own.  This was the highest point on the course, and I was definitely feeling the altitude.  After making it around the crater, we started dropping down towards camp.  This stretch was really technical, and Paul went flying past me.  I made it into camp in second again today, about 3 minutes behind Paul.  I need to get the results fixed from yesterday (about 2-3 minutes were added to my time and they had me as finishing 3rdinstead of 2nd).  I think Ake and Paul are pretty close, about 15 minutes apart.  I should be back about 40 minutes from Ake, and 25+ minutes behind Paul.  It should make for an exciting day tomorrow!

Tonight’s camp is in a school, and I am blogging from the school’s Church. It will be a rough night for those of us without sleeping pads.  One more day and then we can relax a bit!  I’ve already started planning meals for when I return (a gallon of lobster bisque from Legal Seafoods, Chipotle burrito, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, steak+steak+steak- and this is all for Monday!)

Thanks again everyone for all of the emails and blog comments.  It definitely is great returning from a long day of running and getting to read them.

12 COMMENTS

Sam Sharrock

Posted: 31-Jul-2015 07:51:40 PM

Congrats on making it through the long stage - looks like you posted a good time too. Enjoy the well deserved rest day and get your skates on for the last stage! Keep up the good work, not long until steak...

Pam & Jay

Posted: 31-Jul-2015 03:20:00 AM

Way to go, Ralph! We are cheering for you from the Cape! We missed you during our mini golf adventure tonight... It was pretty epic (on Jay's end). Hope you're having an amazing time! Good luck!!

Penelope Boettiger

Posted: 30-Jul-2015 08:05:37 PM

Hey Ralph! I'm out of town and only have my phone, but I'm following along as best I can. Looks like you're (once again) crushing it. Good luck on the long stage today--hope it's as smooth as it can be and that you're relaxing by nightfall!!

Penelope Boettiger

Posted: 30-Jul-2015 08:04:37 PM

Hey Ralph! I'm out of town and only have my phone, but I'm following along as best I can. Looks like you're (once again) crushing it. Good luck on the long stage today--hope it's as smooth as it can be and that you're relaxing by nightfall!!

Penelope Boettiger

Posted: 30-Jul-2015 08:03:37 PM

Hey Ralph! I'm out of town and only have my phone, but I'm following along as best I can. Looks like you're (once again) crushing it. Good luck on the long stage today--hope it's as smooth as it can be and that you're relaxing by nightfall!!

Mary Quirk

Posted: 30-Jul-2015 05:42:07 PM

Great job thus far, Ralph! We are cheering for you. Walter was upset to learn that the Ecuadorian dogs have not represented his species well. We promise a burrito peace-offering upon your return home.

Jessica Francis

Posted: 30-Jul-2015 05:01:26 PM

Hi Ralphie Glad to hear the dogs missed you. Stay safe and keep going...You're almost done! We will have to enjoy some ice cream when you return....you're on your own with the other foods. :)

nancy dellaquila

Posted: 30-Jul-2015 12:15:45 PM

Ralphie Your almost done and you are doing very well. You keep me on my seat waiting to read you blogs and how scarly some are I pray for you ever night but, I know how great you are and you'll do great. Dont let those angry dogs get to you just run faster. Cant believe all the animals you've run into so funny. ( except the angry dogs ). Well so far you've come a long way and doing just amazing I'm sure your family is so proud of you. Dont worry about the food you want I'll tell your dad we need a cookout in the backyard for your coming home with all the steak and ice cream you can eat.LOL..... We enjoy the rest of you race I'M VERY PROUD OF YOU MY FRIEND. Huggs and Kisses to you. Thanks for your Blogs....

Colin Nanka

Posted: 30-Jul-2015 12:03:06 PM

Ralph. I remember when you volunteered in China and shared the joke on why sunglasses are mandatory gear...to hide the tears! I'm getting ready for Atacama and have loved hearing about your adventures on this one! Keep up the pace and believing! Motivating as I get prepared. Tell Ash from Canada and Emily I am rooting for them both!

Colin Nanka

Posted: 30-Jul-2015 12:02:06 PM

Ralph. I remember when you volunteered in China and shared the joke on why sunglasses are mandatory gear...to hide the tears! I'm getting ready for Atacama and have loved hearing about your adventures on this one! Keep up the pace and believing! Motivating as I get prepared. Tell Ash from Canada and Emily I am rooting for them both!

Colin Nanka

Posted: 30-Jul-2015 12:01:06 PM

Ralph. I remember when you volunteered in China and shared the joke on why sunglasses are mandatory gear...to hide the tears! I'm getting ready for Atacama and have loved hearing about your adventures on this one! Keep up the pace and believing! Motivating as I get prepared. Tell Ash from Canada and Emily I am rooting for them both!

Jo Matkovich

Posted: 30-Jul-2015 08:30:18 AM

Ralph - congrats on the race so far, you are doing amazingly well. By the time you read this, you will have completed (and smashed) the Long Stage and taking a well deserved rest day.. lets hope it is better than Gobi's rest day! Good luck for the rest of the race!

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