Finally finished the long day at about 11pm last night. Took me just over 13 hours (I think) and more than happy to see the camp site after that. It was quite a pleasant trail and I decided to stop for a 30 minute break at the 5th checkpoint for a change of socks and some hot chocolate. It worked a treat and I felt better after that. Strange day through. Really pleasant weather until a thunderstorm came in. 2 hours in the rain and then stinking hot followed by a huge wind storm. It definately gave me something to think about other than the trail. Woke up this morning to an awesome view of the Kajistan border with snow covered mountins and a broken bone in my right foot. Noticed a little pain for the last 20kms but didn't think too much of it. My foot is now the size of a small rock melon but as long as I can get my sock on, I'll get to the end. Not one blister though. Have to do more hill work in the training and fooud that running marathons is not ideal training for this at all.
It has been a great experience and the people here have been awesome. It's also good to see that there are some that are looking worse for wear than me. And there are some here that are just superstars. Check the time on the Spanish and Saudi leaders. Spoke to both of them and they have run the whole 250kms. I think we lost 20 from the initial 160 so it is brilliant to see the different efforts that everyone has to go through just to get to the end.
Looking forward to the next one, hugging Jo and Maddie, chasing Bear and hamburgers and beer tomorrow night. Thanks for all of your words of encouragement. Case, I'll sign you up to do Chile with Rachel and I.
Hello to all,
Well that was exciting. It took longer than I thought but we were warned that it was going to be the toughest stage yet. And it was. The first 20 odd ks were nasty and up and down hills. Not my strong suit but finished 62nd which I was more than happy with. Some sore looking people here now at the end day 4. Tomorrow is the 80km section so there won't be any blogs until the day after. Little bit light on today as I'm tired but no injuries or blisters so I will be good for the long day.
Love to Maddie and my boy. I'm sure he is a great help and thanks for looking after the kids whilst I'm away.
Hi to all and yes I am getting the blogs. Thanks for the words of wisdom and I always go out too hard. Today was an awesome start followed by a miseable section of about 25kms of shale and hills. I don't think that any training would have prepared me for this as it is much harder than I thought (tell Rachel that I will take her along to Chile if she's up for it). Finished 62nd today which was ok but I was very dehydrated at the end and feeling quite ordinary. The course brief for tomorrow has it as the hardest day before the long walk so I intend to take it easy and just walk so that I have as much energy as possible for the 80km stage. Left from a town called Langeville this morning and the scenery continues to be amazing. We have climbed to 2500 metres tonight and are spending the night in a cold bowl between hils before tomorrow's stage.
Love to you guys to (Jo, Kai and Maddie) and hope to finish in good order and get home soon.
No chicken dinner for me I'm afraid. But next time I need something to kill the taste of these dehyds. Absoultely rotten and they all taste the same. Don't think that I will ever get rid of the taste of Sweet and Sour Chicken with rice. Miserable!
Well that was tough! A lot harder than yesterday and the final stretch of 9km on bitumen gave me the worst case of shin spints that I have ever had. Turns out that my socks were cutting off the circulation to my right leg (freaky) and that caused the problem. Stiff and sore now and stretching to try and get rid of it.
Scenery was brilliant with the typical mix of hills, river crossings and then more hills. Who'd have thought! Hoping for a decent nights sleep tonight as last night we were lucky enough to all be moved into a Tajik village and slept in the anti-room of a common house. Just my luck that the family had a kid who cried all night. I felt like getting up and feeding and changing it myself just to get some peace and quiet.
Thanks for the commnets on the blog. We get them the day after and its good to be in touch with the world. Spread the work - you can still donate to oasis for cure (check Google). Missing everone at home - especially Boof, Boofette and Beady.
More to follow tomorrow.
I was great to finally start the race and it didn’t disappoint. Magic weather for the first couple of hours and then an awesome headwind and heaps of stones to complicate the process. I couldn’t believe that it was the desert (definitely not the UAE) but the snow covered mountains helped to help ease the pain. I think that I finished in about 4:50 but not too sure. Tomorrow will be a longer stage with about a 42km leg but just now, whilst sitting in a small village called Taspushka, I’m feeling confident. Trying to save as much energy for the long day, which others have been happy to tell me is really painful. I’ll try a fast walk tomorrow and give the running a miss. Surprising to say that I may have started out a little too fast again (when will I learn?) and hope that I don’t get up in the morning and fell too good.
Dave, the program has worked well so far but you will need to lift your game on nutrition. I don’t know if I could possibly carry any more food but more sweet stuff is definitely essential (and tea bags).
Learning some valuable lessons for the next one (that will make you happy Jo).
More tomorrow after I finish. Thanks to all for the support and it’s been emotional (without the crying yet).
Finally finished the ordeal that got me to Kasgar at the far West of China. (Kashi) in the local tongue ended up being about 25 hours from Abu Dhabi and it was well before midnight before I got my head down. There was a 2 hour bus trip through country-side very similar to Hatta. All that’s missing is the extreme weather. Have met some really great people and there are those that are deadly serious about the race and those that just want to finish. I am still sticking with the original plan of trying to finish each stage in about 5-6 hours and will save myself for the long stage on days 5 and 6. Update to follow tomorrow on how the first race day went but I’m really impressed with the organization of the race, the locals and the festivities to get it stated.
DJS 9 Jun
Al Ain, Abu Dhabi
Currently a leadership advisor and team manager
for Spectre, LLC.
Why are you competing?
My goal is to raise money for Oasis Hospital.