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NEXT ROVING RACE: MADAGASCAR 2014

RacingThePlanet: Iceland 2013 Blogs

The day that was
31-Jul-2013 09:47:35 AM [(GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria]

Phew we have been on the go for over 30 hours! It has been a long day and I am now ready for bed – it nearly 1am back home… The flight to Amsterdam wasn’t too bad and there’s a lot to be said for sleeping pills… Managed to sleep for 6 hours uninterrupted – that’s the most sleep I’ve had in days. The only problem was when I woke up I was very wobbly on my feet and have been in a daze for most of the day. Tonight I will take half and see how it effects me and if it’s no good then I wont use them during the race. On the flight to Iceland I started to get excited and I just said to myself ‘let’s do this thing’ – I just felt like getting going. That excitement was short-lived however, as in my daze I forgot our passports and all our documents on the plane. It was a nightmare and cost us 2.5 hours of waiting around. We had missed our transfer too but luckily a kind guy gave us a lift to the hotel – with John looking out one window and me the other – don’t think I was very popular… We were happy to get to the hotel, unpack and settle in. I realised that I had then misplaced the camera, but luckily i had just left it at reception. – not a good day for me and very unlike the organised person I usually am. We had a quick shower then headed out for a walk and supper. We realised how few people live here – probably the same population as Durbanville. It is a very quaint city but not all that much going for it. The sun is shining but the wind is pumping and it is bloody cold. We ate a pizza and then had a longish walk home and I managed to twist my ankle – so definitely bedtime for me and let’s hope for a better day tomorrow and that my bio-rhythms are back insync. It’s still light outside so let’s see how that goes… Love you my precious girls and miss you xxx
Time to fly
30-Jul-2013 10:19:30 AM [(GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria]

Here we are, at the airport, about to start on our incredible adventure. I am sitting here reflecting on the past week and it has been a mixed bag of emotions. I am incredibly sad to be leaving my daughters but I am pleased I have said my 'goodbyes', so that I can now focus on me and the task ahead. It has been a mammoth job to organise them and make sure their lives remain pretty much the same. Thankfully I have wonderful parents and amazing friends who are going to ensure they are happy and well taken care of. The shopping lists just never seemed to end and I am pleased to be rid of my reams of lists. What is left to do is be able to fit our excess baggage into our teeny backpacks. We will have to be magicians... We did our last real run on the weekend - Hout Bay Trail Challenge. We had our awesome Flying Phlegm team back and it was so refreshing to be able to run fast and without a pack. I was a bit nervous to sprain an ankle or have a fall - it is amazing how cautious one becomes when a big event is looming. The other great part about the week has been all the calls, messages and send-offs we've had. It has been so incredible to see how many people are behind us and are following our journey. It means the world and I will think about each one of you along the 250kms. So enjoy the ride with us and let us all enjoy this journey together.
Taper time - yahoooo!
23-Jul-2013 02:43:38 AM [(GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria]

It’s a really good feeling to have reached taper time! It’s a relief to not feel the pressure of having to clock mileage every week and to get out there day after day, but yet it is also a time of thinking – “have I done enough?” The sad reality is, maybe not, but it’s too late so ‘it is what it is’, ‘what will be will be’ and all those other exciting cliches. Last week I only managed two short runs, a couple of spin/training/weight sessions and then did our last long run on Saturday. We did the Wildrunner Grabouw 46km and this time with a heavier pack of 9kgs. It was a really good day out there for me and really helped me feel a bit more mentally prepared – I now know I can definitely manage day 1 of Iceland… It was a lovely run in beautiful surroundings and I felt strong most of the time. The only issue I had during the race was my feet – tried out new Injinji socks and they didn’t work for me at all – they made my feet feel claustrophobic and once little debris get into those socks, there is no way of getting them out. After the race my knees were exceptionally sore, and for two days after too. I couldn’t bend down at all, which is a big worry – I think a heavy pack over that distance just took its toll. All-in-all I am happy with the way it went and just pleased to have all the big runs out the way. This weekend we have the Hout Bay Trail Challenge, but I am only doing Leg 3, which I think is about 9kms. John is doing Leg 1 and my trainer, Michael, is doing Leg 2. It’s always a fun day out and we haven’t done it as a team for the past 2 years, so I’m looking forward to being a part of the action. Obviously we want to race (will be good to try my hand out at a little speed because that has been lacking over the last couple of months), but I also don’t want to trip or twist and ankle and injure myself – so caution will be the aim of the day. We seem to almost have all our stuff together – nothing like leaving it until the last minute! In fact, we still have a shipment pending from RTP in Hong Kong, so the jury’s out as to whether it is going to reach us by Tuesday….. We did our food shopping with Andrew on Sunday and it is quite amazing to shop for something like this – everything is based on weight to calorie content ratio. I don’t think I have ever really read labels before, so it was an eye-opener. We left with mountains of food (even managed to throw a little box of chocs in for a treat). I look at it all and have no idea how on earth it’s all going to fit in the pack. Andrew keeps laughing at me with all the things I tell him I’m taking with – he asks if I am pulling a trailer. Anyway, the proof will be in the packing – probably try do it this weekend. We can’t pack exactly the way it’s going to be come race day, because we need to get through Customs with all the original packaging – don’t feel like getting arrested for little bags of powder. The other issue we’re having is how to put our RTP (Racing The Planet) and SA Flag patches onto our waterproof gear. The screenprinter won’t do it and we don’t particularly want to sew it on as it will compromise the ‘waterproofness’. The option of glue has been tossed around, but apparently it doesn’t stick very well and we get penalised if our patches come off during the race. So if anyone has any good ideas, please let us know ASAP. The really amazing thing about this last week has been the support for our charity – Miles for Smiles. We have had so many generous donations and we are up to about 11 operations so far. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all of you that have contributed, and to those who still want to, please see the post before this for all the details. I never knew how gratifying it would be to raise money for a charity, but it has been so overwhelming . So with exactly one week to go before we leave, things are slowly but surely falling into place. There is so much to organise and do still, but I hope we’ll get there. Just to add to the anxiety of it all, we have had builders in our house for the past 2 weeks – not for the faint-hearted and I have no idea why we decided to do this now, but we must be suckers for punishment. This next week is going to be about organising our children – the anxiety about leaving them and the daunting task of planning their arrangements is something I am trying to keep at the back of my mind, because the minute I think about it, tears start falling down my cheeks…. :( 7 more sleeps
Ticking some boxes
15-Jul-2013 10:46:58 AM [(GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria]

I sit here now after having completed our last block week before the start of Iceland – it seems quite surreal that in 15 days time we leave for the land of the freeze. It seemed like we had ages to go but now we are on the downhill stretch. We managed to do three of the runs with pretty full packs and then the last run, which was a race, we ran with a 5kg pack – needed to lighten the load and so very glad we did. We did 9 hours in the week and the last of the block culminated in the Bastille Day Trail Run in Franschhoek. It was meant to be a 35km run, but it ended up being 40kms and 5h11 later. So all-in-all it was a good block of 14h30. The race was really tough but I think very good practice for Iceland. The temperature was cold, it was windy, there were zillions of icy water crossings – mostly thigh deep. The terrain was exceptionally technical and treacherous in most parts – had I known, I doubt I would have run this race as it could have easily ended up in injury – as it is I took a nasty fall at about 24kms, but luckily just got winded and bruised. The course had everything – steep climbs, rocky sections, water crossings, slippery slopes, no paths in a lot of places where you weren’t sure of your footing – just tough – physically, mentally and emotionally. After my fall I lost the plot a bit and I also don’t think I managed my nutrition very well, so did get a bit emotional. I didn’t have the mental strength to just take it for what it was, particularly for the last 5 kms when the race was meant to be done, but there was still no signs of the finish. Thanks goodness for John, he was very patient with me and just talked me through it, right to the end. I guess it was good to suffer like that, because I have no doubt almost all the days are going to be like that in Iceland. The good thing is, that another box has been ticked and we aren’t going to be doing another block like that again. We will have an easy week and then do a good 46km on Saturday. The following week will also be easy and then we are doing a team event, Hout Bay Trail Challenge, on the last weekend before we leave. Then that is it, all the physical preparation will have been done – phew! I have also managed to spend some time thinking about nutrition and making a shopping list of food – will hopefully get that done by Thursday. I also plan to do the rest of our equipment shopping on Wednesday, and then I can sigh a little bit of relief and feel more organised. Kids go back to school tomorrow, so we can get a routine going again and I can get my head around all that needs to be done in the next 15 days. Saw some pictures from a friend who has just done the Ultra Marathon in Iceland and it looked absolutely amazing! The scenery is spectacular, but make no mistake, the weather is COLD! We have had two e-mails in the last week about the weather and how we need to prepare ourselves. I’m not worried about being warm whilst running so much, it’s just the time at camp afterwards and getting ones clothes dry… They have told us to expect rain every day and strong winds, so the wind-chill factor is going to be huge. So looking forward to a gentle and productive week ahead. Later…
Blogs, updates and 30 days to go
04-Jul-2013 07:00:58 AM [(GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria]

Today marks a month until race day and 26 days until we leave – wow! My pulse races the minute I stop to think about it all – so many mixed emotions. There are days when I am super excited and other days where I just don’t know how I’m going to manage this. Fear hits me straight in the face when I take the time to read some of the other competitor’s blogs! My training feels so inadequate and so does most of my preparation. I haven’t taken any of it as seriously as some other people have – yes, I have been training consistently, but I haven’t been doing marathons, ultras, 50km or even 100km races; yes, I have tried out my kit on a few runs, but I haven’t been pedantic about it; yes I have a small clue as to my nutrition etc, but I haven’t been simulating race situation with eating my freeze dried meals etc. I’m not sure if this is a good or a bad thing, but I guess time will tell. I am a fairly organised, structured person who likes to do things the right way, but I just can’t get myself to focus on this race as I should – maybe I am just trying to pretend it’s not happening; or maybe it’s just having three kids, staff on leave, a guest house to run and a household to organise. I almost want to lock myself away for a few days and not be disturbed so that I can do what needs to be done. I don’t even have all my kit – no sleeping bag, actually not much at all barring a few clothing items and my pack. Everyone else seems to know exactly what they’re doing. We have also just received an update from Racing The Planet regarding MORE mandatory items that we need to bring along. Apparently, after having just come back from the course, the weather and environment are not as friendly as expected. There is still quite a bit of snow, which they are hoping will melt during July, the winds are strong and the night time temperature is between 2-4C, (but colder in the highlands). This does scare me a bit, as I hate the cold, but I hate the wind even more! The wind-chill factor is going to be horrid – JT, I think the balaklava idea you showed me with my buff is definitely going to come in handy…. They have also doubled what we need to take for our emergency drop bag – this is not a good sign! So, at this stage it looks like I am going to be the slowest, most under-prepared, most disorganised, coldest competitor there and with the heaviest backpack – hahahahaaaa – well, that’s all I can do – laugh…
CARYN KENNEDY
RacingThePlanet: Iceland 2013

Hometown
Hout Bay, Cape Town, South Africa

Profession
Guest House Owner and mother of 3 daughters

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CARYN KENNEDY
RacingThePlanet: Iceland 2013 competitor

Bio

Hometown
Hout Bay, Cape Town, South Africa

Profession
Guest House Owner and mother of 3 daughters

Why are you competing?
To challenge myself - To experience something that
very few people get to - To share it with my
husband - To get out of my comfort zone - To see
if I can...

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