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CONCLUDED 10 AUGUST
NEXT ROVING RACE: MADAGASCAR 2014

RacingThePlanet: Iceland 2013 Blogs

Stages 3 & 4
10-Aug-2013 05:57:38 AM [(GMT) Greenwich Mean Time: Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London]

There is so much to write about but, unfortunately, my time is limited as there are a number of competitors waiting to use these computers. I will keep it brief and update later. Stage 3 (yesterday) was the kind of day you envision when you sign up for these events. The sun was shining, the trail took us through a number of interesting spots and I generally had a great day of running. The glaciers (and glacial wind) from the day before were behing us and everyone was motivated by the fact that we were moving towards the coast and eventual, though distant, finish line. This morning we awoke early (5:30 or so) and it was brutally cold outside with clouds threatening. The first part of the course called for us to take our packs off and navigate a lava cave with our headlamps. Though it was slow moving and required us to scale areas with sore muscles, it was fun to see some subterranean Iceland. After the lava cave, the race was back on. I moved quickly through the first checkpoint and most of the early terrain was horse trail, so good for running. We passed by a number of farms which was a great diversion. After checkpoint 2, the latter half of the stage was mostly uphill on jeep track with sharp Icelandic winds resuming their bludgeoning. The winds cause you to move slowly and become much hungrier than usual, so I am constantly eating on the trail, which is unusual for me. The best thing I brought are the Justin's peanut and almond butter packets I found at HEB just prior to my departure. They have come in quite handy and have kept me from losing it a few times. Finally we had descent and rocky valley finish to the awaiting camp. Now, I am in the cybertent beside a flowing river. All in all, I feel fortunate to be holing up pretty well. I have had to drain one toe nail, have pretty sore knees and a foot bruise, but none of these impedes me from running. Tomorrow is our final long day and it promises to be very difficult. We are running to the coast of the Arctic Ocean where a campsite will await us near the beach. I hope to update the day after when we have a rest day before the final sprint to the finish line at the Blue Lagoon hot springs. Big day tomorrow, so I am going to eat some food (more beans and noodles) and get some rest in my amazing sleeping bag (the only thing that has kept me warm out here:). Thanks again for reading/commenting and I look forward to extending thanks in person soon! Goodnight from Iceland. 
Stage 5
10-Aug-2013 05:57:20 AM [(GMT) Greenwich Mean Time: Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London]

We awoke yesterday morning at our riverside camp to a howling wind and the sound of rain hitting our canvas tent. Any hopes of good weather for our 40 mile long stage were quickly dashed. All went into immediate survival mode and suited up in full rain gear. At 7:45am we were at the starting line shivering cold but eager to cap four hard days and over 100 miles of running with the final long trek and close proximity to the end of this race. I started fast, eager to warm up and log some kms. The wind was blowing the rain sideways, however, and I was drenched 10 minutes in. Any thoughts of speed were replaced by the need to move smartly. These polar conditions would remain the entire day. At times I was running into a headwind that nearly neutralized my efforts, but slowly and somewhat steadily we covered the volcanic terrain. The course took us up hills, through green valleys, across lava fields, next to blue lakes, over a black sand beach next to crashing Arctic waves and through fishing villages while the threatening gray sky covered all of it. I ran and consumed every bit of food remaining in my pack, not really tasting any of it. Finally, hours later my wind blown eyes saw the welcoming finish line. Now, we are camped out at an athletic center and praising the comforts of warm shelter. Tomorrow is the final sprint towards Reykjavik. I am having a great time meeting people from every corner of the globe and sharing the near completion of a brutal experience. My tent mates have been so positive and find the hilarity and even joy in terrible conditions. I am also ready to return home to the blazing Texas heat. Yesterday, during the relentless cold siege, I vowed to never to complain about it again. So, all is great in these final race moments and I cannot wait for tomorrow's Icelandic feast. Then I will return to Austin where I know the summer sun is beautifully shining. A huge thanks to all who have read this. See you soon!
DANIEL ROARK
RacingThePlanet: Iceland 2013

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DANIEL ROARK
RacingThePlanet: Iceland 2013 competitor

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Hometown
Austin, Texas

Profession
Legal

Why are you competing?
Charity, Challenge, Travel

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