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RacingThePlanet: Iceland 2013 Blogs

The final footeps back to the Shire and a warm bed
10-Aug-2013 06:15:29 AM [(GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria]

Greetings all from our nice warm hotel room! Today we ran, no that would be a lie.... we shuffled and jogged the last 9.3km to the Blue Lagoon. Our new celeb Janina and her famous feet found themselves in a serious amount of pain this morning. For all of us squeezing swollen feet into wet running shoes was an interesting experience. I was suffering from bad ITB in the left leg and a very painful foot. Springing to the rescue was our tent mate Lawrence "Gollum" Baca who lent me his Leki sticks which would allow me hobble my way to the finishline.It was a short a jog, well relatively speaking, 9km in 1hr and 40min!! not setting the world on fire with our times! In truth it was really just about surviving and making it to the line as a group. We wanted to cross together and we achieved just that. The weather was overcast with a light drizzle and moderate wind as we shuffled across the line into the Blue Lagoon, one of Icelands main attractions. It has been an amazing time despite the weather and aching muscles. Iceland is a hard island and not for the faint hearted. For those that do brave its shores it does hold many wonderful treasures and on a good day show some spectacular sights. While the lanscape is hard and barren in places it is in the stark evironment that some of its beauty exists. We were priveleged indeed to have experienced Iceland in all its different moods and will leave here with some stunning memories. The glaciers of the interior, the silfra continental divide, the green fields filled with the unique Icelandic ponies, the lava cliffs, the geothermal pools and spectacular geysirs will remain in our thoughts for year to come. As the pain of the run subsides we reflect on just how lucky we are to have been able to participate in an event of this nature and how blessed we are with the health and fitness to see it through to the end. It has been a fantastic journey of self discovery and we are thankful to have been able to see it to the end. To all of you that have posted comments or sent messages our eternal thanks it was great to know that as we trod this path there were folk back home thinking of us. If you feel so inclined please feel free to make donations to our chosen charity Smile Foundation at: for whom we have agreed to dedicate this run toCheers

Dave Nicky Janina and Tina
The Long March - Away from Mordor
10-Aug-2013 05:30:10 AM [(GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria]




Fisrtly - Happy womens day to all my friends, family and workmates back home!!




Where to begin. The "Long March" as it is affectionately known is the longest stage of the event and typically follows four days of marathon plus distances. Our "Long March" was to be 64 km of painfest. It started with a 200mtr bus drive across a river that had spung up over night between our camp and the start line. The rain had been coming down all night and showed little sign of letting up.




So there we all were lining up in the pouring rain and freezing cold wind dressed in three layers of Icebreaker merino wool tops and mountain hardwear rainproof pants and tops. I am of one fact certain that without that kit we would have been hospitalised with 15min!!! We set off at shortly after 8 in our usually early morning fashion... The racing the planet shuffle!




It is difficult to describe what we went through but some pics i will post on my return of the blisters on Janina's feet will give you some idea of the kind of terrain they put us over. There was everything from climbs, gravel roads, narrow deeply running horse trails, lava cliffs and rocky scramble for 3km (averaging at this part 17min a km), moss covered rocky fileds and 4km of black beach run with a wicked wind whipping off the sea.




it was a tough day, again, and it was towards the end of the stage you relise just how strong the mind can be. We had for the previous days been running around 44km a day and typically the body started to shut down at around 36km. On the long march we found ourselves at 40 km still feeling good. At this point it is fair to say that Nicky was slowly running herself back into top form. After 5/6weeks of forced rest she was getting stronger by the minute. I was feeling decidedly shattered. The rain persisted throughout the day as did the wind, attacking us from all quarters making running very hard work. It was cold, no wait it was actually BFC!! and we had to keep moving to keep ourselves warm. With 5km to go my legs gave up even on the remotest form of running and i was forced to shuffle. I persuaded Nicky that the only way to save herself from going hypothermic was to leave me and head for the buses waiting at the finish line for us. ( due to the extreme weather the camp at the finishline had been moved to a large Gymnasium in a fishing village close by). I knew i would be able to get to the line but also knew that nicky needed to me moving faster so off she went.... at speed - the womean is a machine. I must admit that it was an extremely emotional moment watching her head off into the rain. I managed to battle through to the finishline and get on the same bus that Nicky was waiting for me on.


The pain in my legs was like something i have not experienced before but most importantly the "Long March" was done!!




Tina and Janina followed suit about 45min later after having had a illegal coffee stop in a fishing village for waffles and jam!! It appears that they were the only ones to have seen a small cafe hidden away in a harbour we ran through. Janina has turned into a bit of  celebrity here or more to the point her feet have. They have been afflicted with the most horrendous collection of blisters imaginably. She has bilsters under every toe and soles, heels and sides of her feet. As i sit typing this she is with the medics being treated. The sight of her feet has brought out the cameras and her feet are fast becoming the most photographed thing on this run!!




Today is a rest day before we tackle the last 10km into the finish at the Blue Lagoon (hot water lake) It has been a most amazing experience made even more special by having my girlfriend, Janina and Tina as part of it. While it has been beyond painful and times and almost seemingly impossible in parts it has been worth every minute. Being able to push ones boundaries and experience things you may never have dreamed possible is really very special.




From all of us here, many thanks for the wonderful messages of support they have been fantastic and have kept us motivated and shuffling along.




Cheers from Dave, Nicky, Janina and Tina --- and of course Frodo, Gandalf and Gollum!!!



Gollum's Lair
07-Aug-2013 04:23:49 AM [(GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria]

A short blog today! Weather turned on us again today and the wind and clouds were with us in full force. Icey icey winds that were towards the latter part of the day extremely demotivating. We started the day with a short 2.5km run and then an amazing scramble through a 300mtr long lave tube. Fantastic experience and not for those suffering from claustrophobia. I am certain that in certain parts of the tube i saw Gollum peering at meet from deep in the darkness of the caves that lead off the lave tube.
From there i had what was to be my hardest day yet some very very dark moments and a lot of pain but then i suppose you get that after 4 trail marathons in a row. Nicky saw me through to the end with a great 800m ascent 8km before the finish. We were extremely fortunate as the heavens opened 5 min after we crossed the finish line and kept us huddling in our tents recovering from a tough day.
There is a fantastic group of folk participating in this event and everyone is quick to offer support en route with no thought of "getting to the finishline first" its all about the experience.
At this juncture i must make special mention of my Coffee Club back home.... guys you have no idea how good a Vida would be right about now. Looking forward to some great cycling when I get back, hopefully this runnning thing has fittened me up a touch. Nick, Dawie, Gary, John, Mckinnon and Tristan thought about you guys out in the wind and pain today!
Well it has been a tough few days and my body is beyond sore. Tomorrow is the final big one with us tackling the 64km long march which will put us within 10km of the final day to the finish line at the Blue Lagoon. Janina and Tinx have been legendary and I hope to be able to run through with them and Nicky on tomorrow ultra..  hoping the body  holds out!
To all of you that have posted comments once again my and the girls huge thanks they really mean so much when you are stuck out here i the middle of nowhere. 74km more to run and i will finally feeling comfortable calling myself a trail runner!! To my friends in the office.. looking forward to getting my butt back in that cozy messy office of mine and suffering through all your awesome humor!!
Ok thats all folks! Hold thumbs for us tommorow as it looks like we will be heading off in the pouring rain and icey winds
Cheers from Dave, Nicky, Janina and Tina in Iceland
PS: today was 40.5km in around 7:30ish i think.... yup thats a long day out in the land of Hobbits, elves, dwarves and wizards!
A short visit to the Shire
06-Aug-2013 02:50:03 AM [(GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria]

Greetings from a finally sunny Iceland. The weather finally turned and we were welcomed by a glorious day. Despite an extremely cold night we set off for what was supposed to be a shorter 41km day. It turned out to be just over 45.5km and was to reveal the more pleasant side of Iceland. Nix was a lot stronger today and i spent the day tucked into her slipstream(you i really am a cyclist at heart)
We spent the first half of the day running through wonderfully beautiful but extremely stark countryside.

Blisters were the order of the day and the last 5km were over some horrible gravel horsetrack. Our spirits are all good and we are exremely pleased to have finally past the halfway mark in terms of distance. Tomorrow looks to be sunny in the morning but rain later so we hope to get in before it starts. Nickys stomach issues appear too have passed to Ja and it was a long day out for her. 

So it was 44km today and we were in in 6:35. Sadly though we did not but into any of the Shire folk although we did have a moment we we thought we saw Gandalf high atop one of the dark grey desolate peaks!

Ok thats all for now... Hoping you are all well back in as we are hopefully flying the Western Cape and South African flag high.

Thanks to all of you that have posted comments on the blog they are HUGELY appreciated and  mean so much to us as  we try and survive not only the  run but the  TOUGH camping conditions..... PS: some fresh sushi would go down really well right about now

Dave, Nicky, Janina, and Tina
To Mordor and back!!!
05-Aug-2013 03:06:53 AM [(GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria]

Greetings to you all from the end of day 2. It was an extremely cold night last night and despite wearing everything we had with us, we were to a person chilled to the bone. Wind did not dissapoint and threatened to blow us all back to Cape Town. 
The day started with weary bodies dressed ready for and arctic expedition!! The day had been lengthened slighly and was to end at a shade under 47km.

Today was arguably one of the hardest days i have had on my own two feet and were it not for the ecouragement of my  3 trusty team mates Nicky, Tinks and Ja I once again question whether i would have made it. We started with a 5km downhill trot which did nothing to help my very sore knees. Nicky is suffering from a stomach bug which gave her endless trouble through the day! Needless to say she has now been suitably dosed up with immodium and we hope for the best. Considering she has not run for 5 weeks she is doing so incredibly well. Tina is extremely strong and has helped pull us through. What we really miss are our support crew and their Vuvusela’s.... Mands and Dawie!!!! We keep looking out for you

We finished in very tough conditions with dusty lava fields and hectically rough and rocky terrain to navigate against brutally cold winds. The route took us directly across the front of one of icelands large glaciers. The wind whipping off the ice was some i never wish to run in again. Fortunately the rain has held off for the moment.
We finally finished stage 2 in just under or on 8 hours.... A very very long tough day. We are all full of a variety of pains but i suppose that comes with running two marathons/ultra marathons in a row over hectic terrain 

Once back in camp our spirits have been revived and we will now settle down to dinner and some much earned rest. Thinking of you all back home and looking forward to ticking this box.

To all my fellow workmates.... If i suggest doing this again have me put down. Thanks all for taking the time to read this look forward to geeting some feedback. We have not looked at our messages yet as the ques in the cybertent are hectic and it was a case of blog or readour mail so the blog took first place. 

Hoping to send an update tomorrow if the bodies hold out.

Cheers from Dave, Nicky, Tina and Ja.
Tough Day in the office
04-Aug-2013 04:10:10 AM [(GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria]

Where do i start.
The check in at Race HQ in Reyjavik was largely uneventful other than to discover that I weight in at a shade under 14kg and Nickya shade under 10k !! just blame it on the size of my clothing.
Then it was of on the bus for a four and a half hour drive to camp 1 in the highlands of Iceland. To call the place in hospitable would be tantamount to calling Attila the Hun a bully!! Due to extreme weather conditions camp 1 had been moved to a location slightly lower than originally planned. That have been said we arrived to light rain and a HOWLING gale. The winds whip off the two glaciers that lie on each side of the area we were camped. I was a cold the likes of which i was very ill prepared. We arrived at around 8pm and headed strainght into our tents (shared by 8 people sleeping like sardines head to toe fashion.
Straight into all the Icebreaker kit we had with us and then into our sleeping bags!! Having Nicky and Tina wth us had paid huge dividends as they got us to buy and carry in the first nights feast of Camembert, Olives, salami, fresh bread and of course a mandatory bottle of wine. Despite the horendous conditions raging outside we settled down to our "Last dinner" and the it was off foor a very uncomfotable sleep. The wind was howling and we expected to be blown off the side of the mountain at any time
This morning was a very very very rude awakening... We had decided that as tough South African we would save our rain gear for the evenings!!! Will this was simply not going to be the case. I have never experience clod like that ever and was convinced they would cancel the stage. In fact the stage was changed at the last minute due to the extremely harsh conditions and we set off fully kitted in our three sets of Icebreakers on as well as our water proof pants and tops. The wind and cold were brutal and we shuffelled slowly towards the finish. My partner Nicky was an absolute star and despite having been off traning for over 5 weeks managed to drag me through to the finish. I was arguably one of the hardest days i have spent running. Not so much because of the route but more the conditions.
We are now safely in our tent at camp 2 and while the clouds have finally cleared the icey gale continues to make our lives a misery!!
I am extremely sore with knees that are threatening a revolt. Nicky is also sore with her palnters facia playing up a bit. We are howere both in good spirits and will live to tackle another day tomorrow. Wishing our our friends back home lots of love. Mons if you are readiing this the please could you share on facebook for me. Paul we are both thinking of you and send much love and get well wishes. Christie... your pops is mad! And lastly to my liitle brother Tim... Give me Carols ledge anyday...
Ăžetta Reddast! - or we hope it will be!
02-Aug-2013 11:34:35 AM [(GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria]

Greetings from our last night in Reykjavik

Well the time is almost upon us. It is in fact quite surreal …… the last 24 hours have been amazing. We have done some sightseeing around Reykjavik and soaked up some stunning weather. We can only hope that it will last.



Yesterday I suppose was spent in denial of what is about to hit us! The sun has been outdoing itself with the temperatures hitting 16 degrees C. sadly though we understand that this will change as we head out tomorrow afternoon to camp 1 in Kerlingarfjall. It is about a 4 hour drive out of the city and takes us into the country side that inspired JRR Tolkien to create the areas of Mordor and Mount Doom in his epic trilogy Lord of the Rings…… This is a seriously harsh environment.



We discovered yesterday that the crew of Game of Thrones is in the country filming the next series. For those of you that follow this series you will understand just how barren the landscape is!! The US astronauts trained here in the mid-sixties!!! – The question then has to be asked why in the heck are we running through it!! Who knows we may even bump in Frodo or Gandalph



Today things suddenly became very real… Packing our bags in anticipation of tomorrows mandatory equipment and food check. Needless to say my pack is bursting at the seams and weighs in at a shade under 14kgs WITHOUT water. Mild panic sets in as you try and dump stuff you first thought was critical. Well lets see what tomorrow brings and how much weight  I can shed before we board the busses at 3pm.



The next blog will be from somewhere out in the wilderness that is Iceland here’s hoping that the popular Iceland saying is true! Þetta Reddast! (It will be okay – Everything will work out)- pronounce (theta reddast)



RacingThePlanet: Iceland 2013

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Director of the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour. The worlds largest timed mass participation bike ride

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RacingThePlanet: Iceland 2013 competitor


20years working in the clothing and textile industry on the marketing side. During this period i was involved in a voluntary capacity as the organiser of the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour. In 2005 I took up a permanent position with the event and have turned it into a career.

Cape Town, South Africa

Director of the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour.
The worlds largest timed mass participation bike

Why are you competing?
My partner ran the Nepal roving race in 2011.
Following on from her experience we have both
chosen to celebrate my turning 50rs old in 2012
with a challenge. That challenge is Racing the
Plant Iceland 2013

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