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CONCLUDED 10 AUGUST
NEXT ROVING RACE: MADAGASCAR 2014

RacingThePlanet: Iceland 2013 Blogs

Stage 5 (The Long Day) – Nailed it!
09-Aug-2013 02:59:41 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Hi everyone I did it ! I finished the long day albeit it’s not a very long “long day” as its only 64 km but that has got to be the longest and hardest 64km in my life! The day started with single digits temperature, vertical rain and gale force winds. We had to put clothes  and shoes on that were still soaking wet from the day before as guess what it was raining the day before too, and to true RTP tradition they like making you run through rivers and get your shoes and socks soaking wet just to make it more challenging for the us. There were people that chose not to start this stage just because it was too cold.

 

I had 5 layers of clothes on plus my 7-11 poncho (get that I crossed the finish line after 64km with a HKD19.80 7-11 poncho!!! It held up all the way, I highly recommend it for rainy days in hongkers, if it survived Iceland, it will survive anything!!! Go 7-11!!) oh and plus 2 layers of gloves and was still freezing. Head winds for more than half the race which translates into every 2 steps I took it was almost a step backwards as the winds were just too strong. I spend most of the race looking at the ground and trying not to think of the pain shooting through both my foot and my knees and the ipod with music that Christian did for me saw me through the race. Pink Floyd and Bob Marley will never sound the same again, I was singing along like a crazy person in the rain just to keep myself going. The only interesting bit of the 64km was the lava cliffs facing the Arctic ocean, we walked for a good part of most of this stage along the ocean. The cliff formation from molten lava means the structure of the cliffs were very cool but frankly it went on for a few km and everyone was sick of it after 50m as it was soo slippery plus the ocean was so cold that the colour of the water almost looked grey.

 

After that it was just tens of km of long stretches of nothingness which apparently is a common feature of a RTP long day just to mess with your mind. Just so happy to have finished it and the 10km tomorrow will almost be like a walk in the park! Although the weather is still really rubbish. In summation, physically it was not tough in terms of terrain as there are not many big mountains but the cold cold weather means it’s really all about the mind, you need a strong mind for this. Oh and strong feet too!

 

The reward for us is that we get to sleep in a school gym instead of wet tents for a change and we get hot showers! I mean that was probably the best shower ever, the colour of the water coming off me in the shower was brown..i mean it. Rest day today and race finish to the famous Blue Lagoon tomorrow. Just a bit more to go.

 

In case I don’t write a finish blog, I would like to say big thank you to everyone out there for your support and very kind words. Big love and kisses to Christian (I love you!) for the motivational speech everyday and to Ruthie for making me laugh with her messages and bottle of tiny whisky that I will carry tomorrow to cross that finish line and drink in the blue lagoon!! Also thanks to Ali who got me through Stage 4. Ali is a friend from the insurance fraternity in HK. I found him after 10km and basically spent the next 30km looking at his shoes just to keep the pain out of my mind and to keep going. He is a solid bloke as they say, so thank you Ali!!!

 

This is probably mentally and physically one of the hardest things I have had to do and it always looks easier than it really is. Makes me realize lots of things about myself, mainly good but just how tough one’s mind and body can be.

 

Thank you again to everyone (am sure this might not be my last race though- crazy I know)!!!!

 

Ciao ciao

Txxx

Stage 4 – Back to Basics
07-Aug-2013 02:24:15 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Everybody will be pleased (including me) to know that I finished Stage 4 and therefore to date I have finished 176km, as I was calculating with the nice ladies in charge of the cyber tent even I can’t believe I have done this much…my legs, feet, ankles, shoulders will definitely tell you that’s true. In fact places that I never knew existed can hurt are hurting, I know finally know what its like for every single part of one’s body to be in pain. Tomorrow is the long day and its 64km and even though there is one more stage (6) after that its only a mere 10km so tomorrow is really IT. The chat around here is that if you can start the long day, you will generally finish, so fingers crossed for me.

 

Apologies for no blog on Stage 3 but I was so buggered I honestly ate and just went straight to bed! All I can tell you is its in a lava field and full of rocks, lots of rocks and lots of volcanic ash! Stage 4  I discovered that I not only had tendonitis on my left foot (not ankle apparently according to the doc) but because of it also messed up my left knee plus oh yes tendonitis on my right foot as well!.. someone told early on in the race that she had pain in her knee and then later on she had more pain in another knee and it was only then that she realized the second pain was so much that the first lot didn’t feel as bad anymore! I finally understood what she meant today, pain is really a state of mind, it does get to the point where you can only shut it out and go “I just need to survive this”..that I think is my motto for the race so far. Stage 4 is a stunningly beautiful stage of big big mountains, geysers and lava fields, I will share the photos later on. This race has also made me realized how little we actually need in life, all I have is a bag pack and everything I need for a week and that actually is enough, oh yes and the legs are important too.

 

It’s raining outside and said to be raining tomorrow too (plus oh did I say its single digits and gale force winds as well!), say a little prayer for me, I will get through it

 

Laters

Txxx
Stage 2 - finished in one piece but treacherous
05-Aug-2013 03:25:21 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

The weather has been so bad that we have had a change of course again. Today was another long 47km but absolutely brutal. The terrain varied between mainly volcanic ash, rocks, big rocks, gravel and more big rocks and gale force head wind! Lots of wobbly ankle action and probably twisted my ankle like 6 times, its wrapped and i am hopping that it will be well enough for me to walk/run tomorrow.
 
lots of people dropped out today, lots of injuries due to strong winds and steep slopes..one guy had a broken rib and another 8 stitiches on his forehead..so wasnt a good day for most including me.. i still finished in good time today and thank goodness for a shorter day tomorrow, think will take it pretty easy tomorrow.....
 
despite all that the course today was stunning with walking around the glacier lake with the long glacier in front of me which was a spectacular sight..and big moulds of volcanic ash hill which was very cool especially with the wind blowing and ash sand in the air..gave it a very mysterious feeling. tomorrow the black lave desert...fingers crossed
 
sorry for not having anything funny to say but am absolutely exhausted and can barely string a sentence together now..chat tomorrow
 
ps. happy song for today was bob marley's "bufflo soldier" - that was a sing along for me today when i had a down moment..yesterday's was the beach boys with "wouldnt it be nice"
 
stay tuned for tomorrow's!
 
txxx

Stage 1 - done
04-Aug-2013 03:26:50 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Howdy from iceland - now renamed windland

One down and only five more to go!

The first night up in the central highlands of iceland was cold cold cold and..yes very windy. I think they should rename this place windland instead. It is windiest place i have ever been to and did i mention that its the middle of summer and -2! The weather led the the course for stage one changed albeit it was still a 45km walk/run. I feel better than i thought i would and finish within the time i set myself so all in all i am a happy girl.

Iceland is very barren,volcanic and nothing grows here..so its lots of km of nothingness but me and my ipod..there is something strangly beautiful in that though. The second half of the stage we did hugged the long glacier of iceland and i have to say that was absolutely stunning..everytime i felt tired and my feet hurting i reminded myself to look up (instead of my feet cus that is what one tends to do in races this long!) and the beauty of this place keeps me going and i feel lucky to be given a chance to do this which i am sure most of you out there think i am crazy!

The days are very long here and we have only 4hours of night and even then the sun doesnt set below the horizon, for me that is a very strange feeling coming from singapore. Everyone here is in good spirits and i share a tent with the sharrock family and another couple ray and tatiana and i must say we have a fun tent and lots of laughs, although that was last night not sure if everyone is as enthusiastic today after a long day!!

Love to all of you back home and i wish i could share this with you, iceland is very beautiful.

Good night and chat tomorrow!!

Txxx
On my way now...finally!
02-Aug-2013 08:08:47 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

I have finally got off my bum to write a first blog whilst sitting at heathrow waiting for my flight to Iceland. Been seeing lots of people wandering around all with their packs and bottle holders(best way to identify a fellow competitor). I still can't believe that after 6 months of going on and on about it I am finally really going there. There are so many things that one worries or in my case freaking out about just before an adventure of this proportion; did I train enough, did I pack the right gear, have I got the right gear, am I going to be alright in the cold!? And the biggest question of all "am I going to finish it?"...with all that on my mind I have decided to revert to why I am doing this in the first place which is to go see Iceland in a way that not many people have done and in the process have a blast of time! Bearing in mind the wise words of my more intelligent other half " just remember the pain is temperory but the memories forever so go kick some ass!" On that note will chat with y'all when I get into Reykjavik!
TRISTAN ANG
RacingThePlanet: Iceland 2013

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