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NEXT ROVING RACE: MADAGASCAR 2014

RacingThePlanet: Sri Lanka 2016 Blogs

Day 6 – indian ocean
19-Feb-2016 09:24:03 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

I am pleased to report we all have completed day 6. I am on the beach looking out over the indian ocean – we have had some bananas and ginger cookies courtesy of the prime minister, sea breeze blowing and camp all very happy. We expected today to throw everything at us and it sure did. The hottest day so far so an earlier 7am start was planned and starting with 2 stages totalling 16km on tar. Garmin said 32 by 7.30 and again the three of us were soaked through and trying to balance getting some fast km’s in before the heat of the day. We had rangers on the road with firecrackers as elephants and leopards had been sighted. At cp 2 we turned onto a dirt road for 6km winding through villages and past schools. Jembo and I were together with alice not far behind. 30 mins later 2 people resembling jembo and I were allegedly seen skulling a cold Fantaat a local shop but I cant confirm. The sun was pounding down at 39c by time we went through cp3 – even the rabid dogs weren’t interested in chasing us now. A further 7k to cp4 – we both were out of water and glad to see the flags. We needed to group up for the last 20km stage through yala NP for our safety and as we were the first people ever allowed to run through the park our local hosts were looking worried and ripping through the Marlboro reds. We had about 8 in our group and had to remain grouped together and directly in front of a 4wd with rangers. This ended up being a brutal 20 km as we had 2 laggards and our pace had fallen to 4km an hour so had to stop and group up repeatedly.Tempers fraying and people fading fast in the humidity and heat. 1 guy finally dropped at the 47km mark. We had to wait for a back up vehicle to take him away – I suggested we leave him there but apparently that is heartless. We were all feeling shattered and a controlled speed was mentally draining – we had run out of food too and knew a few hours remained. Another one fell by the wayside and we shuffled on, I was back in my blackhole and sure I saw the Phantom stalking me in the jungle, jembo cursing and alice still smiling. Finally the trees thinned and we heard the sounds of the ocean – our hopes and pace picked up and we took our chances with the wildlife and made a dash for the line. At 5.15 – we came to camp dropped our packs and kept walking straight into the ocean. The best feeling ever….A day as hard as any other and an upbeat camp now. We are covered in bites, sunburn, rashes and have large chunks of flesh and toenails missing but all ok. We are going to pool every anti inflamm, Panadol and Tylenol we can find for a breakfast cocktail to get us 4km to a fishing village and the official finish line.

Thanks for the wonderful messages from everyone it got us through.

 

Love pistol pete

Day 5 Entrance to Yala
18-Feb-2016 09:39:53 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Today was a battle with the elements – it started at last nights camp which rained most of the night causing wetness in the tents with most sleeping bags, gear and shoes all soaked. One guy in our tent was woken with frog landing in his face and the rest of us essentially had little sleep and were all a bit cranky this morning. Todays section was ‘only’ 30km but with a wet heavy pack and storms opening up it was destined to be a slap. 10 mins into stage 1 sure enough a few rumbles and torrential rain opened up and the dust roads soon became slushing bogs and mud holes. Again locals came out to support as we ran through several villages and then turned into a thicker scrub along the elephant proof fence till cp1. Jembo just bolted from the start didn’t look back – I am sure the prendiville RTP curse hasn’t beset alice yet but stay tuned…….I teamed up with a few from our tent until cp2. My feet were mashed so a quick change of sox, barked at the volunteers then off to the last stage. I took off when I hit the main road as my feet were howling, sun opened up and the road was scorching as were my feet. No fun for the next 90 mins, turned off onto a dusty road onto camp. Very happy to arrive in camp – still raining. Jembo was in top 20, I was 15 mins later and alice soon after. Lots of very sore and broken bodies around camp and shuffling slowly. Apparently only 60 runners left now. Had better go and do some needlework repairs before the big 50km tomorrow into Yala national park and onto the ocean.

Thanks for all the fantastic emails. They mean a lot

Pistol

Stage 4 The Sugar Cane Maze
17-Feb-2016 04:07:34 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

46km of hell today but pleased to report we are all in safely. We started slowly for the first 10k just trying to get all those sore spots settling down. 10 of us took a wrong turn and lost 500m – that just hurt. Stage 2 was into the sugar cane maze, Garmin said 36c  and the humidity was pounding. I cant remember being so soaked head to toe all day. Kept pumping in electrolytes and endurolytes but was feeling crappy. We were also focussed on elephants and vipers who love jumping out from the cane. Finally cp2 appeared and the first real river crossing. Shoes off and safely got through, quick refill and on to a long winding rocky trail for another 11k stage. we were all a dark place knowing it was only getting hotter and we had 26km to go, silence and barely a grunt from jembo. After an hour and emerging from a cane field we came across a tiny shop and were back in the game. Sadly, the camp dog that appeared at the start and has followed the leaders for 120k now laid down at CP2 and was done – all over. I did think about offering my leg to one of the rabid mutts hoping for a love bite and a red card to put me out of my misery as well.  As the day wore on we came across people struggling and docs were being kept busy. Cant remember much but shuffled to cp3 then cp 4 past scores of kids offering encouragement, then put in the ipod and ran hard for most of the last 8k stage. Jembo was about 10 mns ahead of me and alice about 45 later. We are camped under a large canopy of trees near budda statue and as we speak the mad monkeys are jumping on the roof and the rabid dogs are in pursuit. But we are ok – plenty of blisters,sore legs and totally exhausted but a smaller 30k tomorrow is welcome..thanks to all the blog comments – the advice, inspiration and humour all very ,much appreciated by all

Love Pistol Pete

Stage 3 – Buttala march
16-Feb-2016 02:44:15 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Today we left civilisation and headed into the deep and dark jungle. but for me, i nearly didnt start – durng the night a huge windstorm hit camp and created chaos, clothes, tents, towels flying. all of a sudden our tent lifted 20ft into the air . i saw it at the last moment as it cam back to earth and the corner with the tent peg still intact pierced through my backpack that i was using as a pillow. too close..i grabbed my wet wipes and headed off to find the dunny..

So today was 44km of tough terrain -  started with downward track then onto gravel track undulating for 12k. we headed deep into the jungle. we were told we were likely to encounter elephants and the SL elite guard went in with us equipped with fieworks and flares. we didnt see any but the 2 leaders came across a calf then had  a tense standoff when the mother arrived but all good. jembo and i were taking it really easy after yesterday as we were still tender and toenails were departing and holes starting to squirt..alice was with a tent mate and looking strong as is the norm. the humdity was pounding and we were soaked and doubled the electrolytes runng  through head high grass and terrified of spitting cobras and elephants. after emerging from the jungle we entred into a hilly single track stage for another 12k rated difficult.jembo was behind me strong, but had a slip and snapped his pole and we put the power down and passed a little japanese man who was having a very loud verbal altercation with himself. i think it was “mother of darkness”in japanese. he nearly had a heart attack when heard me behind him.we finally arrived together at cp3 – a few people looking wasted from the humidity. we rested for 15 then headed for the final 9.5km – along dusty dry roads through small towns. kids and adults came out to look at  the freaky white people –shake their heads and smile. jembo raced hard the last 7km and burst through the finish line and i was 10 mins behind..very glad to see that banner. we are camped around a lovely lake – licking our wounds, refueling and getting ready to go again tomorrow.at least we are half way now..thanks for all the blogs from my wonderful family and jp and katie..and yes jp austin powers was here but back at hotel now after blowing up day 1 cp2...

till tomorrow..pistol

From Tea Plantations to Pre Jungle
15-Feb-2016 02:47:33 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Hi all. Happy to report we are in camp after a brutal day today. it was 39km down from 2000m to 500m . running down steep tracks and trails started ok and jembo the flash took off and keen to build on his postion. i was nursing the ankle and was with alice for the start before being seperated at 2km. as we descended the temp rose and humidity shot up.  most people ran hard to checkpoint 1 then surprisingly the trail went up and we were on a 5km upward section back to 1200m. i was feeling massively crappy – nauseas,hosing sweat and legs were barking. i finally made cp2 and immediatly saw jembo in a spot of bother.  he had boiled going too hard and as i was filling my bottles he let out a tribal scream as the cramping started..we stayed there for 15mins and got him sorted and we headed out again. he went forward ad i didnt see him again to camp. he arrived 15 mins ahead but was looking washed out. he is going to be fine – he just kept down some noodles and is hydrated again. Kimberly day 1 repeat. alice was a power house today and was around 40th position – jembo 31 and i was 33... will loose some today and tomorrow its going to get hotter and into the jungle..JP – your madagascan mate paul aka austin powers is out and the south african lady with husband punching above his weight is also here.  anyway sorry fr the short message – love to all from the jungle

 

Pistol

Day 1 – in the can
14-Feb-2016 03:49:02 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Before I start a BIG happy valentines day to my wonderful darling wife xxxx  . ok now for the latest….

Whoo. Tough day at the office but pleased to say we are all back at camp and in good shape. Day 1 was a 36 km leg with 2 extreme stages that really gave us a spanking and course director Carlos the Jackal served up one of his best. We had a 5 hour bus journey from Kandy to the starting camp where we camped on the hard concrete floor in an old scout hall in the mountains that looked very much like the aussie bush except we were at 2000m and surrounded by tea plantations. we were crammed in tight so the Japanese guy who was honking all night had no idea where the size 13 Hokka came from that landed flush on his head. About 5 am we heard large bangs as a group of monkeys reigned down on the roof and took a shone to Alice’s blonde hair. They started stalking her as we sat through the safety briefing jumping from the tree to tree and ready to pounce. Unfortunately Jembo was too occupied taking selfies to notice and Alice did the dash behind the elite sri lanka guards who are our minders this week.

We set off at 8am up a hill going well but missed the turn off so added extra km to the day then when sprinting back I landed in a hole and rolled my ankle!!! 2km in on day 1 and in trouble but tightened the laces and headed back into battle howling abuse. The terrain was brutal – up and down hills covered a bed of leaves over rocks . People were sliding down hills and there are twisted ankles and knees in the medical tent tonight. A Chinese guy rolled in front of me. Pulled him aside and gave him jelly bean and left him ( as you do in these races ) Just hope the sweepers got him before the sloth bears. We stuck together but at the 8km mark jembo open shot off and we didn’t see him again. We crossed out of the jungle into the tea plantations then across open fields of amazing crops and tea plantations. The views were amazing but we were climbing hard and my water had run out. Glad to see checkpoint 1 for a refresh then out again. Alice was with me and going strong and 5 km along the road a group of kids waterbombed me off a railway bridge above that was ok and refreshing but then a few more km along a group of kids wanted money when we told them no, a group jumped out from the bushes a rained stones on us. I did the full frontal charge through the bushes and let them have it. they took off howling after I nailed the little buggers…

Got through a long road stage till checkpoint 2. Alice stayed on for repairs and I took off  into the thickest jungle that was impossible to get traction. I was on hand and knees crawling under trees and getting smacked in the face from bushes. After 1hr it opened up and I ran down to the railway line which we followed for 6km to the next CP. Repaired a few blisters then off for another climb back to 2000m then at the top of the mountain I ran for another 8km to camp.  I found jembo turning a shade of green on his back following his recoverite drink and I expect Vesuvius to erupt any minute. He’s blaming a heavy backpack and is throwing out half of his food as we speak..

Anyway Jembo came in strong in 22nd, I was 27th 20 mins later and alice came in about an hour later  in 37th. All good. Rain clouds forming and tomorrow is going to be tougher

Cheers

Pistol

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