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RacingThePlanet: Sri Lanka 2016 Blogs

Day 5 – Along With The Sunshine
18-Feb-2016 02:10:19 AM [(GMT) Greenwich Mean Time: Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London]

So, today Sri Lanka showed us why it is so lush and green – we’ve spent most of the day soaked, after an uncomfortable night in a leaky tent.  All part of the experience, and to make up for it we are now basking in some late afternoon sunshine in a clearing within one of the country’s nature reserves.

This stage was relatively short and quick, which was welcome ahead of the longest stage of the race, which comes tomorrow.  So since we have a little bit more time to blog today we thought we would try to give you an insight into our world at the moment.

There are two things that we obsess about at the moment, the Two Fs – Feet and Fuel.  Without at least these two things sorted getting to the end of the week gets that much harder.  We are constantly checking, patching and adjusting our feet / footwear sometimes during the day, but especially at night.  Blisters are the enemy and must be stabbed on sight.

Fuel (food, water, electrolytes and salt) – we eat every hour, on the hour during the race.  Same goes for salt tablets.  After the day’s stage, once the feet have been addressed it becomes a battle to eek out our meagre rations until bedtime.  We have around 3000 calories a day, and to put that in context that is roughly the recommended daily amount for an adult male who isn’t running for 6/7 hours a day.  And of course, everything we eat is one less thing we need to carry.

All of which means that this race is as much about managing the decline as much as anything else.  But we are still here on the evening of Stage 5. There are a few niggles and concerns, but only one serious stage to go.  All being well we will be camping on the beach overlooking the Indian Ocean tomorrow night.  Until then….

G&C

Day 4 – Let the Cane Fields Burn
17-Feb-2016 03:22:36 AM [(GMT) Greenwich Mean Time: Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London]

So, yesterday was pretty tough, with Caroline finishing the last 8km with cramp in both quads and both hamstrings (not even sure how that is possible!).  One or two other niggles and concerns meant that the strategy for today was to dial it back a notch and try to look after our bodies a bit – well, as much as you can while running 47km.

Surprisingly today was almost completely flat, which was a relief.  We spent the morning running through cane fields, then some more jungle (of course!).  Tonight’s accommodation is in the grounds of a temple in the shade of some huge old trees.

Still a lot of miles to go, including the longest stage on Friday.  But morale is good and the packs are just a little lighter….  Thanks again for all the encouragement and support.

G&C

Day 3 – Rumble in the Jungle Part 2
16-Feb-2016 02:39:14 AM [(GMT) Greenwich Mean Time: Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London]

At last an easy day.

Actually, not really.  It seems there is no such thing as an easy day out here.  However, today has seen us exit the highlands, so although today was also quite hilly things should smooth out from now on.  Hopefully.

One of the downsides of being out of the highlands is that the heat and humidity are both up, which combined with the longest stage so far (44km) to make for a tough day away from the office.  On the plus side we got to see Buddhist rock carvings, giant lizards, lillypad covered lakes, rice fields and some crazy German tourists on a moped.  And plenty more jungle.

Now we are fed and watered it’s time to get our heads down on the shores of a huge lake looking out across the mountains that are now behind us.  Tomorrow is longer still, but the pack is a little bit lighter….

G&C

Day 2 – What Goes Up
15-Feb-2016 03:15:54 AM [(GMT) Greenwich Mean Time: Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London]

Another tough day.  The first few days are through the Central Highlands and many of the descents today were as hard as the climbs yesterday.  Brutal on just about everything.

The scenery remains stunning, today’s highlights being Sri Lanka’s tallest waterfall, plenty of tea plantations and the odd temple.  The locals are all incredibly friendly, although it is a little depressing to be out-paced by a gang of school kids in flip-flops mile after mile.

There is no respite from the hills tomorrow, and at nearly 44km it’ll be the longest day yet.  On the plus side, we have now eaten two days food, so the packs are getting lighter.

Thank you to all of those we have sent messages of support.  We really appreciate them and they are great for morale – especially the inspirational ones.  Sorry we can’t reply to them all individually, but there is a scary German lady who patrols the cyber tent and kicks us off after a few minutes.  Rest assured we do get to read them all though.

More tomorrow,

G&C

Day 1 – Rumble in the Jungle
14-Feb-2016 04:02:40 AM [(GMT) Greenwich Mean Time: Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London]

Well, as we write this we are both sitting on the edge of an escarpment with view out for at least 20 miles.  It would be a pretty romantic setting for Valentine’s Day, if it weren’t for the fact that we are living in close proximity to 70-odd people who all just run 40km through the jungle.  And there aren’t any showers.

Day 1 was, by any standards, fairly tough.  We are pretty sure that it was all uphill and large sections of the course had been cut from the jungle just for this race.  Progress at times was pretty slow, but no easier for the slower pace.  In fact thrashing around over and under logs, branches, bushes and trees was probably the hardest part of the day.  Still, we are here, still mobile and still able to enjoy the view, which is stunning.

Tonight we sleep in an abandoned tea factory, then what looks like another difficult day tomorrow.  The jury is still out on whether the change to the format is a good thing or not (instead of a long day tomorrow followed by a rest day, we will now do 6 shorter days (up to 50km) but with no rest until the end).  Still if the scenery in this amazing place continues to be as stunning as it was today we will at least have something to take our minds off the numbers.

Until tomorrow,

G&C

CAROLINE AND GARRETH DENT
RacingThePlanet: Sri Lanka 2016

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CAROLINE AND GARRETH DENT
RacingThePlanet: Sri Lanka 2016 competitor

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Hometown
Grayshott

Profession
Engineer.

Why are you competing?
A great way to experience a new country.

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