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Live Race Coverage
13 - 19 May 2012

RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012 Blogs

Long March Completed!​!!
18-May-2012 04:02:46 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

I did it!!!! The 'Big Day' changed to 86KM - I finished in just under 21 hours!!!

 

I should start with the evening before...I was in the middle of taping my toes and popping blisters when a big sand storm happened.... A few tents (including the one I stayed in) got blown down... I had to quickly pack my back pack to 'evacuate' ...my whole body and all my belongings were totally covered in sand and dust..it was miserable, but what can I do? everyone was on the same boat... I went to bed at 9pm that evening covered in sand/dust.. Part of the desert experience!

 

The Long March consisted of 9 checkpoints.  This day was completely different from the first 4 days. Very rocky, many uphills/ downhills and not as much soft sand, some parts are like the Maclehose Trail in HK. My strategy for the day was to keep a steady pace and not go too fast, rest for 5-10 min at each checkpoint and eat a bit to keep up the energy but not allow myself to rest too long in order to keep the momentum. I'd also manage my painkillers intake so I don't OD on painkillers... I managed to do that for the whole day!

 

The first couple stages were in a Canyon. I started quite far back which is always a bit disadvantageous because the course get congested with a lot of rocks etc...I really enjoyed the scenery.. Inside the Canyon, the course was not marked so well with the pink flags .. After checkpoint 2, 30 people got lost and went the wrong way, some people lost 1 hour getting back to the right track. the top guy in the race also got lost.. I'm so lucky I didn't get lost...my greatest fear... not that I was worried much about lost time, but I'm always paranoid about running out of water... From checkpoint 3 - 4, it was really hot ... we were just getting out of the Canyon and there was just no wind at all. Over the last 4 days I learned how to ignore the heat.. which is to put my head down and not think about it.  When I got to checkpoint 4, many people were overheated, I gave myself an extra 5 min break and started moving... after checkpoint 4, it was 9.5km climb to the summit (9.5km of uphill)... I normally walk by myself, but then I bumped into one of my tent mates Glen... we decided to walk together and chat a bit so to make the uphill less noticeable.. Actually I don't mind the uphill compare to soft sand but it was around 4pm and still extremely hot. Along this section, I saw many strong competitors crashing from the heat, trying to find a space with shadow to cool down.. After we reached the summit (checkpoint 5), Glen took off and I took my 10 minute break.. I started walking by myself again, towards the end of the stage the sun started setting.. At night, instead of pink flags, the course is marked with green glowsticks (easier to see at night)... I thought I can go through the evening stages by myself if I had to... When I was close to checkpoint 6 (the overnight camp for those who want to take a longer break).. I got lost for about 10 minutes... I freaked out, luckily I saw 2 competitors in the dark and I followed them.. I realized that it is not a good idea to walk alone in the dark. 

 

At checkpoint 6, it was around 8pm and I had my hotmeal (after breakfast at 5:30am). A few familiar faces, including Glen and another competitor Lizzy. We decided to hit the last 30KM together.  By this time everyone was very tired and numb... but we all know the only way to hit home is to keep going... Along the way, we were stopped by one of the racing the planet staff who said glowsticks were stolen and he led us to the correct way.  After 10KM, Lizzy decided to stop for a blister fix at checkpoint and we continued to walk, bumping into a few other competitors that I got to know during the race.. it was great to see everyone still hanging in there and fighting the last 20KM.  I just felt very lucky I didn't walk by myself. The last 10KM was entering into town (before reaching Petra).. I suddenly had a wind of energy and started jogging downhill (the first time I attempted to run in this race).. it was 5 minutes to 4am when we finally reached the final checkpoint/ our campsite!! I was so happy to get it over and done with!!!

 

Got to the tent and do the fist thing I always to: blow up my air mat, but unfortunately air mat had a hole in it and I had to sleep on rocky ground after a very long day. Oh well, only another night at the camp before the last day and I can go to hotel and take a hot shower and sleep on a bed!!!

 

Now, I just can't wait for tomorrow when I can run to the finishing line with my HK flag!!!!!

21 COMMENTS

cynthia

Posted: 23-May-2012 12:11:15 PM

Great job Irene. Good to have met you! Cynthia

Mabel Chu

Posted: 21-May-2012 04:00:58 AM

You are the greatest, sis!! I am rendered speechless by your endurance, your determination, and your courage. Can't wait to see you!!

Hoi yin

Posted: 20-May-2012 05:17:08 AM

Well done girlfriend!!! Well done! I can't wait to celebrate with you when you come back! The last leg, do it with ease and grace! As we said it in our OTW, "Easy Peasy"! Love ya girl. Hard core! Muah oxox

Leroy

Posted: 19-May-2012 02:37:13 PM

Congratulations! Thank you for sharing your amazing journey.

Julia

Posted: 19-May-2012 01:12:28 PM

Hurray!!!!!!! Just a little bit more!!!!! So proud of you irene!!!!!!!!!!

Vivi

Posted: 19-May-2012 12:54:56 PM

Congratulation on completing the almost impossible desert race! Such a huge mission accomplish!!! Great great job!!!

Steve

Posted: 19-May-2012 11:08:47 AM

Well done! Glad u hv finished =) Now u can sit back n relax

Littlewood

Posted: 19-May-2012 09:38:22 AM

Excellent! Well done, Irene. You are amazing. We are so proud of you! We love reading your blog. Take a good rest in Petra and take lots of pictures.

Margaret

Posted: 19-May-2012 05:30:56 AM

You are absolutely amazing and inspiring!!!!! I am very proud of you. Looking forward to see your message from the finishing line at Petra!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for running for people who suffer with Aids. ~muah Margaret : *

Hele

Posted: 19-May-2012 05:29:51 AM

You are absolutely amazing and inspiring!!!!! I am very proud of you. Looking forward to see your message from the finishing line at Petra!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for running for people who suffer with Aids. ~muah Margaret : *

Helen

Posted: 19-May-2012 05:22:53 AM

You are THE iron woman!!! Enjoy the last day! Petra is beautiful.

Tony

Posted: 19-May-2012 04:12:05 AM

Great Job Irene!!! lets do another one together in a few years :)

Deb M>

Posted: 19-May-2012 03:41:53 AM

Bravo and congratulations! Cheers and cheers! Deb M (USA)

Francis

Posted: 19-May-2012 01:52:37 AM

Irene- I don't really know who you are. Only heard about you from Norris. You are an inspiration. I don't know how you did this. It's awesome. Have a safe trip back home!

Karen leung

Posted: 19-May-2012 01:45:40 AM

Incredible, im sooooo proud of u!!!

Michael

Posted: 19-May-2012 01:12:44 AM

Fantastic Irene.. you really rock and I am very proud of you. I can imagine how happy you must feel now and the feeling you must have after today when you will be reaching KM250. Just amazing that's all I can say. Keep going XoX, Michael

Joan

Posted: 19-May-2012 01:05:46 AM

You did it, girl! Sounds like an extremely challenging day, like an episode of "man vs wild", but you did it! Just 1 more day to go, hang in there! Can't wait to see you. We'll have food and wine and spa waiting for you here!

MZ

Posted: 19-May-2012 01:04:25 AM

Wow, what a tough day, Irene! Yeah, walking in the dark sucks but you got back to camp. Well done! So very proud of you for sticking to it! You played the cards right and performed so well! So wonderful you can write beyond 1000 characters, loved reading all your posts! Thanks for taking the time and share despite your tiredness. What amazing experiences! Can't wait to see your pictures! Now that you have this bagged, Iceland next year? :) Yes, one more day and then you will be at the finish line, collecting well earned hardware :) Don't forget to smile for the camera :)

Bloody C FU

Posted: 19-May-2012 12:52:42 AM

Strong as bull YC crossing the finishing line with the HK flag ! Hiphip hurray !!! You did it ! What an amazing adventure. Bloody C Fu will drink blood Mary with Bloody YC for the whole week when u come back !

John Lee

Posted: 18-May-2012 11:51:34 PM

Great great great job! Amazing! Cheers to you!

Tht

Posted: 18-May-2012 11:14:18 PM

Wow!!! You did it! Congratulations! Only one more stage to go. Your journey through stage 5 sounds amazing... And challenging. Thank you for taking the time to share with us in so much detail about your race ... I've been eagerly checking your blog each day! :) We are all cheering you on for the final stage!! You're one amazing lady!! xoxo

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IRENE CHU
RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012

Hometown
Hong Kong

Profession
Director and Head of Compliance - Asia Mount Kellett Capital (Hong Kong) Limited

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IRENE CHU
RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012 competitor

Bio

13 years of professional experience in control functions within banking/ finance. Worked in GE Capital, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Barclays Capital and most currently at Mount Kellett Capital.

Hometown
Hong Kong

Profession
Director and Head of Compliance - Asia
Mount Kellett Capital (Hong Kong) Limited

Why are you competing?
TBD

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