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Live Race Coverage
13 - 19 May 2012

RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012 Blogs

Wow, what a crazy 48 hours. Where to start?
18-May-2012 03:56:25 AM [(GMT-07:00) Mountain Time(US & Canada)]

Since I last posted we have had a snake in camp that was gotten rid of by the local bedouins looking after camp. It was spotted in a hole in the middle of the open area.  We pointed out a similar hole in our tent and had about 30 minutes of digging and shoveling to see if a snake was there.  They couldn't decide if there was one or not, so poured gas down the hole and told us we'd be fine.  None of us woke up with a snake in our bed, so I guess we were okay.

 

The next night we had a wicked sand storm that blew our tent down.  One of my tent mates is a tiny 62 year old Japanese woman, Kita, and there she was holding onto poles trying to keep the tent up while wind and sand were blowing around.  Again, we all survived once the tent was up, and got a decent sleep after emptying the sand from the sleeping bag.

 

Next came the long march.  My day started alright but it was very hot.  I haven't seen results, but I'm sure my place as dropped significantly.  The day started with 37 km through a canyon....the temperature was very hot and by 9 or so there was no shade.  A group of us also went off course a little, so by the time I reached checkpoint 4, which was 37 km in, I was overheated.  It's estimated my temperature was somewhere around 103 - 104 and it took 2 hours to cool me down enough to carry on....yes, I carried on.  I know some of you are probably thinking it was foolish, particularly given it was a 10 km climb out of the canyon.  However, by the time I left the check point it was 4:30, I was leaving the canyon and had a breeze and I was feeling good.  Medical gave me a green light to go, so I went.  There was a period of time when I was lying in the tent trying to get cooled off that I was convinced my race was done.  There were lots of emotions, some tears but through it all I knew I had to do what was sensible and if I couldn't properly cool down I would not have continued on. 

 

Once I was ready to go I persevered and with 50 km left to go and 18 hours left to complete it I figured I'd go slow and if I needed to stop I would.  I put safety first and I truly felt good and strong particularly once the sun went down and I had a nice night hike through Jordanian countryside.  11 hours later, at 3:30 this morning I crossed the finish into our final camp site.  Today is a rest day and tomorrow a quick 5 km jaunt to the Treausury in Petra which is our finish line.

 

Part of what got me through yesterday was thinking of everyone back home.  I know people wouldn't be disappointed if I didn't finish, but there was still the sense of not wanting to disappoint people and also myself.  Today I feel good and strong, and know that my decision to carry on was the right one.

 

I have loved reading all the messages and blog comments from everyone.  It has been incredibly motivating for me.  Manny, I'm enjoying my time and hope school and lacrosse coaching is going well for you.  Mom, Ann, Liz and Christine, I know you'll think I'm crazy for carrying on, but believe me I felt good and wouldn't have risked my safety.  Can't wait to share more stories with you.  Everyone, thanks for taking the time to read my blog and send me messages!

 

This is my last post from the front lines, but I will try to get access to a computer from the hotel tomorrow to read any comments that might be posted.  Thanks everyone!!  Lots of love,  Mary

21 COMMENTS

Wendy

Posted: 21-May-2012 10:33:07 PM

Great Job! Enjoy the rest of your holiday! We will be busy with Lacrosse every night! Everyone is doing fine!

Mel

Posted: 20-May-2012 04:07:21 AM

I'm so proud of you Mary! You're determination

Caroline Nolan

Posted: 19-May-2012 09:56:04 PM

Congratulations! What an amazing physical and psychological achievement! I would have been heading to the Jordanian Hilton after digging for the snake!! Well done!!! Enjoy the next week of sightseeing and rest!

Justin

Posted: 19-May-2012 08:14:25 PM

Awesome job! I am looking forward to the new ways boot camp will incorporate the desert challenges!

Blair

Posted: 19-May-2012 07:24:37 PM

Wow!!! Your Bootcamp Buddies knew you could do it!!! What an accomplishment. What a scare from overheating!! Look forward to hearing the grueling details when you get home!! Enjoy the rest of your visit to Jordan!

Mike B.

Posted: 19-May-2012 06:50:07 PM

Great Job Mary. We were toasting you at the Irish Club last night !!!! Sean thinks youre crazy of course but your following your dreams. Hes been checking the website also. Safe home

Beverly Diotte

Posted: 19-May-2012 05:20:04 PM

Congratulations Mary! I've been thinking of you all week. Enjoy the remainder of your trip.

Collen Norris

Posted: 19-May-2012 04:30:44 PM

So proud to know such an amazing women. Congratulations Mary what an unbelievable accomplishment! We can't wait to hear your stories. !!! Enjoy the rest of your trip.

Joan

Posted: 19-May-2012 05:22:02 AM

If your mom says you are getting elderly....I say say you have redefined elderly. Congratulations Mary! Enjoy your well deserved shower and the rest of your trip:)

Christy Geinger

Posted: 19-May-2012 05:08:03 AM

Way to go lady. Have fun and keep it up. Can't wait to hear about your trip. Be safe.

Deb M

Posted: 19-May-2012 03:35:40 AM

Oh, bravo! Have been following your blog since before the race...and cheering for you all week - hurray and congrats! I've learned a few tips from your writing which will help me at Iceland 2013. Enjoy the finish line tomorrow! DM

Kathryn

Posted: 19-May-2012 03:20:06 AM

Ahhh - dropped significantly in the standings??? Not hardly! Okay wise one, you did it! Suffered, debated, decided, perserved, pushed, made it, finished it. Life's struggle in a microcosm in the desert. Congrats my friend. Proud to know you. Enjoy your remaining time in Jordon. Don't be alarmed when I sweep you up in a hug when I next see you. xo

Christine Albers

Posted: 19-May-2012 02:34:03 AM

Good for you!!!!! What an achievement. It will be great to see you when you get home and hear all the details. We were always cheering and thinking of you...have fun with the rest of your adventure!

Joanna MacLean

Posted: 19-May-2012 02:06:24 AM

You are nothing short of inspiring Mary - most of all for the balance between achieving your goals while keeping grounded in the big picture. I'm hoping I can pick up more of that for myself hanging out with you! I have to admit I got a little teary reading your post as I can imagine how much you wanted to finish. Enjoy your final day and soaking it all up when you are done. Jo

Ann Sutherland

Posted: 19-May-2012 01:54:31 AM

I didn't tell Mom about the overheating part. Or about the gassy snake under your tent. I'm so happy for you that you were able to continue on, but even if you had quit, you had already accomplished so much. Savour crossing the finish line. I will think of you and your grueling trek across the desert when I do my 50 km next week in more reasonable temperatures, sans sand and snakes, but maybe a moose.

Mom

Posted: 19-May-2012 01:44:39 AM

Yahoo, Mary my darling daughter! I knew you could do it and it's even more remarkable because you are getting elderly.

Colleen Gresiuk

Posted: 19-May-2012 01:13:10 AM

Definition of Mary: Persistent and motivated :) You\'re inspiring Mary!

Colleen

Posted: 19-May-2012 01:12:36 AM

Definition of Mary: Persistent and motivated :) You're inspiring Mary!

Erin Logue

Posted: 19-May-2012 12:45:33 AM

You did it!! SO great! It is easy to trust your judgment. You have proven time and again that you are a super sensible person and not one for taking silly risks. We are all so very proud of you. Have a great shower, good food and enjoy the company of those who have suffered along with you. You are all pretty amazing people Can't wait to see you

Gail Kamitomo

Posted: 19-May-2012 12:29:30 AM

Holy cow Mary... What an adventure! You finished very well considering you had to take 2 hours to cool down! I checked out some pictures of Petra. The BBC rated it as one of the top 40 places to see before you die. It looks spectacular. Take good pictures! Have a great shower!! Looking forward to talking to tou when you get home.

liz ettinger

Posted: 18-May-2012 11:30:52 PM

Wow, Mary. No one would ever think you were a disappointment for not finishing but I understand how you feel. Can't wait to hear more details about your grand adventure. Enjoy your much deserved shower, rest, spa and sight seeing! I will think of your experience to get me through my next races.

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MARY NIELSEN
RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012

Hometown
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Profession
I am a Health & Fitness Specialist in an employee fitness facility at the U of A hospital in Edmonton. I help health professionals make healthy lifestyle changes, provide personal training and teach fitness classes. And it is the most fun I've ever

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MARY NIELSEN
RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012 competitor

Bio

I worked for 15 years in a corporate setting as an HR specialist. About 6 years ago I decided to take the leap and make a major career change and do what I love and became a personal trainer and health & fitness specialist at the U of A Hospital's employee fitness centre. I am fortunate to work at something that I truly love, which is sharing my passion for health & fitness with others. My success is defined by seeing individuals make lifestyle changes that ultimately make them stronger, healthier people.

Hometown
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Profession
I am a Health & Fitness Specialist in an employee
fitness facility at the U of A hospital in
Edmonton. I help health professionals make
healthy lifestyle changes, provide personal
training and teach fitness classes. And it is the
most fun I've ever

Why are you competing?
My reason for running in Jordan is to challenge
myself. I also look at it as an opportunity to
see an amazing part of the world, meet amazing
people from all over the world and take part in an
amazing experience.

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