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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!!!!!

Long March - I made it!!!
18-May-2012 03:17:24 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

I did it!!!!! Completed the long day just under 21 hours!

 

I should start with the evening before the long march... we had a 3 hour sand storm in the desert...  A few tents were blown down (including the tent I stayed in), I was completely covered with sand and dust... all my belongings were covered with sand.. my electronic items including my camera and ipod stopped working..... it was miserable, but what can I do? I went to sleep that evening around 9pm covered with sand (since I can't wash it off)... but guess it's ok, everyone was on the same boat.. part of my desert experience!

 

There were in total 9 checkpoints on the long day.  I must say this day is almost completely different from the first 4 days, very little soft sand and mainly rocks and uphills/downhills.. very much like the Maclehose trail in HK.  My strategy to get through the day was to keep a steady pace but not go too fast, rest about 5-10 minutes The first couple sections started in the canyon, I

Day 4 Update
16-May-2012 07:43:15 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Hi everyone in HK, Singapore, Shanghai & NYC!

 

Just finished 41KM today, first time I finished under 8 hours! I started off this morning not feeling too well... mainly due to my breakfast, I made this oatmeal with seasme paste, thinking it is more healthy than intstant noodles.. but it is disgusting! The texture is like glue and really not tasty but I forced myself to swallow it for the past 4 days because I need the calories to start my day.... this morning I felt really sick for the first 4 hours of the race.... but I promised myself that Oatmeal is banned from my household for at least 2 years so I was happier after that...

 

Today is not as hot as yesterday.. quite breezy, so it's nice... I hope tomorrow will be the same ... my strategy for my big day is not allow my body to crash... so I will go steady pace and take at least 5-10 min at checkpoints and a longer break at the overnight checkpoint for a solid meal.. Also another thing I need to make sure is not to get lost... since I walk alone most of the time I need to follow the pink flag that mark the course... today I almost went the wrong way, luckily I was only went the wrong way for a few hundred meters before I found out, so not too bad...

 

Tomorrow is my big day!! I'd like to dedicate tomorrow to all the people who donated to Chi Heng Foundation and everyone who has sent me messages and support during my race... You guys are amazing! I will make sure I complete the Long March with all of you in mind, you'll be accompanying me in my 89KM journey tomorrow!!! I'm super happy  Norris - my fund raising partner told me that this fund raising event has reached over 100K! Thanks to all of you! now I need to deliver my part!!!

 

4 days without shower and wearing the same shirt eveyday... no make up... I haven't looked at a mirror for 4 days (too heavy, didn't fit one in my bag).... I touched my face and it feels like sandpaper... I guess a lot of damage repair to do on my face after the race... but I don't mind, it's all worth it!!! Now, I look forward to my dinner -- 'desert beef noodles' which is made of instant noodles and 2 slices of beef jerky!!

Greetings from Jordan!
15-May-2012 07:34:48 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Yes! I made it to stage 3!!! It was a relatively good day today… although I didn’t sleep very well last night…. woke up in the middle of night and thought about all the yummy food from HK! Since I only brought about 2000 calories of food a day, I’m really hungry all the time.. I eat more than 2000 calories a day without exercising so much!!

 

Today we started off the day by doing a bit of rock climbing… it wasn’t too high but I just didn’t want to hurt my ankle, wasn’t too bad at all… the weather got really hot this afternoon…. Since I learned my lesson on Day one, I really made sure that I stay hydrated all the time…I think I’m getting used to the heat and the sand… I mean, I still find it very hard but not struggling as bad as day one J …. The last 10km of today was really brutally hot… I drank 1.5L of liquid in one hour, I just kept my head down and kept going… oh, I must say the crew at racing the planet is really amazing! Very energetic and cheerful!!

 

Again, I want to say thank you everyone for sending me messages and cheering for me, I can’t reply but I can read every message and blog comment…. Thanks for all the support!! I’m really touched!

 

I made it to this far, I will certainly try my best to keep going!!! Only 2 days to the Long Day, need to make sure I keep up the good spirit and pop all the blisters before then! I may be tight on food for the long day, so I need to cut today and tomorrow to save for the long day… I love this self-support idea, you really have to survive on what you have … tonight I will save my little bag of mash potatoes for long day, tomorrow I’ll find something else….

 

Last but not least, I want to send my best wishes to 2 very good friends of mine: one who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer the day I left for Jordan, she will have her surgery on 16th… another v good friend will have her chemo therapy on 16th and 17th.. Girls, pls. hang in there !!!! stay strong, keep fighting!!! I’m cheering for you from Jordan… also – sending my regards to my Sis’ mother in law who is in the hospital

Day 2 Complete!
14-May-2012 07:55:16 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Hello from Jordan!

 

Today is a better day than yessterday.... I struggled a lot yesterday because I was dehydrated... I learned that salt tablet is not sufficient and I should take eletrolytes as well... I didn't bring any with me but fortunately a very nice competitor who withdrew from the race gave me his electrolytes, so I am saved!!!

 

The course today was 90% soft sand, so although it was only 36KM, it took me 8hours45 min to finish! Can you imagine? I normally run 42KM in 4hour15... it is so much harder for me to carry all the weight in my bag and soft sand .... Most people felt better today than yesterday... in the morning we were blessed by overcast so it was much cooler and no sun for the first 2 hours, however the sun came out after that and it got hot again... but certainly not as hot as yesterday... I was in good spirit the whole day, although it takes so long and I was amongst the last to finish the day... one bad news is that I discovered a blister on my tiny toe ... no wonder it hurts so much!!!

 

Thanks for all the mail you guys sent, you guys are awesome and I'm totally feeling the support :)

 

Tomorrow is 15th May - a very good friend, ex-boss, amazing woman TinHsien Tan's birthday... Happy birthday TinHsien, thanks for all the support all these years!!

 

I know in order for me to keep going in this race is to keep smiling... luckily I have locked up grumpy Irene in a closet in HK and didn't bring her with me... It's a tough day and I'm proud I walked 8hour45min on soft sand in the beautiful Wadi Rum! It is beautiful here, the landscape... and the stars at night! it's really my favourtie... since people go to sleep at 8pm here (everyone so tired and we wake up around 5am everyday) ..... when I can't sleep I can just look at the stars, truly amazing...

 

ok, time to fix that bloody blister !

IRENE CHU
RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012

Hometown
Hong Kong

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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

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TBD

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