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Live Race Coverage
13 - 19 May 2012

RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012 Blogs

Post Race Thoughts.
21-May-2012 01:39:14 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

"Our battered backpacks (sic) were piled on the sidewalk again, we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life" (Jack Kerouac). Post event formalities done, awards given, first beers consumed. Everyone has been heading their ways back to the four corners and to re-integrate into the flow of life away from the bubble of the event. Many thanks to those who took part and supported the event, especially thanks to the members of the Tent "Letters of TE Lawrence" for their company and good humour and congrats to Martin, Brenda, and Wanda for their well deserved awards. Post race thoughts tend to have a common thread. Why do we do it? For me there is the ability to put all your other day to day cares and work on hold. You cannot and do not think about work when your primary focus is on the basics of survival. Are you hydrating enough?, have you have the right level of electrolytes?, have you been eating sufficiently?, How are the feet holding up? How far is it to the next checkpoint? How long will that take at the current speed? etc Do you quicken you tempo to get in earlier and out of the heat, but risk blowing yourself up; or do you slow down, but then endure longer on the course under the burning sun? Fine margins. The other reason to do it is to test yourself in extreme circumstances, to see how you hold up. The pain and endurance then being overtaken quickly by the endorphin rush at the end. Each competitor swears to themselves everyday that they will never do such a stupid thing again, and yet 70% of the field for this race had completed in an RTP event before - many multiple times. There must be something addictive in there. Contrary to intuition the multi day endurance event is also very democratic and allows for a wider range of competitors than for a straight marathon or triathalon. The further the distance you do, the less age matters, the less sex matters - tactics and endurance come to the fore. The winner of this race, Paulo, is in his 50s and the spread across the race is 20s through 60s. No excuses people. The setting for this race was extraordinary, through the deserts, rock formations, past bedouin camps and on to Petra. It was a shame that for 90% of the race my focus was just ahead of me and the next footfall in the sand. Which is a great excuse to come back to Jordan again and take in all that i missed. Next time will involve 4 wheel drive, aircon, fine dining and cold beer. Over and Out.
Day6 and finish
20-May-2012 12:16:01 PM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labour..(Robert Louis Stevenson). A good quote from mr s, but I reckon to arrive is pretty cool to, especially when arriving in the ancient city of Petra after 250km of hopeful labour. Today was a gentle 6.5 km hike through the hills into Petra , untied and mostly walking, as they did not want sus running pell mell through a Unesco world heritage site. Good thing to, as it allowed us to better appreciate the surroundings and take it all in. The arrival into the heart of ancietnt Petra and to the finish line is as dramatic as it sounds, the final approach down a narrow fissure in the rock (the siq)' and suddenly you come across the Al khazneh tomb car.ved from the rock face and familiar from a thousand pictures and films. The to, the RTP finish line and a cheering mob. I just had to take a sprint for the last 20 yards, and into embraces, medals, and time to walk around and take it all in. Thanks again to all out there for the messages of support, emails, blog responses, and CSS donations. It all makes a lot of difference. For the third time in 3 years I have once again officlialy retired from desert racing . Time to hang up the dusty shoes and gaiters.
Swing low sweet chariot.
18-May-2012 03:57:13 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

I looked over Jordan and what did I see, coming for to carry me home. A band of angles looking after me, coming for to carry me home. Swing low sweet chariot, coming for to carry me home. I didn’t just put that in gratuitously – as I headed down a canyon early on the long day I was trying to think of a good song that would echo nicely…and it suddenly struck me how apposite it was…sung it in my head approx. 3,453 times after that. So the long day is done and I managed to limp in at 19 hours20 mins. A bit of advice for all – high up the list of things not to do ,is a marathon in the desert, followed by a 2000ft climb over the next few kms,then followed by yet another desert marathon – and that was what the long day was. Too many highs and lows to go into on the blog – but any high was brief and knocked back quickly by the next extreme pain…the technique – just get your head down and keep going and going. Nothing too serious on the injury front – although when the little toenail popped and slid inside my sock with 2kn to go it was an interesting experience. It is now heading towards midday and there are still people on the course – that’s 29 hours out there and still counting. I have tried to spend sometime on the finish line and each completion is an emotional story in itself – try the guy who just did the whole 89 km of the long day with a bad itb knee – literally one step at a time. Glad to see that toilet story seems to have gained the most comment…no repeat effort over the last 2 days. Forgot to mention the sandstorm that we had on Wednesday night – which resulted in our tent having to me taken down and re-erected – and all kit blowing around and being sandblasted – not ideal prep for the day. You would like to think that after generations in the desert the Bedouin tent would be a mighty fine thing for the desert winds…well think a few camel hair blankets thrown over some very heavy wood beams –and with tent pegs firmly secured in a few inches of soft sand- I reckon 2nd to falling off a camel that death by tent pole must be high up on the mortality stakes. So tomorrow is a quick 5km into ancient Petra, finish line, shower, pizza, cold beer, cold beer, cold beer. Happy birthday mum, and love and best to all. Cheers.dg.
Stage 4
16-May-2012 07:25:57 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Stage 4 done. and if it isn't tempting fate i kinda felt ok today - cranked another one out in 7 hr 41 i think. Terrain was easier on the feet with not too soft sand and rolling hills. good and hot but thankfully a bit of a breeze. couple of nice sandstone arch formatiions for those who like their geology. Just after checkpoint 3 a cheeky rapscalion of a local boy had knicked the pink marker flags that we follow through the desert...he then came along and replanted them and asked for a Dinar (jordanian currency). -more likely to get a thick ear. todays campsite if close to some precipitous cliffs - hopefully noone sleepwalks at night. hong kong chaps - thanks for the encouragement and the reminders of cold beer - 3 days to go till a frosted one. so it is the long one tomorrow - a mere 89km of fun in the sand - as such i will not likely be on line until friday. Congrats Wubes and the Japan TW team - good effort. Thanks Shazz n Will for the encouragement - i am kinda looking for more Eggscellent Jokes. Better go now, as i need toget myself ready for tomorrow, which is going to be a slog. love & regs. dg
Stage 3
15-May-2012 07:30:57 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Hot diggity dog. Set off a bit faster today and of course managed to slow down nicely by the end for a 7 hr 42. Spectacular and varied scenery- started in canyons, across a salt flat, back into a new desert for the afternoon -  by which stage we were topping 40 degrees…feet feeling sore, and blisters in the usual places, but not too bad. almost had a toilet incident this morning – I am not a very flexible person – in many ways – so when needing to do a number 2 I need to hold onto one of the corner poles in the long drop toilet tent. Needless to say this one decided to come out of the ground nearly taking the tent down and sending me spinning towards the black pit of doom. It was the fastest footwork I used all week to date. After the salt flats we passed through a bedoiun village – and into the hills just as the call to prayer echoed off the cliffs, half buried in the desert sands were the skeletal corpses of sheep and camels..atmospheric. nice touch from the racing the planet folks to stick a pink marker flag out of the remains of a camel – haha. Thanks for all the comments on blog and email – it is great to read. Thank’s shazz and will for the eggstraordinary jokes. Xx to u both. Good to see man utd lose in such dramatic circumstances – ha ha again.3 days down..lets crack out day 4. Cheers dg
DAVID GROSSE
RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012

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DAVID GROSSE
RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012 competitor

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Hometown
Hong Kong

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Why are you competing?
To get away from the Blackberry

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