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Live Race Coverage
13 - 19 May 2012

RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012 Blogs

Petra, baby
21-May-2012 10:32:08 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

They say that you don't find Petra, Petra will find you...... The last stage started early Saturday morning, and camp seemed like a refugee camp, with people hobbling around, stuffing the last dusty items into worn packs to get ready for a 6:20 start. As the last stage was untimed, everyone set off on their own pace, most walking the last 6.5km to the finish line. Rob and I started off walking, but eventually broke out into a trot because finally, and ultimately ironically, the road to Petra was a harder surface. The race ran directly into the rising sun, pretty apt, all things considered, and eventually the mountains began showing signs of what Petra was about with strange, man made doors carved right into the rock face. There was still a bit of climbing to be done, but this time it was scrambling type climbing not hill trudging, and eventually we entered the Seek, a 1.5km long high walled canyon that leads to the Treasury, the whole reason I had come to do Jordan. The road surface here was a mixture of rock, sand and ancient cobblestone, and the high cliffs that surrounded echoed the food falls. The Seek twists and turns and never seems to give up an end, until suddenly you burst out of it and look straight into the Treasury. I can't begin to explain what this looks like, its truly one of the moments I will remember for the rest of my life, but my attention was diverted because I saw Monique at the finish line and I was so happy to see her there :) ;) So now I am back in Cape Town, about to get ready for my first day back at work and it doesnt seem real that only 2 days ago I floated in the Dead Sea, or really that a slightly more than a week ago I started this race that took me through such extremes, everything is a little unsettling and unsettled at the moment. What an experience! And of course, a smile thinking of Petra. Of course, as I turned to leave, I had to say.... "Don't call me Junior" :)
Stage 5
18-May-2012 03:54:29 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

I don't think of yesterday and I don't look at the clock


So the long stage started with a monumental descent into a canyon and it was by far my favourite part of te route.

A bit tecnical in sections, but te first 20km were awesome, albiet diffucult on a dried up river bed wit loose sand.

We avoided a near getting lost situation after CP2 and continued slogging on and the heat started cranking up in the canyon towards CP4 and I started getting woozy and light headed, and i thought "oh shit" - made it into CP4 and then began what has to be the biggest climb of my entire my life, from CP4 to CP5.

People of the palace, it went on and I thought it would never end. I ran out of water and my energy levels were dipping badly.

By the time I entered CP5 i was in a bad way. I threw a GU Recovery down my throat and I made the decision that it was time to bring out the ace I'd been keeping up my sleeve for the whole week, waiting for the darkest moment.

Most of you that know me, know that I have a passion for music, and I had a special playlist that can shoot me into a happy place at, and excuse the pun, the speed of sound.

I popped on some M83, Madonna's Ray of Light album, the Smashing Pumpkins, and Toad The Wet Sprocket and I found a pair of legs somewhere in there to run, because this long stage ad at least 35 -- 40km of solid uphill, not an incline mind you, but ball crushing UP.


Made it to CP6 and was so happy to see that Rob had waited 10min for me to catch up, so i packed the ipod away and we ran, walked, slogged, crawled, moaned, bitched and silenced our way to the end.


The end of course was down a very uncomfortable shale descent that I almost tripped and fell down to CP9 but we made in in about 14 and a half of the toougtest route I think I've done.


THankyou so much for all the support, you'll never know how good it is to read all your emails and comments.


Only 5.5km that separate me from my second Wonder of the World.

It's almost in the bag now.

Stage 4
16-May-2012 07:29:07 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Why does the fourth movie in a quadrology always ruin the series?


Hi guys

Stage Four is in the bag.

Depending on howit looks, the bag came close to being a body bag, or possibly just a sick bag ;)

I struggled badly in the sand today to be honest, but its all the incredible emails and blog comments that have really made the world of difference, so please keep them coming.

We are now two stages away from Petra, 90km tomorrow which ends on the mountain top above Petra and then a five kilometer jaunt down to the temple on Saturday. I must admit that even though the thought of 90km tomorrow is scaring the living be-j out of me, the truth of the matter is i just have to get to the end, and i think i have enough in my legs to do that now, come hell or high water. I am just hoping for a harder running surface.


Anyway, back to today.

We left the camp at 7 as usual, i was feeling pretty good, but we hit the lose sand so quickly and it just didnt stop.

I had a bad spot from just after checkpoint one all the way to the end of checkpoint three, but just kept plodding along as best as I could.

I walked with Bei, one of the ladies in our tent after CP3 and then hit some harder ground, so I ran the rest of the way into camp.

My blister taping worked pretty well, so that wasn;t an issue, I have a little bit of chafing on my neck, and around my waist, but thats to be expected I guess. We passed through two amazing rock arches in the desert, and I have some cool photos of that. there was also a herd of camels grazing on what passes for vegetation in these parts, but after checkpoint 3 the landscape turned pretty ugly, and the camp we're at at the moment is probably the least picturesque of all the camps.


As I am typing the organisers have dispatched camels to cp1 and cp2 for tomorrow because the areas are not accesible by vehicles.

makes you think doesn;t it hahahaha.There is also a huge queue outside the medical tent, and it looks a tiny bit like a war zone there now.



Monique, please wish your kids a Happy Birthday from me, and congradulations on them turning 18.

Thanks so much to everyone else for the emails and comments, i'm a little battered and fatigued, but hanging in there and looking forward to catching up with everyone when I am back. And i can drink. Like, drink alot. :0)


Next blog with hopefully be straight after the long stage. Hanging in there!!!!

Change of plan
15-May-2012 07:50:48 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

hi everyone

Thank you so much for all the emails and posts, i made it through stage three thank goodness, but i have to admit, I had the Mariana Trench of Kinipshins today just before the second checkpoint, and reading all your posts,Ifeelvery bad that i couldn,tjust get my head together,but I had such an issue dealing with the sand, the whole day except for a beautiful section across some salt flats was just loose sand.

We exited out the ass end of the Wadi Rum (and that is pretty much literal and figuratively how i felt) and entered a new desert

Today was burning hot, about 40 degrees, and added to the sand, itdidnt make for a great day.

We started off going through a very tight vcanyon, and then hit the sand for long stretches.

We ran across a camel racing track, and across the salt flats and through a small town before getting back into the desert.

Most disconcerting was the animal carcasses and skeletons that we ran passed. The last stage of about 10km was gruelling, and the truth is that my legs were fine when i got into camp, i was suffering mentally more than anything else.

Anyway, I am going to stop moaning now, i just need to spend some time and get my head back in the game.


A lot of people are complaining that the gaiters are causing blisters.

I am going to lose two  toenails and I have two really bad blisters, both on the toe next to the big toe.

My velcro is coming off my shoes and the glue is not working to stick them back on, so I might just take my chances tomorrow without no sand protection, otherwise besides some chafing I am in good shape, which I am happy about.


Chat tomorrow

Sand and more sand
14-May-2012 07:07:57 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

I got through stage two relativelu unscathed, I think the strategu  of yesterday paid off but I am hurtingnow.

I havem first ever blood blister from m shoes and its a duzi people - the medicaltent helped me drain it and plaster up hoping it holds.

My shoulders are taking a beating here and i happily flying above mount myprodol at the moment.

the terraintodaywas shocking - loose sand that made some secttions barely walkable but i heldup mentally and phsically up until the very end where i just wanted to say wtf and start walking,we had cloud cover for the greater section of the morning, but whenthe sunhit, it did so with a vengeance.

The wind is picking up in camp now, theres a little bit of a sandstorm at the moment.


THanks so much for all the emails and support,its making a huge  difference here andits really been ann inspiration.

Lots ofhugs from the Wadi Rum.



Day One
13-May-2012 02:21:29 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

OK so day oneis in the bag,and not a moment too soon!

The stage started off with a bit of a bang, Robs Power Monkey came out of his pack, and then my bib came off the back.

I didnt have any idea of where we were position wise because of the two stops, butit turned out that we were quite far ahead.

Ran very comfortabley with Rob for the first 31km or so and then ran smack bang into a wall of nausea.

Man oh man, did I get sick - yet again folks, frustrating and I had a serious sense of humour failure because the course if just SAND.

And the worse part, yes you guessed it, the last stage as Im feeling sooooo ill. It was frustrating because we had run well together, but I realised that I could save the siutation by backing off and not trying to run through getting sick, I might have jeopardised the rest of the week.

Anyway, I just decided that as long as I kept moving forward, Id get to camp as I had managed to run the first three checkpoints.

Must admit that it wasnt so nice getting passed by everyone but thats just how it goes.

I didnt come to win, I came to finish.


Ran passed a herd of camels, they are quite cute, and the scenery started off quite stunning, but its hot here, alot hotter than i expected and my word, a whole lot sandier!!! My gaiters are not doing to well, the glue is coming off and the spare glue is not sticking, so that might be a potential problem.

I have my first blister since Namibia, but its nothing too serious. My biggest concern today is the queasy feeling thats hanging around, I have done my best to getfood in - and everything is still in. I think I might have started off a bit dehydrated, its the only thing I can think of to be honest.


Anyway, love to all reading this, i am not sure if some of the emails have come through, I've heard people say that not alot of mails have been downloaded.

For now I am safe, in relative fighting shape and high fighting spirits. Nepal can kiss my ass.


By the way, we are sleeping in genuine bedouin tents, if the spelling is wrong on that, well that can kiss my ass too, but it's definitely interesting.

I am a little bleak about the toilet situation, let's call a spade a spade, and let's use that spade to dig a hole in the ground so 150 can go about their ablutions. Bleak bleak bleak and i am struggling to ablute. Now how much diplomatic can I be. About taking a crap. :)


Am amazed by some peoples pack weights, and I go from exceptionally jealous to smug when they take out their small lunches, and powder food.

I am happpy that I at least manage to get some semi-solid food in.


Ok so enough train of thought stuff, gonna look at making dinner and popping a sleeping pill.

Hoping that tomorrow will be ok, its rated difficult.

12-May-2012 03:02:41 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Its the night before the race, after five hours of bus tripping we arrived in the Wadi Rum and its awesome I cant wait to show photos.

Imagine a dark desert floor scattered with mountains that look as if they were tossed onto the landscape as one would throw dice.

They are not connected like a normal mountain range, just isolated and majestic.

Seem to have a great tent, settling in but as always I think its the first night and everyone is nervous.

We have two ladies in the tent, and we have already tried the running viagra jokes :)

Tomorrows course is marked as moderate but we will have to see, the sand is very very soft and I am having sahara flash backs.

My apologies for typoing and grammar in the next week but the keyboards are minute and if i have to keep  going back to fix I will  be here all night>

Happy Mother:s day to everyone!!!!



I'll know who the blame :)
10-May-2012 11:06:44 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Spent the last two days exploring Jordan and it's been jaw droppingly amazing. Swam (well bobbed) in the Dead Sea yesterday and it really was a big tick that I can put on my list. Today brought some true Spielbergian flavor when I met and got to spend some time with a real life Indiana Jones, a four-times married, larger than life archeologist who personally showed us around the remains of a 12 century Roman castle that he had helped excavate, the castle came complete with moat, arrow alcoves and a place to pour the boiling oil from. Will post some photos on Facebook when I am back home. Later went to visit the city of Jerash, close to the Syrian border, which is acknowledged as one of the best preserved Roman towns in the world, complete with columned areanas where chariot races occurred to sprawling temples with columns that actually sway, it's hard to describe without sounding like a fool, but really it was truly Last Crusade type stuff. Awhile driving around Jordan I was struck by two things......this county is. So.Not.Flat. And as our driver explained, the Wadi Rum has some amazing dunes...... Mmmm. Hilly and sandy - great, bring it on. Starting to get nervous now, chatted to a fellow tent mate from Nepal earlier in the lobby, so it's nice to start running int o fellow competitors, it brings a different kind of excitement. Can't wait now.
RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012



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