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Live Race Coverage
13 - 19 May 2012

RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012 Blogs

Last Post
19-May-2012 08:33:47 AM [(GMT-04:00) Atlantic Time(Canada)]

I lied.  His last post just came through.  Here it is everyone!
-Sarah

Thought I would write one last post before ending my journey. I've been a bit of a smart ass in most of my post mostly for my enjoyment and hopefully for yours. I wanted to leave everybody with some stories from the field.

It's been a great trip and I'd do it all over again if I could but it didn't start that way. Most of the participants are return offenders, over 70% have done racing the planet adventures before so I had a lot of questions for them during hikes. The number one question was, why the hell would you do this more than once? The
number one answer was "just wait, you'll forget". I'll come back to this ...

My tent mates were two brits and five south Koreans, all were wonderful. Here are just a couple of stories.

One has attempted four such events and has failed them, I watched him get up every
morning try and eat, throw up from heat exhaustion and head out again, he'd spend each day out there and usually come in just before cut off time, exhausted. I would spend most off my days thinking about how he was doing, he showed so much drive and dedication it was inspiring. When he finished the long march at 29 hours after starting and just under the cut off the entire camp was at the finish line cheering him across, not a dry eye in the place, turns out I wasn't the only one willing him across. He made it.

One of the south Koreans, I won't attempt to spell her name, was last each and every day. All her country men would meet her at the finish line each day and teach her to care for her feet so she was prepared for the next day. She took 29 hours to finish the long march and was only able to make it to just before the finish line, she collapsed from exhaustion and her head was the only thing to cross, again the whole camp was out cheering her on, unable to do anything but cheer for fear of disqualifing her, it was tough to watch. I found out she never trained for the event and doesn't work out on a regular basis, she just showed up. She made it.

Then there is the story of the 62 year old Japanese woman with a backpack the size of RJ and a shopping bag...ask me about it when I'm home. She made it.

There have been amazing instances of mental toughness that still amaze me when I think about them. There is something about sharing a common struggle with strangers that really brings you together. In ten years I won't remember who won this particular race but I'll never forget the people from the stories above. I've forgotten the pain already, they were right.

I know everybody out there has something they have been putting off, 5k race they've always wanted to do, 10k, half marathon, bike race, maybe even just joining the gym or walking more, my advice is to get out there and do it, don't be afraid to fail be afraid of never having tried. If you need a training partner give me a ring, I'm always up for something different.

I'll be home next weekend and Sarah and I would love to see any of you at the house between 2 and 6 for our first six pack Saturday ( a Richard family tradition) we'll provide the hamburgers, hot dogs and stories, you bring your drinks. I'd like to also thank each and every one personally for your support and kind words during the race.

See you soon.
Post from Sarah
19-May-2012 08:28:35 AM [(GMT-04:00) Atlantic Time(Canada)]

Hi everyone! Chris asked me to log on to his blog and post since his internet connection doesn't seem to be working.  He is trying to send me a lengthy post too, but I haven't received it yet. It is in internet land! I'll leave you all with this email he sent me: "Still have gas in the tank, feet are great, no blisters."

I'll try and update as soon as I get the real post! 
Humpty Dumpty
18-May-2012 03:22:53 AM [(GMT-04:00) Atlantic Time(Canada)]

Well finished off the 90km climb, got lost for a bit in the heat and ended up doing another 2km in the wrong direction and 2km back so a 94km day, time was 18 hours and some small change. Was trying to finish in the top 50 last night but ended up somewhere in the low 60s. Getting stronger everyday, I just need another week and I think I can wear the rest of them down (just kidding)

 

Here is a recap:

 

Night before the race we ended up spending most of our time trying to keep our tent from blowing away in the sandstorm, made for an eventful evening and while it may have affected everybody elses sleep it was business as usual for me. Woke up ready to go and decided to push it from the beginning and let the chips fall where they may. Stage 3 was a tight canyon that had to be 50 degrees, it felt like it does when you open the oven door and get a blast of hot air, it lasted 2 hours and I was begging for a hill so I could make up some time....Stage 4, the climb out of the canyon...700m climb, careful what you wish for. The rest of the stages were beautiful and alternating climbs and descents on mountain goat paths in the dark all the way back to camp. 

 

Short 5.6km tomorrow morning to finish, should be a blast. We are now camped above Petra and are all chomping at the bit to get going again

 

The word from the veterns here, and there are a lot of them, this race has been one of the most difficult that they've done, except for the race in Australia a few years ago, glad I didn't get short changed.

 

Have to keep focused for tomorrow, not going to break any records but want to finish strong. I'm planning on taking the lead during the celebratory party, that'll teach them. I'm also trying to get them to add a bench press and power clean portion for tomorrows race, they don't like the idea.

 

Sarah, there's a local tribesman here doing a falcon demonstration and it looks like my falcon techniques are sound. I'm going to go practice.

 

Thanks for all the comments, keep them coming.

 

Why did Humpty Dumpty fall off the wall? He took his eye off the prize, that's why.

Stage 4 Clinger
16-May-2012 07:44:14 AM [(GMT-04:00) Atlantic Time(Canada)]

Guess what arrived today? My legs…hopefully my feet will stay with me for another couple, they’re close to checking out. Really getting the hang of this stuff, hopefully tomorrow will be good and I can put this to bed. Stage 3 temperature was 41 degrees and today was supposed to be hotter, I thought I might have eaten a guatamaulen(sp?) insanity pepper by mistake…no coyotes with Johnny Cash’s voice though Si.

 

Tomorrow we start the 90km climb to Petra, by the time you guys are reading this I should be 30km in and hopefully feeling good. I look forward to reading all your comments .

 

I have to get back to my tent and see what I can eat and throw out, I’m going light and living off fat reserves after breakfast tomorrow, except for the essentials of course!

If Your Aunt Had Nuts She'd Be Your Uncle
15-May-2012 07:46:38 AM [(GMT-04:00) Atlantic Time(Canada)]

How's that for a title?

 

Stage (3) complete.

 

My feet, ankles and shins are killing me from the constant sand underfoot. It was a crazy hot day here today and the toughest terrain yet, in my opinion.

 

Keeping this one short so I can get back to the tent and rest. Going to keep the pace down tomorrow so I can make it through and hopefully get to the long march the following day...that was the plan today too but I was overtaken at the midway point and chased the rest of the day. I'll have to use my brain a little more if I,m going to make it to the end of this.

 

No blisters yet

 

Need more food.

 

Everybody here is a freak of nature. The leader of the race is running 40k in under 4 hours through sand, over rock all with a pack on in 40 degree heat, crazy.

 

Wish me luck on stage (4)

Can't Sleep Clowns Will Eat Me
14-May-2012 07:52:14 AM [(GMT-04:00) Atlantic Time(Canada)]

Sleep has eluded me again, managed to piece together three hours give or take last night, the ol' jimmy leg kept me up. I've crossed over from sleep deprived to half insane and am staring at the abyss of bat sh*t crazy.

 

Day 2 is complete and I did ok today, unfortunately both Brian and RJ have left camp and are no doubt headed for Petra, showers and pool time...jealous...

 

I can't check other blog posts from here so I'm not sure what the two of them posted last night, no doubt there were two conflicting tales of heroism with me the villan. I'll do my best to give an impartial view until I see their post at which point I'll have to defend myself.

 

We started yesterday and RJ was in trouble from the first minute, by the time we got to 5km RJ was nowhere to be found, we waited until he caught up and he was clearly struggling. Jones immediately got him sitting down and started on the electrolytes and water, even got him to drink a pepsi to try and even him out. We got him up and moving and made it to about the 12km mark where we had to sit him down in the shade and get some anti nasea meds in him. After the meds and lots of water and electrolytes he came around and was getting strong enough we were confident in leaving him on the trail. Brian waited at every check point and made sure he was ok and was gettting the fluids he needed all the time forgetting to hydrate properly himself. The resulting delay of a couple of hours put us all out in the afternoon sun with nowhere to hide. Jones started to cramp up before the camp and was slow getting up and in. He did manage to give me his bag for the last little bit and managed to get his timing card swiped well before me. By morning both of the guys were still feelling the effects of the heat from the day before and were out of the race at the first check point. I'm not sure if RJ realized how much work Brian did and how concerned he was but from my point of view he sacrificed his race to make sure we were still in the race. This story probably won't go over well with Jones at the rugby club, he likes to have a reputation as a tough old guy but there you have it...Brian Jones, caring individual.

 

I'm still here, for now, it's a race you have to take one step at a time and the course is brutal, today was hot and windy, like walking 40km with a hairdryer in your face and ever now and then when you're not expecting it, somebody throws a handfull of sand in your face with fine ankle deep sand under foot. Lost a few competitors today, hopefully we'll keep everybody else.

 

The staff and competitors are very friendly and supporting, it's great, everybody is rooting for you to finish.

 

Thanks for all the great messages from home, keep them coming! Love you Sarah!

Camp at Last
12-May-2012 02:33:43 AM [(GMT-04:00) Atlantic Time(Canada)]

Rum, rum everywhere and not a drop to drink.

 

After a long day of travel we've finally made it to camp here at Wadi Rum. I haven't gotten more than three consecutive hours sleep yet so I'm completely wiped out and the race hasn't even started yet, tonight will hopefully be different and I'll sleep well.

 

Beautiful setting for a camp, mountains surrounding us and lots of people to meet.

 

Tomorrow is shaping up to be a big day, 38kms in the heat for the first leg. We did find out earlier that the final leg of the race is going to be a 90km finish and the terrain is reportedly tough...sounds fun after four days of racing.

 

Hope everyone is well at home, I'll update tomorrow or the next.

Race Day Tomorrow
11-May-2012 12:57:17 PM [(GMT-04:00) Atlantic Time(Canada)]

One day to go. Today we check in at the Race headquarters and meet the other competitors, then gear check on Saturday, bus to the camp and we're off!!

Sleep hasn't come easy yet the jet lag has me up most of the night, hopefully a day of racing will put me down easily.
Touch Down in Jordan!!
10-May-2012 09:02:07 AM [(GMT-04:00) Atlantic Time(Canada)]

Well we made it safe and sound with all our bags! Things are a little warm here but not too bad yet. Gotta get going and find some water, will try and check in tomorrow with a brief update pre race.
Last Minute Preparations
08-May-2012 04:55:21 AM [(GMT-04:00) Atlantic Time(Canada)]

Just finished packing and am ready to catch a flight in the morning. This is just a first post to get things going, I will try my best to write only entertaining notes from the field. Stay tuned for more!
CHRIS AAEN
RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012

Hometown
Chatham, New Brunswick

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Geological Engineer

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CHRIS AAEN
RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012 competitor

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