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Live Race Coverage
13 - 19 May 2012

RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012 Blogs

On to Petra
20-May-2012 11:15:07 AM [(GMT+01:00) Brussels, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris]

The last 6.5 Km of the race were fantastic!  We left camp at 6:20 in the morning and all the competitors walked into Petra through some very ancient parts of Petra that few ever see.  The mood was great as most competitors walked in which allowed time to reflect on the past week and to take in the magnificent scenary. The arrival to Petra was incredile with the finish line right at the Treasury.

It has been an incredible week.  A week where 150 competitors of all levels of ability and experience had one goal...do our best and get to the finish line.  Not a complicated goal...difficult at times...but not complicated.  That is the beauty of this week...its simplicity.  For a week we push ourselves harder then most ever will...with the intent to just survive and help one another survive.  It is an almost primal existence...eat, run, sleep.  There seemed no greater joy this week then to see another competitor cross the finish line.  This was evident at the final campsite as the final competitors arrived after the Long March...tears flowing from many in the crowd as they urged on the last to arrive after 30 hours of a grueling course.

Reka, Kira and Maxine...thank you for your support...Love you!
Stage 5
18-May-2012 03:15:33 AM [(GMT+01:00) Brussels, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris]

How quickly things change.  After dinner on Thursday evening the camp was hit by a sand storm...47 km per hour winds for about 3 hours.  Tents were being blown apart...everything covered in sand and dust...tents were eventually moved and we were able to settle down.  How quickly things change.  I was looking forward to the start and feeling pretty good.  Stages one and two were down a beautiful slot canyon...for almost 20km.  At about 7km I started to feel my achilles tendon tighten and finally it seized up.  Extremely painful and I was down to a hobble to checkpoint one.  I got some pain relief and and some creamon the tendon and started to feel good again but had by now been passed by about 20 other runners.  How quickly things change.  Once I left checkpoint 2 things were feeling a bit better and we headed out...but we missed the turn and headed the wrong direction...in all we lost about one hour and a half working our way back.

 

Finished the day after about 18 hours...not what I had planned...but still glad to have gotten to the finish.  It was a very tough stage...some say the hardest they have ever done...I agree.  I did not recall somany mountains being in Jordan...but we seemed to climb all day.

 

The body...numb right thigh, blistered heals on both feet, blister between big toe and ball of my left foot,third toe of both feet have a blister from the first knuckle, under the nail and to the front of the toe.

 

People are still coming in and the scene is great  People are gathering at the finish line to cheer them the last 500 mtrs which are still tough terrain.  People are emotional and inspired by this scene...me too.

 

I went through all the usual emotions...from fear that I would not finish...to asking my self why I am doing this...to planning the next race.

 

Its been a great week...hard...but great.  Met a lot of good people...learned a few new tricks.

Stage 4
16-May-2012 07:27:08 AM [(GMT+01:00) Brussels, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris]

Day 4 complete!  Yes...again a lot of sun and sand...sounds like a beach.  After 40 km through the desert I was most impressed by the ants...they are huge and aggressive...as they sense you approacing they seem to throw their tail up in the air and charge you...i would swear that one was chasing me....that was my entertainmant from km30 to km40.  Not really a great campsite...up on a plateau with gusts of wind kicking up sand and dust.  Getting myself ready for the long one...89km.  Not sure what to expect on the time but I do know I will be out there into the night...will send a note on Friday.
Stage 3
15-May-2012 07:11:53 AM [(GMT+01:00) Brussels, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris]

Easy?!  What part sounded easy?  I had a good day today…the terrain was similar but there were sections where the sand was a bit more packed.  Any chance to run with firm ground under my feet I took.  I spent most of the run chasing Damien…and being chased by another competitor named Cedric…chasing and being chased is just the motivation I needed.  The highlight today was climbing down large boulders through a narrow canyon…saw several Bedouin camps tucked away in narrow canyons…and then came across a large salt flat.  The salt flats were a great relief from the sand.in the middle of this massive salt flat was a camel race track…this thing was so impressive you could put it in Kentucky and it would fit right in.  From there into a village and back into the sand.  Feet are in good shape…one lifted nail…I will pierce it tonight from the front...if it continues to grow I will do what I fear most…drilling my toe nail…just the thought makes me cringe.
Stage 2
14-May-2012 07:56:01 AM [(GMT+01:00) Brussels, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris]

Stage 2 is done!  Alot of the same today...climbs and sand.  Coming out of camp there was about a 12km...long and steady.  I thought what goes up must come down...but the route just seems to keep going on up.  The morning was great as we had the good fortune of an overcast sky...but by mid-morning things were back to normal with 39c (102f) degrees.  Landscape was again incredible...did see white wild camels, wild donkeys, a scorpion and small yellow flowers growing in the middle of the desert.  Until now the route has been labled mostly moderate...tomorrow is described as very difficult...can't wait to see what that means!  I've made it through another day without blisters...but two of my nails are looking a bit dodgey...I'll be working on those to see if I can save them.  Other then that...another great campsite...waiting now for the sunset which just lights up the canyon walls with different colors while I have a wonderful Mediteranean Vegetable Pasta dinner.
Stage 1
13-May-2012 01:32:51 AM [(GMT+01:00) Brussels, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris]

We started at 7am...I wasup quite early and caught an incredible sunrise...being in a canyon the canyon walls were pitch black...it looked like someone torn off the bootom half the sky.  Very hot day!  We covered 40km today...4 types of sand...soft, softer, softest...and uphill and soft.  There was a brutal climb that never seemed to end as we climbed back up to 1000mtr.  I got in by 1pm and have had a long afternoon here in camp...drinking and eating evreything in sight.  Glad to report no blisters...but my backpack has rubbed a layer of skin off my back...i have taped it up and added a layer of adhesive...now I hope it comes off at the end of the race.  All is good...and by the way...I forgot to mention that I did find the best shawarma in Amman...Shawarma Reem on the 3rd circle...curbside dining at its best...I could use a few of those now.  Thinking ofyou both Kira and Maxine!
Pre-race
12-May-2012 03:08:26 AM [(GMT+01:00) Brussels, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris]

Busy morning with the race briefing and bag inspection...bag weighed in at 7.25 kg...not too bad.  After a 4 hour drive we arrived in Camp 1...located in Wadi Rum.  Beautiful place...incredible sunset lighting up the canyons... we are at about 1000 mtr.  It is still warm which is nice... it will cool off to about 17c tonight... with highs in the 37c-38c range.  We are sleeping in a bedouin tent... 10 people... looks like I have a good group of people.  Quite a few familiar faces from Atacama and Gobi.  I had my final feast tonight... huumus, fatosh, tabelleh, keftah, and on and on... went to my friends at the Marriott and had a dinner packed to go...I made a lot of new friends as I had enough food for me and a dozen others.  Race starts tomorrow at 7am...about 40km...alot of sand...hopefully hardpacked.  145 competitors...with 70% having done multiple events...so quite an experienced group.  Great atmosphere in the camp now nice fire with a group playing arabic music in the background.  Feeling good.
Amman - Show me the Shwarma
11-May-2012 04:21:33 AM [(GMT+01:00) Brussels, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris]

I got to Amman early this morning...and to the Marriott around 3am. Brings back a lot of memories. I will be moving to the Regency later today which is where the runners are being housed. I walked there this morning...the place was chaos...an Arabic wedding, a kids event with all the kids running around in military uniforms and a lobby full of runners trying to get rooms. I have already heard of a few bags lost on the way and people are scrambling to find replacements for the lost equipment and food. I spent the morning packing my race pack and making sure everything fits...wish I could say it was the last time but there is a bag inspection in the morning to make sure the runners have all the required equipment. I also repacked my food...I will be surviving the rest of the week on ramen noodles and instant coffee in the morning...a variety of energy bars and gels during the run...and a delicious freeze dried meal alond with beef jerky and nuts to load up on energy in the evening...a total of 14,311 calories. A few changes in equipment...most importantly the shoes and socks...I could not find my favorite Vasques so have switched to Salomons for the race...I had a few runs in the and I am good with them. Only thing left to do now is carb load and wonder if I trained enough. The carb loading is going well...hummus, moutable, lebnah and a stack of pita bread for breakfast...I have now moved onto a cheeseburger...and I will soon head into town looking for the best Shwarma Amman has to offer.
Head Shave
10-May-2012 07:59:35 AM [(GMT+01:00) Brussels, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris]

Last couple of hours before I head off to the airport...going through my equipment for the last time to make sure I have everything...otherwise I am packed and ready to go!  The excitement is building and I want it to be race Day.  I have not been in Amman for about 27 years...so am also looking forward to a look around the city.

Got to go...kids are waiting to shave my head!

FITZ AGUILAR
RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012

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FITZ AGUILAR
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