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    Gobi March China 1 Jun 2014
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RacingThePlanet: Madagascar 2014 Blogs

Stage 1
02-Sep-2014 01:50:29 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Camp 2: All pretty much to plan getting started and made the first 2 checkpoints in good time – pretty tough underfoot with sections of soft sand and jagged rocks to get over. However it didn’t get seriously challenging till the last couple of hours when the sun was right overhead and we were in amongst trails that cut through thickets and grasslands away from the beach. 12 noon onwards it was around 37 degrees - which in Scots is somewhere between sweltering and murderously hot - and its going to get hotter. So the last 10 k was more a march than a jog and what a relief to roll up into camp – around 5.40 I think, which is going Ok considering the heat and the load at its heaviest.

The highlights today were the 800 year old Baobab at CP 1 and the several malagasy villages we passed through – loads of kids cheering and shouting for us. One guy offered me a fish but I was dying for a cold coke instead so I declined and got neither but a smelly fishy handshake! Oh, mustn’t forget the lads and lasses from the Tana running club who blew through us up to CP1: not a pair of running shoes between them but all smiles, and obviously very fit – high 5ing the lot of them was a real high point! People I spoke with today, I clocked US, Canada, Lebanon, Japan China and probably a few more but the heat has wiped my memory.

The big treat on reaching camp is the pristine beach with the Indian Ocean surf. Plan A was to be disciplined and not get my shorts salt and sandy. That didn’t last long; the surf was too good to miss a full body dunk for ½ hour and get cooled off a bit.

Lois rocked up around ½ hour later - just as I was stood in line to get a fresh coconut so it was coconuts all round. Andy was next in and then Ewan, who’d waited back with Jane for a bit when she was struggling with the heat, and eventually Jane made it back too. Had us worried for a bit and hopefully OK after a drink and cooling off a bit – seriously, challengingly hot today!.

Now off to sort out food and rest for the night. The stars from camp 1 were incredibly bright and with the clear sky we have here, maybe we’ll get a treat tonight too.

Thank you Claire and Eddie and Donna for your messages – Alistair too. Anyone else forgive me because my brain is struggling a bit from sensory overload.

Take care all and will be back on it tomorrow :o) Peter


Jane Milne

Posted: 02-Sep-2014 08:19:48 AM

Great blog Pete, and well done on brilliant start to the race! So, are you running with shoes on...?! :P Very best of luck for the next stages, and please pass on my love and best wishes to the rest of the daftie Gargunnock team :) So much respect to you all xx

graeme reid

Posted: 01-Sep-2014 08:42:28 PM

Loving the blog Peter, so jealous although not about the fishy handshake. Did he offer you a fish because your name is gill? Good luck with the next stage yah nutter!

graeme reid

Posted: 01-Sep-2014 08:39:15 PM

Loving the blog Peter, so jealous although not about the fishy handshake. Did he offer you a fish because your name is gill? Good luck with the next stage yah nutter!

Alistair Abbott

Posted: 01-Sep-2014 03:02:24 PM

Well done on the first stage. It all sounds great and is giving me some bad ideas for the future. Not sure I could handle the heat. Keep taking it nice and steady.

Tina Wood

Posted: 01-Sep-2014 09:16:06 AM

Sounds amazing Peter, incredible images being conjured up and all credit to you for this undertaking! Total respect! Take care and carry on enjoying it! can't wait to see the photos!

Claire Gill

Posted: 01-Sep-2014 09:02:19 AM

But you love fish! Your Jane of the '2 beautiful ladies in kilts' is tough and hope you will give her a big hug from me. And the others can have one too xxxx Respect to all 5 of you xxxxx

Eddie Roberts

Posted: 01-Sep-2014 07:34:07 AM

What an experience Peter! And here is me thinking I did well with the Cross Border Scotland/England 10K yesterday :-) Keep it up mate and keep the blog going it's great to hear how you are doing....

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Works for Emerson as the Global Field Services Director for Flow Lifecycle Services. I joined the company over 20 years ago and spent most of that time managing field services in the oil and gas sector. I didn't go to university straight out of school but joined the Navy instead and caught up on my education later by studying in my own time for BSc hons and MBA while working full time.

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