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RacingThePlanet: Madagascar 2014 Blogs

Stage 1
31-Aug-2014 01:02:44 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Sand, heat and wind!!! Wow- tough first day! So far this whole experience is amazing…. When I crossed the finish line today I was cheered by the two guys who are coming second and third so far – amazing – they did the 36km in under 3:15, and I came in at just over 8:30, but there’s zero arrogance on their sides… just encouragement for every person crossing the line, no matter how long it takes to do it! …. One of the guys in my tent came running to help me get my pack off and into the tent. Feeling blessed. Felt doubly-blessed to check emails and see six messages from friends and family – I had to wipe away a lot of sandy tears before I could start blogging! Please keep the emails coming – they’re really something to look forward to at the end of each day!

So, back to the race…. After a LONG night sleeping on the most wicked thorns imaginable… and popping my mat, the race started at 8 sharp. They told us we had 6k on the beach. Hmm. That was the best sand we had as the tide was out…. Then back onto the ‘track’ through the bush… except it was like Botswana! Sand was ankle deep most of the day… we seriously could have been in the Kalahari or namib deserts…. The wind was wicked strong and head-on most of the day. And it topped a hundred degrees around 1pm. As someone just said, “the sand was the unpleasant surprise of the day”…. And unfortunately may be for the whole race!

So far no blisters. And so far feeling okay – worst part is that my shoulders are sore from holding the pack at a bad angle as I leaned into the wind. Of course muscles are sore, but at least my appetite is slowly returning. And I was able to stick almost perfectly to my fuel and electrolyte plan – that absolutely will be critical to finishing this race. I had a couple of bouts of really bad nausea, but no puking thank goodness.

Well, on the downside, Karen has had a rough day – Jeremy, have Jeff send some prayers her way, and activate any and all prayer warriors. For both of us! Her right hip flexor is really painful, and she has some nasty blisters on her left foot. She also has a very sore back. But she just walked by and read what I’ve wrote so she’s still moving at least!

Okay, well, camp is on the beach tonight – stunning, but very windy! I need to go and eat some more as well before it gets dark. Tomorrow is 46k – a lot longer than usual, and we start at 7am…. So I’m expecting I may not be in before dark…. And may not get to the cyber tent before it closes….. if you don’t hear from me tomorrow, consider that a good thing! Please keep the emails and prayers coming our way!


Amanda McIntosh

Posted: 02-Sep-2014 03:21:15 AM

Way to go Beth!!!! You are amazing. Keep it up!

Juli Dimos

Posted: 01-Sep-2014 11:21:07 PM

So you are the most hard core person I know. At the moment. I am going to be annoying with the quotes. Here is the first one: Not in achievement, but in endurance, of the human soul, does it show its divine grandeur and its alliance with the infinite. Edwin Hubbel Chapin

Ben Hekman

Posted: 01-Sep-2014 09:53:05 PM

Great job, Beth and Karen! Wish we could be cheering you on from the side of the road, but I love living it vicariously through your blog. Keep up the good work. So glad there's great camaraderie among the athletes there.

Rinnie Hersman

Posted: 01-Sep-2014 05:38:53 PM

Great job, Beth. Have been praying for you!

Jeremy Barr

Posted: 01-Sep-2014 05:09:56 AM

Keep it up! Sounds like you will be in different terrain soon enough! stay strong and get those toes taped properly so you can hopefully avoid the blisters. We are all cheering for you! Huge support coming from all over Malawi and the world! love you!

Kay Burnett

Posted: 01-Sep-2014 04:05:21 AM

Awesome job to you guys!! Love to posts! Sending you prayers and encouragement from Idaho, especially for your various sore muscle and blister feet.

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Lilongwe, Malawi

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RacingThePlanet: Madagascar 2014 competitor


Lived in Malawi, Kenya, Botswana, US and UK.
Education in Public Health: Behavioral Sciences and Epidemiology

Lilongwe, Malawi

Public Health / Epidemiology

Why are you competing?
I'm always up for a new challenge and this fits!

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