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RacingThePlanet: Madagascar 2014 Blogs

Day 1 Finished
31-Aug-2014 02:50:07 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Today was listed as our easy day on the course. Apparently things are going to be bit difficult out here in Madagascar. We started the day from an old military base on the beaches of Madagascar. The camp was incredible, but I probably got a solid 2 hours of sleep before the race. We started off running up some incredibly sandy trails, before it opened up to a long sandy beach on the cove. There were four of us that ran the first section together (including Ryan Sandes). I probably pushed it a bit at the beginning to keep up, but how often do you have the opportunity to run the coast of Madagascar with one of the fastest ultra runners in the world.

Things got a little bit easier terrain-wise after checkpoint 1 (this is where our group split in half). There was much less sand, and was a lot flatter. At this point though the sun and heat became nearly unbearable (and it was still only 9 am). We ran through a number of really cool little Malagasy villages, where I’m pretty sure the locals all thought we were crazy. I think at this point I was in fouth-ish, but things were really a blur this morning. I also ran out of water about 10 minutes before the checkpoint, which led to a nice little panic attack.

After check point 2, the sand/ harder terrain returned. I grabbed as much water as I could fit in my bottles knowing that things were only going to get hotter and harder. At this point I was trying to figure out how I was going to survive the day, never mind the entire week. I think this is where I caught up with Andrew, who was struggling with cramping/ electrolyte issues. We kept bouncing back and forth from here until the end of the day. Things got a little bit dark towards the end of the 4th section. Luckily I had grabbed a well timed caffeinated gel to carry me to the end. The finish line today opened up to this massive white sand beach. I think I’ve swam about three or four times since finishing. It was a nice piece of paradise after a day of pain. They also had coconuts for all of the competitors to drink at our nice little tent resort.

I ended the day in third behind Ryan and a Japanese competitors 5 minutes behind him. So yeah, that was awesome (3 and a half hours-ish). My only goal today was to survive injury free, so I guess mission accomplished! Tomorrow is supposed to be harder and longer, so I think I’m in for quite a day. That’s all for now - until tomorrow!


jeff crowley

Posted: 02-Sep-2014 02:45:51 PM

"Way to Go Mr Crowley!" said Tom...for a second, I thought your Dad was running instead of you. Then I read that you caught Andrew...I thought he just ran in the Paul White road race in No. Falmouth. When you say you ran out of water, i was thinking too bad Polar didn't give you some. Thanks for continuing to run in these obscure places...I am having flashbacks to Forest Grove Jr High geography class. Keep it going,my God Son...save the energy for the kick at the end. Be safe.

Elizabeth McNamara

Posted: 02-Sep-2014 12:37:11 PM

We\'re on the edge of our seats too, Ralphie! Great photo of you on the website. Smiling too! Keep going!

I love Sarah Oh so much

Posted: 02-Sep-2014 05:14:33 AM

!! This whole communications down thing is not working for me, I wanna hear about it!!! You're doing awesome tho ralph, way to go!!

Tom Flummerfelt

Posted: 02-Sep-2014 01:31:22 AM

Way to go Mr. Crowley! Keep it up (which you did in Stage 2)...however, you did let that Sandes guy take a commanding lead in Stage 2...what's up with that? My advice - stick with him until you crash and burn. None of this holding back for tomorrow crap...that's not the Ralph I know.

evy Gonzales

Posted: 02-Sep-2014 01:14:39 AM

you ran with sandes!!! what did y'all talk about??! keep it up dude. no puking!!

Kathryn McNeal

Posted: 01-Sep-2014 01:51:29 PM

Way to go Ralphie! Don't let the heat get to you and like Sarah said watch out for the talking penguins. Good luck out there. Lots of love, Kathryn

Mom Crowley

Posted: 01-Sep-2014 12:03:52 PM

Nice job Ralphie, 3rd place after first day and #1 for USA! Love reading your blog. We are all on the edge of our seats here, following you 24/7! XOXO Mom

Emma Fergusson

Posted: 01-Sep-2014 09:33:07 AM

mmmm, coconuts... what a treat! you are well into stage 2 by now, so looking forward to what adventures that brings. Keep it up Muppet! You are a rockstar! xxx

Andrew Espin

Posted: 01-Sep-2014 08:21:26 AM

Well done! Hahhaha, "things got a little dark towards the end" - good to know that happens even with you guys up at the front! keep on keeping on!

Bippy Crowley

Posted: 01-Sep-2014 04:32:56 AM

Congrats on finishing day one Ralphie!! Keep up the good work and I will send you a good/entertaining story tomorrow!!! Don't forget the penguins are evil...


Posted: 01-Sep-2014 03:32:45 AM

You are simply incredible! It is a treat to follow you and I know you will eat this up! You'll ALWAYS be my very first, and favorite, RTP friend.

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