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RacingThePlanet: Madagascar 2014 Blogs

Day 2: Ummmmm
02-Sep-2014 01:15:32 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

I just finished day 2. Today’s stage was 29 very difficult miles. I guess it was ‘only’ 103 degrees out (much cooler than the 109 I heard about yesterday).

Today started from our nice tent resort/ oasis. The first 3 or so miles were down the beach and over some coral like cliffs. We then ducked into a very narrow path. This is one time where being tall was not an advantage. This opened up to some nice single track into checkpoint one. I ran this part with Ryan and Wataru, which was really fun. I stopped here for a bit to pull myself back together, while the other two sprinted off (bib was ripped off from the branches, sunglasses dangling off my head, headphones all over the place- typical muppet).

Leg 2 was pretty short and fast. We ran through a few villages, over some sandy mountains – all positive thoughts. (Honestly the morning today seems like days ago, and things may be blurring together a bit.

Leg 3 on the other hand is when the positive thoughts ended. About 1 mile into this leg, I fell into a muddy rice patty (waist deep in mud, arms fully submerged). But what better way to protect yourself from the sun! After the mud, I immediately got lost in the baobab forest. I ended up at some villagers home, where they stared at me like I had just stepped off a space ship. I retraced my steps and finally found the markers I had missed (and realized how stupid I was/ obvious the markers were). This led to a path into a village, where it seemed like all of the villagers grabbed some souvenirs (ie no markers anywhere). I ran back and forth down the path, trying to get some direction from the locals. This is when I ran into Wataru, as lost as I was. We continued running back and forth trying to find any sort of markers. Eventually the 4th and 5th guys showed up and found some random ripped pink ribbons on the ground (goodbye lead). We managed to get going in the right directions, over some rivers and through some farms.

I went into Leg 4 with a very negative attitude. There was a ton of sand, it was really hot, and was moving at a snail’s pace. I think that’s enough said bout leg 4!

I pulled myself back together on leg 5. It was a nice, short 4 miles, with a bunch of river crossings and rice farms. This led to the finish line, where about a hundred locals were cheering us in (and stayed from 5 or 6 hours). I finished third again (with a bunch of people right on myheels), about an hour behind Ryan and 30 minutes behind Wataru. But yeah, that was probably the hardest non-long day I’ve ever experienced on these races. Hopefully tomorrow will feel a bit better than today.

The mosquitos are biting and I don’t want Malaria, so I’m going to sign off. Until tomorrow!


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Nice post. I appreciate the tips. My training routine is remarkably similar to yours, although I expect I'm slogging along much more slowly than you photoshop online

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Emma Fergusson

Posted: 03-Sep-2014 10:04:40 PM

MUPPET! awesome effort, great job pulling through the tough times... it will make the highs even higher. Keep it up. So so proud! xxx

Ralph Rocks!

Posted: 03-Sep-2014 09:15:22 PM

Hey Ralph- Way to Go Man...So proud of you. Just think of how easy the 24 Hours of Stratton was. Best/Jeff

Kenn MacRae

Posted: 03-Sep-2014 08:08:39 PM

You the man Ralph. Keep charging, and the bullets are on me next time we're in the Gillette Stadium carpark.

Elizabeth McNamara

Posted: 03-Sep-2014 12:29:49 PM

Instead of starting my day with Wheaties I start it catching up with you...which I never will do. Keep it up! It's amazing to learn how "mental" this race is; you almost downplay the "physical" grind.

cynthia lao

Posted: 03-Sep-2014 12:26:19 PM

go get 'em!

Izzy McKinnon

Posted: 03-Sep-2014 02:57:54 AM

You are doing great! Keep up the amazing work. We are all in awe of what you are accomplishing.

Mary Nielsen

Posted: 02-Sep-2014 11:20:16 PM

It sounds like a challenging race. Keep up the amazing running! If the heat gets to be too much, just remind yourself of Iceland - Mary

Mom Crowley

Posted: 02-Sep-2014 09:59:46 PM

Ralphie, you are awesome! Love the mud picture at the finish line. Keep up the great work! Hugs and kisses, Mom

EVY Pretend Evy was there

Posted: 02-Sep-2014 09:26:45 PM

you did step off a space ship dude. its all dream! now keep this epic dream going and chasing that podium. can't wait for the next day.

Dallas Doiron

Posted: 02-Sep-2014 08:41:12 PM

Killing it Ralphie, top 3 is impressive! Stay out of those rice patties and remember...mind over matter. Make us proud. USA, USA!

C Stimpson

Posted: 02-Sep-2014 05:45:42 PM

Falling in rice patties, being an alien/lost in villages...how much does a GoPro weigh, cause it would be amazing to SEE your adventures. Guessing "A" status means, top of the class (not surprising) keep up the great effort, excellent attitude (except on Leg 4) and exciting blogs.

I love Sarah Oh so much

Posted: 02-Sep-2014 05:19:31 PM

stay positive ralphie!!! you're doing amazing!

I love Sarah Oh so much

Posted: 02-Sep-2014 05:19:26 PM

stay positive ralphie!!! you're doing amazing!

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