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RacingThePlanet: Madagascar 2014 Blogs

Stage 3
02-Sep-2014 02:56:50 AM [(GMT) Greenwich Mean Time: Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London]

Hello folks J

Well Stage 3 is done!!!! 8 hours 45 min 10 sec I believe. People are still coming in as I type this some hours later.

So much to say but not much energy. Woke up this morning feeling a bit dodgy. Have been bitten to the high heavens by the mosquitos – thank god I have the malarone tablets. After the hell of yesterday’s water crossings… I don’t want to think about what’s in that water, today had a difficult technical section, elevation through very thorny shrubs, to then climbing up rocks and pulling myself up on hands and knees at one point. I thank god I brought my trekking poles, invaluable!! And my gaiters. They have been necessary every day but they’re really taking the brunt with the landscape, an inordinate amount of soft sinking sand, mud, lots of muds, water crossings and today that ended up up to the knee. Someone went swimming, one guy started washing his face, and I was rinsing my arms and tops of legs… until I saw floating slimy liquidy crap. I kid you not. Got out of there as soon as I could.

The scenery has been amazing, no more beaches now. The heat is unbelievable and today we didn’t have much of a breeze, with the majority in exposed areas. This meant by checkpoint 2 I had slowed down a lot. I walked most and shuffled for a few sections. Unfortunately I got to the point where I felt sick so took a break at checkpoint 3 for anti-nausea meds and to get blisters pierced.

And that’s the main problem I’m now facing. Blisters. Feet are a mess. It hurts just to walk, or should I say stumble/shuffle! All bandaging is off, all are sliced except for deep ones, with the aim of letting them dry tonight. Hopefully it wont be an early start tomorrow, so I can tape up before stage 4 starts.

I believe the number of competitors has dropped. One of the guys from next door (tent) has gone home ill. My concern is just getting through the next day. I have no idea how I am going to heal my feet so I can do the States, at this point in time.

Thanks for all the messages, I really appreciate them, and they’ve really made me smile and i am re-thinking them whilst I’m out shuffling along! As someone said to me today, if it were easy, everyone would do it. It’s not about just running.. it has walking, shuffling, stumbling, hiking, climbing… it has spectacular scenery, camaraderie, happy moments, dark moments and tears. It’s about having no sleep (I’ve had minimal),and being able to get up, put that pack onto bruised shoulders, chafed back… and get the distance done. To do one stage is amazing, to continue day after day, I have no words. I thought Race to the Stones was tough… this makes that feel like a sauntering 5k!!

Right, I need food so am off to put the headtorch on, ignore the dirt caked on that I’ve not managed to get off, eat and then climb into my sleeping bag to not get sleep. We have spiders around tonight *eeeeekkkk* and buggy things…

Be back tomorrow hopefully!


Karen Kavanagh

Posted: 04-Sep-2014 02:32:00 AM

Wow!! I honestly don't know how you do it, I applaud you Hunni, absolutely amazing, grit your teeth and keep on going, the end is near. So very proud of you, lots of love xxxx-

Sam Coombes

Posted: 03-Sep-2014 10:16:44 PM

Michelle you are amazing. I'll help with blisters when your back maybe look into soaking them in surgical spirit once heeled it helps toughen the skin. Stay strong and stay positive you've nearly finished 2 days to go, you truely are loopy though don't think I've told you for a few days xxx

Ian McDowell

Posted: 03-Sep-2014 08:00:34 PM

Unbelievable time for stage 4 Michelle - you are doing brilliantly! :-) Keep going - the end is in sight! ...... well nearly :-)

Maggie Campbell-Freeman

Posted: 03-Sep-2014 02:16:39 PM

You are doing so well! Looking forward to chat and cake to hear all about your adventure soon. Much love xx

Keith Passingham

Posted: 03-Sep-2014 10:05:45 AM

Much admiration for you Michelle. Hang in there and let nature take it's course with the feet healing :-) Looking forward to all the stories when you get back xx

Gary Jackets

Posted: 03-Sep-2014 09:37:07 AM

Doh ! keeping going ...stop talking and get some sleep , G2g g will be a breeze

Gary Jackets

Posted: 03-Sep-2014 09:36:59 AM

Doh ! keeping going ...stop talking and get some sleep , G2g g will be a breeze

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Why are you competing?
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