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RacingThePlanet: Madagascar 2014 Blogs

Passed the Sacred Lake
03-Sep-2014 01:49:09 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Hello all,

Well I’ve scraped through the fourth marathon in four days…it’s all being held together with tape and various lubricants.

The sun was merciless today but I’ve come to expect that. I started out slowly with my tent mate Jaime and we simply wandered along chatting and inhaling water as we passed km after km of hard packed red road and grasslands. It was a very welcome change from three days of sand slogging.

My feet are very battered, but so are everyone else, and my chaffing is pretty nasty but bearable once everything else starts to hurt…the small mercies huh. My pack broke again, just as we were getting a shuffle on so it was down tools for a quick repair job and back into it. The grasslands showed the way into higher country and after a river crossing at the halfway mark we started a steady climb up a talk spur line that cut between two stunning and very inviting lakes. The scared lakes however are thick with crocodiles so we stuck to the high ground and gave the steep lake banks and very wide berth.

Striking the heat of the day is always pretty joyless but fortunately just a little after it was becoming unbearably hot we passed through a lively town. Market day combined with the rare sight of racers so it was all pretty festive out. The villages are ramshackle, makeshift huts and sheds..all swelling with large families and mangy dogs. By all accounts a few racers stopped for cokes, but Jaime and I pushed through town snapping some pics and say hello to the curious kiddies. The stalls heaved with fresh fruit; tempting…and prawns and fish steaming in the hot sun; not tempting.

After town we negotiated 3km of flat but foot pounding bitumen until the final 1-2km into camp. It was immensely relieving to get in and get the feet and body sorted. The stocktake; feet are trashed, back aches from broken pack and the chaffing is very uncomfortable indeed…with a few raw patches around the nether regions. Ouch.

And so where to? It’s oddly festive ahead of tomorrow’ “long day”, the all but final 76km stretch to the finish line. The thought of a double marathon after the last four back-to-back holds little appeal. My plan is go out very slow and deteriorate from there! Seriously I’ll go out at a slow pace and just ‘bank’ the miles throughout the day and night. I’m pretty battered but generally sound of mind at the moment. No doubt tomorrow will be extremely challenging on both mind and body but I’m set to getting it done. I’ll tape my feet again tomorrow and smear on enough lube to grease a tank.

I’m spending a lot of time inside my own head as I stroll along. I’m missing my wonderful wife and beautiful children a great deal but find much solace in the fact that I have them. Being mindful of my extraordinary good fortune is very helpful whrn the going gets truly difficult…and I’ve had plenty of those moments. But the dark patches fade and in the end it just comes down the distance and how much I want it.

I want it.

Goodnight and my very best. Much love to Leanne and James and Anna.




Colin Jack

Posted: 05-Sep-2014 07:48:46 AM

Heyup buddy. Sorry for my lack of response. Just seen that the race was on today. Wow sounds really tough. Fantastic result so far though considering the issues you've had to face. Hope the long day goes well and looking forward to hearing your update. Cheers Colin

Brett Sharkey

Posted: 04-Sep-2014 02:25:20 PM

Hi there mate. I love that line "I'll start out slow and deteriorate from there." To the average person a 76KM day would be a mountain but to a man of your caliber its only a speed bump. Just remember why you do it. All those kids looking up to you. You are their hero! And remember - if it wasnt hard, you wouldnt be there. PUSH ON! Brett

travis saunders

Posted: 04-Sep-2014 11:51:19 AM

The words"i want " say it all...go and get it mate. One really big push to go. Dig deep tomorrow and block out that pain....smash it! You are a champion.

Leanne Brydon

Posted: 04-Sep-2014 09:43:29 AM

You are painting such a beautiful picture, "a few raw patches around the nether regions"...that final shower when you get back to the hotel is going to HURT! It's Thursday night at home as I type this and all I can think about is you and the pain you must be in, I'm looking forward to reading your next blog and hearing all about it, I love you and can't wait to see you xxx

Paul Tyas

Posted: 04-Sep-2014 07:30:44 AM

I read these blogs and I truly can only imagine the world of pain your in . You are so close to the end one foot in front of the other and it will come. "I know easy for you to say Paul your sat in front of a computer sipping a latte " . You will kill it another mad event under the belt. Good luck champ god speed. Remember no pressure no diamonds! Look forward to reading the finishing post . GO STEVE!!!!

Jason Freney

Posted: 04-Sep-2014 07:17:51 AM

Mate you just keep on plugging away as usual. Very impressed. Sorry to hear about the chaffing- cant be fun. As you have read you are inspiring a heap of people Steveo - keep it up.

Jason Freney

Posted: 04-Sep-2014 07:17:45 AM

Mate you just keep on plugging away as usual. Very impressed. Sorry to hear about the chaffing- cant be fun. As you have read you are inspiring a heap of people Steveo - keep it up.

Gavin Parr

Posted: 04-Sep-2014 04:16:10 AM

I told you ready Kobuis, just put your dancing jeanpants inside (not outside) your gaiters and you'll pump it with Bokke and Hennes to the finish line.

Andrew Wellington

Posted: 04-Sep-2014 03:41:06 AM

Pain Shmain, you freaking walking around Madagascar......Get a funky Lemur up ya!!! Pel

Vanessa Felts

Posted: 04-Sep-2014 03:09:40 AM

Put your new jeans on and go to the disco STEVO!! ;) Good luck on the Long March! You're going to beat it to a bloody pulp! Wishing I was there with you, because despite all these descriptions, I'm incredibly jealous!

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