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RacingThePlanet: Madagascar 2014 Blogs

Stage 4
03-Sep-2014 03:04:50 AM [(GMT-05:00) Eastern Time(US & Canada)]

Stage 4 in the bag. 25 miles. 6:15 overall time. 70th place (ish)…not that it matters for us, they just tell you at the end.

-First, I got comments today and it honestly moved me to hear from everyone, thank you so very much. Keep it coming, please J
-Stage update:
-Long, flat, and we know the 8am start time means we have 2 hours before the sun kills us.
-Head down, fall into pace, charge and get through first 10k, 1:22 at check point one.
-Mike and Nick (south Africans) have been with us for three days. Operation matt at back checking pace and sweeping the road as we go and Steve pushing up front continues. Have to hand it to Steve he is pushing us with such strong up front energy. Much needed.
-Dust coats my mouth, hole in the wall banana up over mouth, now more heat and the feeling of being water boarded by my own sweat, but better than the dust.
-Check point two is 8k and we make quick time with 2 min run, 3 min walk.
-I look up whenever I can and see another planet from my known world. Even the hard breathing plants (see the many comments about heat) seem somehow fully alive in this full full landscape; all is robust and blooming, wilting, and growing again. Just soo much life in this place.
-Towns people wave and send awed energy our way…they seem totally happy and thrown by our presence all at once.
-Check point 2 to 3 nick goes into the ‘pain cave’ and steve is feeling the heat. Silence as we bark down our own demons.
-Check point 3 to camp is running on pavement, we charge. Lets get off our feet and get home.
-Finish feeling better today than end of day one. Good, right?

Tomorrow we have our 50miler- we will dip down into this wild darkness with a sense of gratitude and a full heart… hard to be anything but joyful with so very many gifts everywhere. The paint brush hues of sunrise and sunset, that alone, merits my fullest attention and thanks. I am reminded of the scene from American Beauty: sometimes I fill up with so much beauty I feel I might burst. Or maybe I am a bit emotional because just covered 100 miles in four days.

Thorn: Drained my big toe again, will lose most of my nails post-race it seems, and it being a hard day for my crew… but not a big thorn (personally) because body is better than most

Rose: I think I said in a past blog post I brought some race poems to steady my mind. Every night I read two to the tent (call it story time)…well today on the course met someone struggling hard with, well this whole beast of a race, and she said our surrounding tents dig on story time and it was helping her get through to tonight. Really nice to have others love on you for what you love…and fyi she made it.

Tis all good here. I am happy, healthy, and well. Thanks for support- my love to all running races of their own…let’s all keep-on-keepin on

Tomorrow the race starts
11 COMMENTS

David Poster

Posted: 05-Sep-2014 02:31:29 PM

That you'd be happy to know you are off to a very solid fantasy start. Lynch blew up and jarvin and Cobb were solid. Looking like a week 1 victory is on it's way.

Christian Harris

Posted: 04-Sep-2014 08:34:19 PM

Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can't lose! Kill the 50 tomorrow, brotha. I'm glad your Dallas Buyers Club body is holding up.

Joe Lewis

Posted: 04-Sep-2014 06:14:29 PM

What poems do you have? Invictus I hope. Appropriate for South Africans you're with. Invictus BY WILLIAM ERNEST HENLEY Out of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds and shall find me unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.

Natalia Wrobel

Posted: 04-Sep-2014 04:32:21 PM

Sending good vibes! You are awesome! Way to go!

Michael Bowen

Posted: 04-Sep-2014 04:05:00 PM

Been following along. You prob. won't get this till after the 50 miler, but am sending supportive vibes. You got this. Glad to hear you are taking a few moments a day to look up and enjoy. Much love.

Michael Stamm

Posted: 04-Sep-2014 01:29:29 PM

So glad to hear your body is holding up COsin. My heart and thoughts are with you. I moved into my apartment in the city yesterday. There is no window or AC in my room and we are feeling a classic late summer heat wave. The oppressive humidity here keeps my mind on you and your journey. I'm happy to hear you have formed a team to get through it. Carry each other to the finish, one last push before the end.

Wendi Boxx

Posted: 04-Sep-2014 12:38:07 PM

& blisters! It has been years since I ran Cross Country- but yes! Blisters!! Perhaps you know about this product – (for next time) http://www.boots.com/en/Boots-Blister-Plasters-Medium-5-pack_1487504/ It is like a rubber cushion – best product I have found for my hiking feet to go on :) You know Matt Lewis - YOU are an inspiration to all of us out here silently watching each small triumph and cheering you on with our utter curiosity for your experience. Keep going!!! Thanks for enlivening my senses!! I am headed out into the German eternal gray now.. and into the Sauna… never forsake the sun my dear friend - I have to go into a wooden box to have any sense of the warmth of my own soul. While you have sun, dust and blooming life – all surrounding you!!! Quite an existential race, no?! & PS - I LOVE the idea of story time, I love the idea of extending your fortitude and CHEERS to someone who needs it… isn’t that in the scheme of humanity -MORE- important than your finish time?! BE well, enjoy it all, and keep in mind your silent screen cheerleaders - we are out here!

Wendi Boxx

Posted: 04-Sep-2014 12:35:17 PM

I’ve been following the race with curiosity, if not jealousy and a call to have more motivation in my life. I think the mention of American Beauty was a great way to relay the emotion of the experience for us the reader(s).- Well at least those of us, who adore the film.. In an odd way having the chance to follow your progress invites me back to experience the emotions of barren and harsh landscape(s), struggle and strength.

Natalie Schneider

Posted: 04-Sep-2014 11:23:18 AM

Hang in there....this is it, and you and Steve are beyond amazing! Continue to believe in yourself and each other. I read this passage and thought about you and Steve...."Many of us have two lives- the life we live and the unlived life within us. Thank you for teaching so many of about LIVING life. Take care of each other and see you very soon! Big Hug!

Natalie Schneider

Posted: 04-Sep-2014 11:23:13 AM

Hang in there....this is it, and you and Steve are beyond amazing! Continue to believe in yourself and each other. I read this passage and thought about you and Steve...."Many of us have two lives- the life we live and the unlived life within us. Thank you for teaching so many of about LIVING life. Take care of each other and see you very soon! Big Hug!

Malin Lager

Posted: 04-Sep-2014 10:56:11 AM

Today is the day. Dig deep within and push. Lean on your brothers when needed and know that you can do this. After today it is all down hill. So incredibly proud of you. Sending love and positive energy your way.

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MATT LEWIS
RacingThePlanet: Madagascar 2014

Hometown
Santa Fe, NM

Profession
Obscure humanities PhD candidate

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MATT LEWIS
RacingThePlanet: Madagascar 2014 competitor

Bio

Academia by way of nonprofit work by way of selling scripts and books in the entertainment industry.

Hometown
Santa Fe, NM

Profession
Obscure humanities PhD candidate

Why are you competing?
reminder that joy and fun are not always the same
thing. The former often requires everything you
have - pain, sweat, training, effort upon effort -
while the latter a tv-couch-evening-after-work.
Both have there place and time. Good to know
difference.

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