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RacingThePlanet: Madagascar 2014 Blogs

Stage 5
05-Sep-2014 09:35:31 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

The long march… Km covered today= 76.7 Total= I lose track!! Close to 240km Toe nails= dubious how many will survive Blisters= My entire foot seems to be one big blister

Shin splints= More like a stress fracture going across my left ankle……

So now I know what a double marathon feels like. Is it worse than child birth? Well at least in labour you get breaks between the pain!

I started yesterday morning knowing the day ahead was going to be hell. Strangely felt really upbeat about it though. Had a great first 5km striding out but the ankle was already shooting pains up my leg. Luckily I caught up with bib 3, a guy called Ahmed from South Africa who turned out to be my personal saviour for the next 20hrs. Ahmed and I were both suffering from the same injury and although he had mostly run for the week he had no choice but to walk the long stage. We were perfectly paced for each other so worked well to get through each check point.

Todays mission was to take it check point by check point rather than to think about the 76km chunk. It really helped. The good thing about having Ahmed around was that we would walk in silence for some parts and it was perfectly okay but was good to have the company. He was also a doctor so had loads of advice on when to pop pills etc throughout the day!!

I desperately tried to look out for King Julian as we walked through the nature reserve today but saw zero lemurs on the course. I heard them though!!

We reached cp5 [ the hot water/ sleep station] just after dark and after 2 more water crossings [ they clearly liked torturing us!] We ate a hot meal and chose to plough through. We buddied with a South Korean girl to the next check point but she seemed to struggle at our pace [my long legs vs her petite frame] so the next 12km was looooooong…We walked through a sugar cane plantation and it seemed to go on for ever. The course setter was cruel. We winded back and forth through the fields and ever so often would see lights from torches or from what we thought was the check point. When we finally got there I was shattered…Our Korean buddy decided to wait for a slower group and we literally refuelled and carried on.

The last two stages were blurry. Walking on a dusty dark road with limited visibility for 20km or so was disorientating and I pretty much sleep walked the whole way home. We arrived in camp at 3:30am and Eric [Marxmiller] was on the finish line to give me a hug. Susan got up to help me sort myself out and unfortunately we had to sacrifice my gaitors and cut them off my legs. Knowing my body and pain quite well I’m pretty certain it’s a small stress fracture but nothing too serious [mum I can still walk don’t panic!]

I was so shattered I didn’t even make it into the tent to sleep. Instead I grabbed my sleeping bag, a stool for my foot and grabbed a few hours under the stars-BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

This morning we are sitting about camp waiting for the last few competitors to come in. Cut off is Midday so everyone should be home soon. Just seen a Japanese couple cross the finish line together and he has just proposed. Her fingers are so swollen the ring wouldn’t fit!! Lovely though…

Just 10km left to go…That medal around my neck is getting closer…..


P, C and Z. Braithwaite

Posted: 06-Sep-2014 09:50:42 AM

240k (ish) done with a big tick! 10k left which will feel like a doddle. Gotta love sleeping under the stars, just another amazing memory for you. Love your work! P, C and Z.

Kate and Dave King

Posted: 06-Sep-2014 08:11:44 AM

I just read this to Dave, looked up and we both were all welled up! Awesome doesn't cover it. We are willing your body to find the strength to do the final hurdle. Well done Emily xx

Jess Weaire

Posted: 06-Sep-2014 07:44:20 AM

You are incredible!! So so proud and happy! The worst is over now, just a stroll to complete and you've done it! You are an inspiration! Big love xxxxx

Lydia-Rose Braithwaite

Posted: 06-Sep-2014 06:52:39 AM

Mummy, You are amazing. I hope you'll take me on adventures when I'm older.. Daddy's boring me now and I can't wait to see you... xxxxxxxxxxx

Alan Braithwaite

Posted: 06-Sep-2014 06:51:20 AM

You even brought a tear to me eye.... Well done beautiful.. Amazing work... xxxxxxxxxxx

Denise Moyse

Posted: 06-Sep-2014 06:14:27 AM

Emily, I'm lost for words. Big Love. D.

Mary Nielsen

Posted: 06-Sep-2014 04:50:07 AM

Congratulations on the long stage! Way to go :-) Enjoy your rest and then get the race done.

Ang Jones

Posted: 05-Sep-2014 11:41:47 PM

Em in my slightly tiddled state after a first week back at work you have bought a tear to my eye. You've done it! The big one is done. Tomorrow is a mere stroll in comparison, you will definitely cross that finish line through sheer stubborness and determination alone! We can deal with the cankles later. So proud. Last day, last 10k - YOU CAN DO IT! xxxx

Donna & John Braithwaite

Posted: 05-Sep-2014 11:18:48 PM

We stand and salute you Emily - so proud - fantastic - Donna & John xxx

Sam Weller

Posted: 05-Sep-2014 10:01:33 PM

Tears of joys in my eyes. So proud

Karen Weller

Posted: 05-Sep-2014 09:55:12 PM

Emily I cannot begin to tell you just how proud we all are of you. You have done so amazingly well. It has been the longest day . We felt certain that you had finished but the results have only just come through. I cannot wait to see you and give you the biggest hug you are AMAZING and I can't wait to hear all the stories. Make sure you cross that line I wanna see that well deserved medal Love u lots treacle xxxxx

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Civil Servant and owner of Baylily Bell Tents

Why are you competing?
Due to not completing the Jordan race back in 2012
I have a personal mission to complete the 250km

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