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RacingThePlanet: Madagascar 2014 Blogs

And it's done...
11-Sep-2014 08:31:40 AM [(GMT) Greenwich Mean Time: Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London]

So it's finally done... 250km across Madagascar... self-supported with a 10.5kg pack (I swear that did not get any lighter until at least Day 4!) through rough but amazing terrain, daylight, nighttime and twilight... through good times and bad... What an absolutely amazing experience!! A brief summation: Stage 6 was a 10km, and I decided to shuffle most of the way through it... figuring I have two weeks for the feet to heal so how much worse would they really be! I was part of the 8am staggered start which was a blessing, so I had some extra time to tape up the feet. I lost my water pouch 3/4 of the way there, not a bad thing as it had been bugging me for days, and I couldn't ditch it due to having had one water bottle go missing (note to self: never leave a bottle outside the tent all night!). We ended up running through the town and as it became more urban, there were more and more local villagers lining up, watching and cheering us on, even though they must have thought we were crazy! And suddenly the end was in sight... 300m from it our chips were swiped through, leaving us clear to run through that finish line... an amazing moment, especially when greeted and hugged by two of my friends, Alex and Luba. That I think I will remember more than actually crossing the line, that had more meaning to me. No tears, no overwhelming surging of emotion crossing a finish line, but friends... that's a different matter :) ... I also figure that's because it's Part 1 done... and I have the second part of my challenge still to do. I'll probably be a blubbering mess at the end of the next one :D Then it was time to grab a few photos with whoever was around and not busy chatting in groups, before piling onto the buses to make a dash back to the hotels and get changed. Two showers later and onto the awards party... so many inspirational people... two particular ladies that I thought amazing: one fell early in the race, dislocated her shoulder/arm, continued the day's stage, and then continued to finish all 250km despite being in daily pain. Another, who lost her shoes and walked at least half (I believe) of the long stage barefoot. Some of us even made a local bar for a few drinks before being somewhat sensible (shocking to those who know me ;) I was so tempted to party until dawn but was a good girl LOL) and getting back indoors by 1am... well I did have a flight to catch. About 30 hours to get home, 4 flights... then one day off work with appointments throughout that day... and now to sort things out for g2g amid a kitchen refurbishment. Life is not quiet right now. Ultimately, this has been an absolutely amazing experience and one I not only wouldn't hesitate to recommend to anyone, but am intending to do more. I already have two booked up... but after that's done, which to choose next? What people say about these events is true: you meet the most amazing people, you make friends for life, you challenge yourself, you can help others... I'm hooked... hope to catch you all on some future trails! Peace out x Michelle
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MICHELLE PAYNE
RacingThePlanet: Madagascar 2014

Hometown
London and Essex, UK

Profession
Counsellor and Legal PA

Race Stats
Equipment List

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MICHELLE PAYNE
RacingThePlanet: Madagascar 2014 competitor

Bio

Hometown
London and Essex, UK

Profession
Counsellor and Legal PA

Why are you competing?
As well as raising funds and awareness for the UK
charity Refuge, to challenge myself to go from new
runner (Feb 2013) to double multi-day ultra stage
runner (Aug/Sep 2014) in 18 months

Race Stats
Equipment List

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