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RacingThePlanet: Madagascar 2014 Blogs

Wrapping up Madagascar (finally), and looking forward to Antarctica!
29-Sep-2014 02:37:18 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

First off, my apologies on the formatting of this blog. For some reason it isn't separating paragraphs. Oh well...

I promised to post a blog update after the banquet... and failed miserably. I guess better late than never! On a side note: It's pretty crazy how quickly a few weeks can sneak by. I feel like I just got home from Madagascar, but yet will be leaving for Antarctica in 5 weeks.

On to some random thoughts about Madagascar...

The short day is always an awesome way to end one of these races. Despite the blisters, sore muscles, and beat up feat, people still find a way to go all out on the final day. It's funny how food/ beer waiting at the finish line has a way of motivating everyone to that next level. The finish line was down a pretty busy section of town, so there was a pretty decent crowd of locals and racers' family members cheering us in. As soon as I crossed the finish line, I chugged 3 sodas, a few beers, and ate a bunch of food (I'm still not exactly sure what it was, but it was delicious).

The banquet was a great time (as always). I may have had a bit too much down time prior to the banquet, that was spent exclusively in a Malagasy bar. This led to some sort of rambling speech when I received my third place trophy. The party continued at some random Diego bar, complete with a dance floor and a fog machine. Sadly, my very aggressive day caught up to me and I *only* made it out until 1am (I didn't see the sunrise on my walk home as I did in Iceland and China).

The next few days I spent relaxing at the Suarez, this hotel set up with a group of bungalows surrounding a pool. Most of my tent as well as a number of other friends were staying in or around this hotel , so it was really fun to hang out with the group while relaxing at a pool. I think we also broke records with the amount of food we consumed (somehow 5 course meals became the norm). It's always great when you finish a dinner and say, "that was great, can I have that exact same meal again please?" After a few days of relaxation in paradise, I flew back to Boston (a shockingly easy trip - no lost baggage!)

I'm currently in the late stages of 'tent withdrawal syndrome.' Once again, I was in a tent with a really incredible group of people. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard on one of these races. Our late night pillow talk constantly bordered on the ridiculous. Our tent mascot was a hilarious Italian man. I'm also pretty sure Dave ended up drugging all of us by burning his 'mosquito repelling incense' in the tent. This is the only explanation I have for people having crazy dreams and screaming about bears in the middle of the night.

I loved every minute of my Madagascar adventure (even if a few of my blogs made it seem like I didn't). I'm actually really bummed that my Day 3 blog ended up lost somewhere over the internet (Day 3 was my favorite day I had all week - really scenic running throughout the entire course, plus I did my laundry in a river infested with crocodiles at the finish!) It was really cool how many different sides of Madagascar we were able to see, all by traveling on foot. All of the locals were incredibly friendly and supportive, and only laughed at us half the time. I also didn't realize how much the locals loved the race markers. I'm really impressed that the course team was able to remark the course as quickly as they did (over and over again). Apparently there were a few times where they were running about a half hour in front of Ryan trying to get everything remarked. The fact that we only had one small area where people got lost during the week is incredibly impressive (I had no idea how difficult it was for them until talking with a few of them at the banquet).

Lastly, a huge thank you to all of the people that emailed/ wrote on my blog throughout the week. It really is awesome to read all of your hilarious/ supportive comments throughout the week. I think that's all for Madagascar. Now, it's time to look forward to Antarctica!

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RALPH CROWLEY
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