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EVENT NAME LOCATION DATE RacingThePlanet: Jordan Jordan 13 May 2012 Gobi March China 10 Jun 2012 Sahara Race Egypt 28 Oct 2012 The Last Desert Antarctica 16 Nov 2012 Atacama Crossing Chile 3 Mar 2013 Gobi March China 2 Jun 2013 RacingThePlanet: Iceland Iceland 4 Aug 2013 Sahara Race Egypt 16 Feb 2014 Gobi March China 1 Jun 2014 Atacama Crossing Chile 5 Oct 2014 The Last Desert Antarctica 16 Nov 2014 Sahara Race Egypt 15 Feb 2015 Gobi March China 31 May 2015 Atacama Crossing Chile 4 Oct 2015
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I managed to get a good night's sleep before day four but felt sickish when I woke and only had some noodles last night as that was all I could take. Decided the only course of action for breakfast was to go savoury so went for vegetable tikka which went down ok. Felt surprisinglly strong when I set off but this soon disappeared as we hit the first hill where my legs felt like lead! This was not good because the first stage was 1,200m ascent over 10km which is a lot! It was pure torture and took 3 hours 45 minutes as I had no power to speak off! Made to to the top just about alive and had a sneaky coke which helped both my energy levels as well as my tummy. The next two stages were down 3,500 steps which I really enjoyed as there were amazing views on the way down. Snow capped mountains, beautiful rice terraces and lush mossy forest with waterfalls to boot! Around every corner there was something new to behold whether amazing forest straight from Lord of the Rings, donkey trains, millet being threshed by Nepali farmers, sweet children asking for pencils, grazing bufffalo or another idyllic Tea House with stocks of Coca Cola! Going down the steps was like skiing a mogul field! I took it easy on the way down and teamed up with Auror and Mike who were great company. At check point three, Marshall Ulrich, a famous ultra runner was there offering to wet my hat and my buff as well as offering encouragement which was great. The last 7km was along a sandy track down to a Nepali Village where we are staying in Tea Houses rather than tents which is a real treat. We were also treated to real food which was the most amazing treat! Tomorrow is the long day so I had better get some sleep! Love to all...I hope to blog my finish after the long day.
This morning has been spent lying in a hammock outside my room at the absolutely glorious Shangri-La in Pokhara with birds chirping and the sweet smell of incense warring through the clear mountain air. This is a world away from the mornings during the race when I woke with the stench of a tent full of six unwashed men and dreading the taste of the sweet sickly breakfast I knew I had to eat to get through the day. Am I glad it is all over? Yes, but what an experience and what a test of one's inner self as well as the chance to see so much of beautiful unspoilt parts of Nepal. There are so few parts of the world you can see this and I world recommend anyone to do it now before it is too late and support this amazing country and it's lovely people. Back to stage 5...after two days of torpor caused by the virulent camp sick bug I started of feeling quite strong with even a slight spring in my step as we launched of to a day which was 75km in length and would entail 3,100m of ascent! After an initial flat section we started to climb and it was not long before my legs started to complain, feeling like they hardly belonged to me but it was not until the second set of steps that I really felt like they did not belong to me. I tried every strategy to improve matters, walk more slowly, go side to side, go in quick bursts, breath more deeply, drink more water, nibble on cliff bars, chew on sports beans, go up on toes, go up flat footed.....nothing worked...it was step by step with a dead body and clawing heat and nauseous stomach....finally managed to get to the end of checkpoint three feeling like death but at least the worst was now behind. At this stage I felt it was time for some assistance so at the next opportunity I offered to buy the group I was with a coke as it was now getting dark. The change in temperature and the boost of a coke gave me a new lease of life and my legs suddenly started to feel a bit stronger. I set off at a fast walk with Bill Abbott, a charming surgeon from New Mexico, and we marched through the new few stages without a hitch though I have to admit I needed to procure some noodles, a packet of Bombay mix and a Pepsi along the way, all for medicinal a sons of course! CHeckpoint 5 was the hot water stop so we stopped and I had the noodles which rally gave me new momentum. 30km and probably six hours to go but I was up for it and Bill and I tramped off into the night stopping for no-one and nothing. Between the last two stages we bumped into a spaced out looking Hugh, a broker from HK, who was teetering along on some badly blistered feet but he insisted he was ok so we said goodbyes and made it through to the last checkpoint. From here on it was a robotic like march to the end despite a ridiculous hill to finish. I was with extreme relief that I slipped into my damp, rather cheesey sleeping bag with a rest day ahead before a final 13km to the finish as the Fulbari Hotel in Pokhara. The rest day was spent grabbing a few extra calories at some very small basic restaurants and chilling with fellow competitors hearing stories of pickpockets and sickness mostly! The final march was a strangely drawn out 13km with heavy legs through the outskirts of the town and across swampland before a last sprint to the finish where with intense disappointment I found there was no Rose, Gustav and Dudu to meet me as they were late which made it a bit difficult to celebrate to be honest. I am very happy to have finished but somehow it is an anti-climax after so much preparation and training but maybe it will take days to sink in. It has been amazing to renew my love for beautiful Nepal and it's people. I thank all my friends and family for their great support, it meant a lot along the the way. Special thanks to Willa and Lachie, Mum, Zin and Tom, Prowse and Joe as well as Rose, Gustav and Dudu. Massive thanks too to all those who sponsored me for CWS which I think even more is an incredible charity having spent time with it's founder on the run. Still not too late to donate! it may be a while before I do another of these events but it has been amazing and I would say a final thanks you to all at Racing the Planet as well as the support staff and medical staff who were so supportive and smiling throughout. Namaste....Angus
What a long day it was! In fact it was 19 hours on my feet before I crawled into my tent! It was a massive releif after a slightly tricky start and plenty of nausea along the way only really cured by searching out illicit Coc Cola wherever possible! Save to say that it was a rollercoatser of a ride but with a strong finsih and I will write a full account but right now cannot see the screen! Thank you everyone for all your messages of support. More to follow....
My daystarted at 1am when I was struck by the camp sick bug which meant my dinner ended up on the rice paddy. I then have zero sleep until 5am wake up due to intense pain from my prolapsed disc.Woke up feeling terrible with pain down my arm as well as horrible nausea. I managed to take a little mango start on board but it tastd really horrible. Just made it to the start on time as I was terribly slow. We set off at 7am along the valley but there was no way that I could run due to sick feeling as well as very painful quads from the descent the day before so I sey orff at a brisk walk with poles but felt very weak. It was a beautiful start with the course heading uo the side of a blue grey glacial river through mossy pine forest. I made it to stage one and met up with James Johnstone who I teamed up with fir thye rest of the day. Thanks James for getting me through! After this stage we heaed up a sandy track still following the river and it was soon after this that I got vilolently sick again. We soldiered on up the valley until stage four which was a very stepp climb over 5km with was a mixture of track and endless steps.We did have a little help from our friend Coca Cola halfway up! We did made one more stop before reaching the amazing camp put up on rice paddy overlooking the valley but that will come later!
Made it to the finish in good time and relieved to get throughit. I was a tough day I had no strength in my body.
Not feeling very well but I hope I can sleep tonight and kill this bug. Tomorrow has a 3,100 step descent at the end of the day which will be hell! Love to Rose, Gustav, Dudu , Lachie and Willa.
What a roller coaster of a day! Started feeling a lot better after reducing the weight in my bag and disposing of my front pack. It was a short run along a road before embarking on a nightmare endless flight of steps (3,,500 steps!). It was not long before my legs felt like lead despite trying everything frony Sustained Energy to Sports beans. Everything changed when I started to follow two Nepalese ladies carrying unfeasibly large loads of straw. Thery walk slow and steady but fron side ti side ion the steps which makes everything much easiet. After the big hill it was a welcome cruise along the valley through incredible villages and small farms which were in the midst harvest.Every corner yuu turn there is another jaw dropping view or beautiful rural scene.It is very difficult to describe quite how idyllic it looks but with it you can see how hard the Nepalese work. The traverse along the valley was very welcome but it started to get pretty hot so essential to drink a lot and take salt tabs. After stage three was a long downhill then the most amazing cable bridge which I criossed looking at the river 150 meters below through the metal slats. The bridge got really quite steep at the end and legs started to burn.there was then another hellish hill which took a long time to climb but luckily a stage post just after to top up with water etc and they had a water spray to cool us down which was heaven. The final stetch was down a long track which I poled down which increasingly sore legs but near the bottom you could see the camp which sat next to a glacial river below towring cliiffs and forest. Arrived feeling washed out but in under six hours which I was happy with. Once at my tent I had the necessary dose of recovery drink and headed for a swim in the river which was refreshing to say the least. Tomorrow looks pretty challenging with plenty of hills so feel a bit apprehensive but it would have been a tad churlish not to expect a hill or two in Nepal. Love Rose, Gustav, Dudu, Lachie and Will and alll my friends and family.
Made through stage one which was a magical journey through Lord of the Rings country. It was a very hilly course without a lot of running but with a lot of steps! My godsend was using poles which were great for both ups and downs. The start was an easy 5km along the valley then it was around three hours of climbing which felt like an ago. Had to force myself to eat and drink as it was quite hot with beautiful skies and I have history of getting that wrong! The course was quite amazing through lush mossy forest along ancient paths paved with large flat stones. Some of the paths going down to the valley got quite treatchorus and slippery so there was always the thought of breaking something in the back of the mind. We passed a lot of small villages on the cource where all the Nepalese clapped us through. They are such beautiful people living a very simple mountain life. It is strange to see imaculatly dressed women out in the field getting down to the harvest or digging away with very basic tools. Managed to finish the course in around six hours which I was happy with. My pack is way too heavy and my main problem was sore neck and shoulders. I will to reducwe the weight byl ditching my front pack and a few bits and pieces. Felt a bit dehydrated at th end so will have to focus on that tomorrow as stage two beakons! Fingers crossed! Lots of love to Rose, Gustav, Dudu Lachie and Willa! Thanks too to Joe Osha for your email. Time for me to eat some freeze dried shepherds pie!
After an astounding three day journey to get to Pokhara I am finally at camp one in the Cyber tent with Nepalese music blaring in the background!
The journey did not start well with one day lost trying to leave London as BA would not check our bags through Delhi to Kathmandu as we were flying with Air India from Delhi to Kathmandu and they do not talk to them! We changed our ticket and took the same flight the next day and all was fine. Not a good start! We then missed our connection to Pokhara and had to stay the night in Kathmandu. Met with a number of fellow racers on the way including two tent mates in the same hotel, Tom and Blair. Next day we all headed for the airport to be told that Pokhara Airport was shut so executive decision was made to drive to Pokhara. We managed to secure an early 4x4 and embarked on an epic 7 hour drive with a driver named Pushpau who could see round corners! Arrived at the Shangi-La shaken but not stirred and treated ourselves to Mongolian BBQ which was a tad spicy for Gustav and Dudu! Did some mad packing of kit before passing out after the lengthy journey.
Woke early on Saturday with a mad rush to get my RTP patched sewn on by our hotel tailor. Then headed for the race briefing at the Fulbari Hotel. The journey was through narrow names on roads with potholes as big as the car with much morning activity going on all around. Nepal is a magical place, so full of colour but so poor. Then back to say goodbyes to Rose, Gustav and Dudu and get kitted up. Lots of love to all of you and thank you for all your support to get me here. The Fulbari was awash with Raidlight packs and Marmott gear and buzzing with pre-race activity. I had all my equipment checked and found I was a staggering 13 kg! Must be all the medication I am taking for prolapsed disc! I feel I may be rattling when I run! We gathered up and boarded some very tiny but beautifully colourful Nepali buses for camp one. Journey through Pokhara was interesting as it is harvest time so lots of crops coming to town. We then left town and took precarious road along a steep hillside with a rather a frightening drop on one side. You would not want to do this in the rain for fear of slipping off the edge!
The welcome at camp one was fabulous with a whole village turned out with bright red paint which was smeared on every racers forehead and gifts of flowers from the children. More akin to a festival than a sporting event and absolutely fantastic. Evrybody now tucking into freeze dried meals and talking about the weight of their packs which makes me feel rather overweight! Likely to be tucking up at around 8.30pm as we start at 7am so will need to wake around 5am to eat and prepare feet for the task ahead.