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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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Well, itís taken a while to get round to signing this thing off. In my defence I didnít want it to be jaded by writing it when I was still sick, so thatís my excuse for not doing it in the first week back home. And then Christmas sort of got in the way, but now that the year is almost over it feels like the right time. The Nepal Race was the culmination of a year of preparation and whilst the grand finale didnít all go to plan, it takes nothing away from what has been a brilliant year. If anything running into issues on the long day made it the complete experience! And anyway, getting ready for Nepal meant I re-discovered my love for running on the North Downs and each of the training events on the Dorset Coast, Thames Path, the Lake District and the Alps gave me moments to cherish. The first four days of the Nepal Race were brilliant. And then the bug struck. Not in the script, but there were plenty of other people in the same boat. It was just bad luck and there was nothing I could do about it, and whilst it was no fun it only lasted for about a week. The local people there live with this sort of thing all their lives. Admittedly getting it on the long day was bad timing but it has left me with an unusual tale to tell and a whole difference experience from the Sahara Race 2009. And I was lucky that we had a brilliant tent Ė we had a lot of laughs and supported each other all the way. I definitely believe thatís why all seven of us made it to the finish despite most of our plans going up in smoke. So itís been difficult not to compare the experience in Nepal with that in the Sahara when things did go to plan. I loved the peace in the desert - it was a very introspective experience with plenty of time alone on the course, and the chance to let your mind wander and be filled with thoughts about the important things in life. Running through the hills of Nepal was totally different. For a start running was totally absorbing in itself - concentrating on every step left no time to think about anything other than, well, the next step! So I must have run past some amazing views and Iím glad that my mates took plenty of good photos. Even if I had stopped to admire the views more often though, it didnít feel the same as being in the Desert, when you felt as though you were right in the middle of the beauty rather than looking out at it. But the Nepal Race had people. And in Nepal they are wonderful. Whenever you needed a lift there was always someone ready with a smile, a wave and a cry of ďNamaste!Ē Running through the villages and into the camps to be greeted by crowds of cheering children was a privilege and an overwhelmingly emotional experience. There were many special moments that I shanít forget Ė the boy appeared from nowhere to give us an orange, young Samir who lifted our spirits as we tottered through his village night, and the old man who rushed out to help me back on my feet after Iíd fallen again - they all showed incredible kindness to a stranger. Those memories and the new friendships found are worth more than any medal. After all, itís not just about the race!
RacingThePlanet: Nepal 2011 competitor
Why are you competing?
A new and different challenge was needed after
finishing the Sahara Race in 2009 in order to help
me raise more money for the Childrens Hospice that
Numerous other ultramarathons and a few shorter multi-stage events