Stage 5: Breaking News 9
Fri, 21 February 2014 at 16:20
Oh Byeong Ju of South Korea was welcomed across the Stage 5 finish line by all the competitors, who clapped and cheered as he arrived at camp at 15:26 on Friday. He was given a hug by Yoo Ji Sung, who is celebrating his 20th 4 Deserts event, before high fiving fellow competitors who could all appreciate the hard effort that went into the 86.3 km stage.
All 172 finishers have now arrived at Camp 6 atop a plateau above the Ancient City of Petra. Competitors were in high spirits as many spent the day resting and welcoming competitors across the finish line. Others were overcome with emotion as they arrived into camp. A teary Lin Yuli exclaimed: "That was hard!"
Competitors are now resting up ahead of tomorrow's highly anticipated finish in Petra.
Stage 5: Breaking News 8
Fri, 21 February 2014 at 10:30
Checkpoint 8 has had 171 competitors through and the last competitor, the sweepers and their camels are in sigh. Checkpoint Captain Dolfen Yehia comments the atmosphere: 'Competitors get here so tired and some have been crying, but after some rest and a chat they have felt better and left motivated, "we will finish this" in their minds.'
The last checkpoint and the finish line have had a steady flow of competitors coming in. At 09:08 157 competitors had come through Checkpoint 8 and at 10:02 141 had reached Camp 6. The cut-off time at Camp 6 is 13:00.
The weather has already become hot, with sun shining from a bright blue sky. There are already a lot of competitors chilling at the camp, enjoying the well deserved rest day.
Stage 5: Breaking News 7
Fri, 21 February 2014 at 04:05
In the early morning hours after 200 kilometers of racing competitors' bodies and minds are really starting to take their toll. The United Stated based Nina Shin found the course much harder than described: “I'm feeling alright, but that was way too difficult. That was not moderate by way! But I'm smiling because we made it so that was good."
Canadian Bryan Pryde and Shin, Sang Hun of South Korea crossed the finish line together, sprinting in the last few meters. "The hardest thing I've ever done", described Pryde. The Over-night Checkpoint 6, where the last competitors were having some hot soup and rested before heading on, closed at the cut-off time of 3:00. The last quarter of the competitors is making their way to the finish line over the Ancient City of Petra, through a 10.6 and then a 10.3-kilometer section on dust road through the outskirts of Petra, that takes them to the finish.
Stage 5: Breaking News 6
Thu, 20 February 2014 at 18:20
It's been a challenging Stage 5 today with Christopher Murrer describing the walk up to Checkpoint 5 on the Turkish road as "one of the three hardest things I've ever done." Leaving Checkpoint 6, Jean Magnol, who was with fellow competitors Alan Roy, and Xavier Abadie, said "it is very hard today".
Competitors also commented on the scenery of the course with Scott Waring saying it was "impressive to find 10 miles all uphill like that", Uwe Paschke describing it as "magical mountains and beautiful views".
Stage 5: Breaking News 5
Thu, 20 February 2014 at 15:10
Competitors are going strong on today's 86.3km Stage 5 with 130 comps through the third checkpoint at 14:15.
Marian Gray said: "The view is fantastic!" As for as the walk, she said "well, you just suck it up and go."
At Checkpoint 5, when Mikko Kohonen learned he was the running in fourth place, the Finn replied: "Oh really! I can't believe it!"
Food was on many competitors' minds with Andres Lledo Lopez opening up a package of Spanish ham as he headed towards Checkpoint 6. With a big uphill climb to Checkpoint 5, Lasse Jensen and Kaare Frandsen passed the time talking about the best place in their hometown to buy French fries.
Stage 5: Breaking News 4
Thu, 20 February 2014 at 13:00
Sandy Suckling is running strong and still the first woman in the field. Sandy came through Checkpoint 3 at 11:26. The second woman was South Africa’s Kristinet Van Der Westhuizen at 11:39. Michael Traub, Mikko Kohonen, John Ross, Kaare Frandsen, Lasse Jensen, Gijsbertus Van Mackelenbergh and Andres Lledo Lopez arrived at 11:15 running in a pack. Checkpoint 3 received their 70th competitor at 12:50.
In the meanwhile Checkpoint 1 has closed. The last competitors arrived there at 12:00 and are now making their way through the canyon towards Checkpoint 2.
The first competitor through Checkpoint 5 was Salameh Al Aqra at 12:47.
Stage 5: Breaking News 3
Thu, 20 February 2014 at 10:48
Competitors are making good progress on The Long March. The first competitors reached Checkpoint 1, located 11.5 kilometers into the Wadi Ahaimer canyon, at 08:57 and Al Swaiti who has taken the lead, has come through Checkpoint 3 at 10:33 with Al Aqra and Yoshihito Sonoda just 10 minutes behind him. There are a total of eight checkpoints along the course until competitors will reach the camp. "What a view!" Marveled the Checkpoint Captain Tony Brammer, when he arrived to his location at Checkpoint 7 overlooking the vast desert on the Turkish road.
Stage 5: Breaking News 2
Thu, 20 February 2014 at 08:30
The much anticipated Long March started with 182 competitors at 8:00. Everyone was excited for the final push but hesitant about the news of a recently formed river crossing in the canyon.
The 4 Deserts Club member Simon Southgate read a tribute to all "brave runners and weekend warriors" as they lined up for the start.
Linh Huynh of Canada who has previously completed the Antarctica Ice Marathon as well as the North Pole Marathon was looking forward to the day. "I have never hurt this much but am so excited", she said.
Jordanian Mohammad Al Swaiti in 4th position was looking to see who is in front and behind him to know how hard to push today. Philippe Gatta was already enquiring after what food will be at the final finishline. The weather looked promising with blue skies and breeze as the competitors left the finish line, descending into Wadi Ahaimer canyon where they will be running for the next 20 kilometers until starting the long section on the famous Turkish road.
Stage 5: Breaking News 1
Thu, 20 February 2014 at 08:00
Breaking News for Stage 5 will be posted on Thursday, 20 February and Friday, 21 February 2014.