The Gobi March is over and it will be a race that I will never forget. It contained all of the elements I expected a desert ultra marathon to have- breathtaking scenery, epic sand dunes, harsh weather conditions on both spectrums, emotional breakdowns, personal victories and the truest display of community and team spirit. One thing I did not expect and am heartbroken to write is that Nick, aged 31, lost his life after collapsing on day 4 in the canyons. It is hard to come to grips with Nick’s death and my thoughts are with his friends and family. Nick like every competitor who enters an event like this has the desire to push ones boundaries, both physical and emotional, to the limit. I am reminded that the line between seeking a personal challenge in these harsh environment and severe danger can be very fine.
It is the people you meet in these races that define the experience and help you navigate, stumble and cross the desert. A few but certainly not absolute mentions:
Lisa Tamati: you were my rock during the long day and I am incredibly inspired by your strength and determination. You had my back from the moment we met and I feel very privileged. I can only hope that I mature into the runner and person that you are.
Amanda and Fiona: We were the short striders of this race and i was phenomenal to be able to cross the finish line with you both. Australasia endurance races here we come!
Frank, Faith, Charlie, Jimbo, Sam and Finn: Very little words needed here, except to say I now feel I have six brothers. Queen Bee of Tent Mongol is very proud of all of you and feels lucky to have shared the experience with you. The memory of Jimbo pushing his destroyed body across the final 1.5kms will be my inspiration for my next two races. Love to you all.
Tango: I never thanked you for offering to stay by my side when I injured my knee on day 4. You were willing to give up your own pace for me and I look forward to visiting you in HK and learning to appreciate spicy food.
Thank you to all my amazing sponsors (Juice Plus+, CWX, Ascend, Packlite Foods and Injinji). Not only do you help me get to the start line but I also appreciate your support and personal interest in this 4Deserts goal of mine.
Finally to everyone who watched onto my race and sent me wishes of support- Big Love.
Time to reflect, rest and recuperate before Sahara.