We are at the most amazing campsite right now after climbing 650 metres in 4kms. It was a tough way to finish the 38km stage but it was nice to get off the jeep track that we were on for most of the day. Today was a good day for me and I managed to finish 1st women and I think 16th overall – completing the stage just shy of five hours. I was a sweaty mess at the end and was zapped from the climb and not being able to consume any calories during the run (bad.. I know). I did a visit to the medical tent this morning and grabbed an anti nausea tablet & a mud butt stopper -amazing stuff hey 🙂 Despite this I was determined to give it my all and go out hard to make the most of the runnable terrain. And runnable it was – we were on an undulating gravel road either along the river or through villages for 33kms. I stuck a few hundred metres behind some strong lads and aimed to keep them in site for as long as I could but also enjoyed the solitude of running by myself.
It was a pretty sweet feeling running on the main road of a busy village and having the street lined with people supporting us. I had to duck and weave between a few trucks and motorbikes. Another highlight for the day was moving through a rocking cable bridge and then running through a soccer field whilst a game was actually going on. I was in slight disbelief that it was the right way to go but a few of the soccer plays reassured me that I was heading in the right direction.
My strategy for today was to run as much as I could and use the poles to shuffle up the hills until I had to walk. I had a chat to Sean Abbott and RB last night and we discussed that your pace (and when you choose to walk) can often be influenced by what the people do right ahead of you. So with that I decided to attempt running a few extra steps further than the person ahead of me did and when they begun to run I would try to run too – even though I may still be at the steep section of the hill. It helped to keep the momentum going and I think its a decent strategy as long as you aren’t burning your legs out.
I think I have about a 20minute lead of Stephanie Case at this point. Stephanie is a human rights lawyer based in NYC at the moment so we had good convos about non race related topics as well – which is refressing. It is a really tight race in the female field and we are all quite supportive of each other. Ryano is still in the lead coming in about 15minutes ahead of second place and Ryan Bennett came in third, which is probably more indicative of where he would have been placed if he didn’t get sick the second day or lost on the first day.
We have a few more casualties in our tent and at this point it is only Jimbo and I that havent had debilitating illness that has affected our race. Fingers crossed that doesn’t happen to us on the long day. The sun has died now and it is really chilly at this point. Feeling quite sore in the legs today so plan to have an early dinner and go to bed within the next 90minutes. Crazy to think we can sleep for 10 hours here. I sometimes wake with more pain from the lack of sleeping mat than from the days running efforts.
Tomorrow will be brutal. The first 10.1kms have us going 1,234 metres on stone steps. and then it is a steep descent to the end. Only 27.2kms so that is a little fortunate.
Much love for the lovely messages of support they mean so much.