Well today was definitely the toughest day I’ve had in the desert. The wet weather that made the conditions so favourable yesterday turned today’s course into a swampy mud bath. The ground we’re camped on and that made up most of today’s course is clay so it was very slippy and collected on our shoes making it very difficult to run properly. The camp is also a swamp so even walking from the tent to the toilets takes a lot of focus and cleaning up before getting back in the tent takes an age. All of our kit is soaked and people are crowding around the fire to keep warm.
We crossed a lot of clay beds and also small lakes that covered what were punishing giber plains last year which was ankle deep in a lot of places.
The weather has been so bad that tomorrow had been declared a rest day as none of the vehicles can get out to the check points to help if someone is ill or injured. I understand why and i guess the rest day will give me time to dry some kit but it is a little disappointing to have to sit in camp and lose a days running.
All that said, it was good fun being out there and it reminded me several times of running around the hills at school with all the clay or running with dad in the winter in Germany.
Anyway, there are still 4 runners out on course and is just starting to get dark. They’ve been out there for 9hrs 50 mins so a brutally long and cold day for them…I’m sure not what they expected of a desert race.
In terms of results, Elisabet, Andy and I ran most of the day together but going was slow and hard. At about the 26km point Elisabet pulled away along a long muddy trail. I followed and when i turned back Andy had dropped back with heavy legs. When i got to check point 4 at 34km, my spot tracker had come off my bag so they held me at the check point for 5 mins whiled they decided what to do. They eventually let me go on but Elisabet was gone. We finished in that order with Elisabet running 4.17. I ran a 4.26 and Andy was about 30mins behind me. Very happy to have had another good day out.