Hellooooo from the end of the 94km long stage!! Good grief. If all the other days seemed tough they were just child’s play compared to this leg. It took every ounce of willpower to keep going. Though happily none of my worst fears were realised (spraining an ankle in the dark, taking sleeping pills as painkillers, tripping and falling flat on my face just as I get to camp, etc.).
Note to self: when they say the course is “stunning”, it means “very tough”. You don’t get amazing scenery by crossing flat desert plains. To give it some perspective, the usual drop out rate for past year Sahara Races is usually 15%; this year it was 25%.
Impossible to fit everything that happened into a blog post hastily written from the cybertent but just know that every single last one of you were in my thoughts as I took on this monster stage.
There were sections on the course where the body simply wasn’t sure if it could see this through, especially when night fell. Your depth perception fails and suddenly the darkness seems to swallow the rest of the world and there is nothing but yourself running into an endless abyss. You don’t know how far you are from the next checkpoint, the next sign of a human soul, or how much longer you have before you run out of water or your legs give way, or when delirium will set in as fatigue takes the body to its limits. You don’t know anything much at all, except that you have to keep the faith and run, run, run.
That is when you all ran with me. I thought of you when the Milky Way stretched out in a brilliant band across the darkness overhead, when Go The Distance turned up on the iPod, when shooting stars fell from the sky, when I munched on bak kwa, when I asked myself what I was racing for. I was living the dream annd you would have loved every bit of the journey – the grandeur, the silence, the pain, the camaraderie and all. So this leg was for you guys, because without your cheers and support the fatigue and pain would have been almost unbearable. Thank you for being there when I almost couldn’t hold up.
And barring some stupid mistake during the 2km leg tomorrow, I will see you back home with a larger-than-life finisher medal, pictures and stories to last a lifetime. :D
Lastly, can I please get a round of applause for managing to get the most improbable blisters? I got a bloomin’ one to the side of my knee — it was abrasion from the threading of my compression tights. Really should have done a “sponsor a blister” program as part of World Vision fundraising.