Fast and Furious

Blog 4 Fast and Furious.

Day 3 ends like many other days with 2min noodles, frooze balls, freeze dried food and sleep. However, we get a visit from the race organiser at 8pm saying the day 4 plan has changed. It was meant to be a 46-48km day with extremely challenging terrain. We are in the mountains now and it’s freezing. There’s plenty of snow on the mountains and our calorie deprived bodies feel that cold. The change was for the safety of the races. They have reduced the stage to 30km. An out and back course before jumping in land rovers to do a 1.5 hr drive to the next camp.

I woke with an extremely sore throat. I think it’s the beginning of a throat infection. It’s so sore that I can barely swallow. I decide to not go too hard today given what is to come tomorrow. I’m hoping that the pain in my legs and feet drown out the pain in my throat so I can keep getting liquids into me and keep eating.

With the shortened distance, we set off at pace. Again. It’s super fast in the top ten and very tough to keep a position. I run with Blake and Alex for a while before letting them get ahead a little. The hills are brutal and constant. We tick off kms and I’m trying to track Blake and Alex as best as I can. I can’t lose too much time today. We hit CP1 and fly through it. No water stops today! The pace is too quick so we use what we have. Blake and Alex are 50mtrs ahead of me and David is about 500mtrs behind me.

It’s an out and back day today so the top 4 clear the turnaround point and head for home. Neil is running well today and is out in front by a long way. Blake is out in front of me and I hit the turnaround with Alex. Time to bring it home. I put my ipod on and hit the track with emotion and anger. I was fired up to get back and not lose a spot. I start clicking low 4’s per km along the trail seeing all of the other competitors coming up to the turnaround with the same eagerness I felt I was portraying. It hurt. A lot. The hills were relentless but I had to keep the pace going. I kept Alex behind me and gained some time on Blake. I rolled down the last hill and hit the 3km straight heading into the finishline. My zone was interrupted by a rock which tripped me. I tumbled forward smashing onto the ground. Protected by my water bottles which have now burst. I’m now going to try and patch them for the race tomorrow.  The day was done and we jumped in the 4×4 and headed to the new camp. It was actually the first time I really got to admire the beauty of this place. I must try to look up more tomorrow. Now time to rest and recover.  

Putting the pace in perspective, yesterday’s course was 37km and we did it in 3hrs 35mins. With heavy backpacks on, across brutal hills. Today we did the 30km across big mountains and river crossings up past your thigh in 2:51hrs.  There is no respite at all.

Power came in strong despite his shoes blowing out. We are hoping the duck tape will hold them together for tomorrow.

It’s the long march day tomorrow. 90km through the alps. The flying Frenchman is finding his feet in the cold air and the mountains and is climbing the ranks fast. With Blake beating me in today, he will take 6th place and I will fall back to 7th. Tomorrow is all about survival. If I hold the place then it’s a bonus. There’s going to be a lot of dark times out in the course though.

All for now. It’s noodle time. I need to try and dry my shoes by the fire before tomorrow too.

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5 Responses to “Fast and Furious”

  1. All the best for the big dance tomorrow Richard! Following your progress with great interest and sending our energy from afar. Race smart and well!

  2. Trials and tribulations of a 240km race and you guys are handling it brilliantly.

    Its worth noting that the official leader charts from Race the Planet have you at 6th and Power at 13th. Keep going gentlemen.

  3. Wow, what grit & determination you have showed on a gruelling day, with the tough one ahead of you. Hope the throat is settling down & you can move up a place or two!

  4. Wow Richy – sounds brutal and you’re certainly hitting a few dark places, but what an unbelievable effort. Like you said, try and take in some of the amazing countryside. Keep pushing bro….

  5. Rich and Barb Atkins Reply November 17, 2017 at 8:04 am

    2.51 in that terrain is extraordinary… well done , bet your hankering for a steak ! Over half way now… we are following every step and love the photos.. One small step for Barb and I and a million plus steps for Rich Bray!! I fix everything with duct tape by the way. ‍♂️‍♂️‍♂️‍♂️‍♂️‍♂️

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