Salty wounds

Todays stats:

Distance: 44km’s

Time: approx 5:30hrs

Calories burnt: 4100

Calories consumed: 2000

We are through the thick of it now. Day 4 is complete. After my feet time with the medics yesterday, I struggled to move for the rest of the day. The feet were so sore I could barely walk. Putting my shoes on was excruciating and I seriously doubted how I would complete day 4. Power was in a similar position. He was also suffering from a dodgy stomach due to the bad calories we were eating. We both never want to see a cliff bar or shot block ever again. 2 min noodles are like holy water out here. They are the best treat. I wish we had brought more.

We woke this morning tired and weary. Power and I were tired and sore, our feet were in tatters. Matt was in a much worse condition. We aren’t sure if he will complete the race. Another race favourite, Zandy, is also looking doubtful to finish due to a badly sprained ankle. A good point is that our tent mate, Rebecca, is now the leading female. So great to see her achieve so much in her first ultra.

As power and I lay in bed at 5:30am, we ate cliff bars and talked tactics. This is meant to be a holiday as well as a race. We would do what we could, enjoy it and everything else will work out. As my lovely wife put it in an email to me last night, the hardest distance to cover is the distance between your ears. So true, mental state is everything.

We strapped on our shoes, tight, so the blisters squashed against the sides of the shoes and reduced the movement and friction, which really hurt. We popped a couple of panadol, lined up at the start and put a smile on our faces.

The first few steps were not nice but once the feet warmed up and the panadol kicked in, we forgot about the feet and concentrated on the terrain. Rocky, hilly and dunes. We quickly found ourselves with the top 10 and moved into 4th gear – the desert shuffle gear.

The heat was rising but we were smiling. Our tent mate Alaister caught up to us and we set about tackling the salt flats together. We filled up with water ready for the long stage and then set off across the crusty salt flats. Our feet still a distant memory, we shared the lead and talked crap for a few miles to pass the time. We took photos and admired the setting. It is remarkable how brutal but amazing this terrain is. I’m writing this as I sit in a tent overlooking a salt lake. The snow covered mountains in the background hover on the horizon and are always there when we run. They are remarkable.

Power and I finished the stage strong and in good shape. Our feet are still in tatters but feeling a little better. Much better place mentally and physically. Now time to get ready for day 5. The big day. 75km’s in total.

Time to go and chat to the other competitors. Some great people here and funny stories to tell. Gavin, an ex marine, wiped curry powder on his hands and face (accidentally) and now looks like the incredible hulk.  Keep an eye on Vlad, the guy in second place. He only started running 9mths ago and this is his first desert ultra. He’s in 2nd place but has a huge future. He’s my pick for the big time.

Sign off time. Noodle time. Power is already flat on his back with his feet up. We both need the recovery time.

Probably no blog update tomorrow, due to us getting in late and feeling knackered. I will write on Friday to give the full run down.

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4 Responses to “Salty wounds”

  1. Legends. Absolute legends. Read every update every blog, watched every video, looked at every photo. Heroes. 2min 30 to make up on the last stage for 8th place… Nail it!!

  2. Well done Rich and Mark, doing so amazingly well!

    Wish I could send you some calories over there, but hopefully not much longer till you get more food anyway! 😉

    All the best on the last day!

  3. #saltywounds is trending, almost there gents.

  4. Smash it fellas. Well done. Head down tail up.