Saturday, April 10, 2010
After a windy night which blew down our tent and covered us in sand, we woke up to a very cool morning of about 10 degrees. At about 3am I felt like I was being held down but it was only the tent which had collapsed onto us. Day 1 run was about 30km and at least 50% dunes so took about 5hrs. Feet are ok but shoulders are aching like nothing I have felt before. Need to downsize my pack somehow. Met some great people on the way from Germany, France, UK, Korea, Japan, and have five wonderful tentmates from Korea, Singapore, Malaysian from Shanghai and one Indian. Two girls and four blokes. Food is ok and having chicken tikka with rice tonight, and scram agss with bacon this morning was actually not bad. Missing everyone a lot and thinking about Hock all the time as he loved Morocco. Tomorrow is 36km, then day 3 is 40km, then the big one on day 4 is 82km. You can send messages to me via the website posted on my blog, and just tell me any of your news. Thanks again to my wonderful sponsors.
Friday, April 9, 2010
After a windy and noisy night, we woke at 3am to the sound of our 2 Korean tentmates having a chin wag most probably about the weather. So none of us slept enough. Then we started the second day of 36km which had one 12km straight long flat through the desert followed by a massive sand dune over 1km high which we had to scale to reach the top of the mountain it was covering. I have not heard so many expletives in a long time from the other participants and myself. After that it was a long windy downhill to more big dunes and finally the base camp. It has been very hot during the day, windy all the time, but only my shoulders again are sore. Legs seem to be holding up touch wood. I am beginning to smell a little after now four days without a wash. Missing Mum and Dad as we get back too late each day to call them, but hope they are reading this. Tomorrow is 40km flat then the day after the big 82km which none of us are looking forward to. Hope you are all well and thanks for your emails.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
They were not joking about 45 degrees. Running 40km in this heat was just brutal. Finished in good time though but shoulders really aching something awful. Also I smell like a sewer rat - no, sorry that's not fair to sewer rats. Legs and feet holding up again touch wood, but wish I was looking forward to my chicken tikka with rice for dinner more than I am. Met a lovely girl called Veronika from USA who kept me running to the day's finish line which was great and we crossed together. I have been writing a daily blog but apparently it has not been updated so hope this one reaches you all. Please send me emails/short messages via the Darbaroud site. Those emails are really keeping me going - and thanks to all of you who have sent. Send more than one as some go missing it seems. Tomorrow 82km leg which I prefer not to think about but just prepare well and take it as it comes. Missing you all a lot, cant wait to get back to roti, hokkien mee, a nice bed, friends, colleagues and family.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Day 4+5 82km overnight stage took me 18hours which felt like the longest day and night of my life. It hit 52 degrees during the day but cooled off nicely at night. We had to scale no less than 40km of sand dunes and if I never see another one I wont worry. I had a great Jordanian guy called Amar keeping me company and urging me to run when I wanted to walk.The night sky was beautiful, saw small desert mice, some scorpion looking insects, and the sight of the finish line was for sore eyes. My food is getting very hard to swallow and I should have brought more salty snacks - Munchys - and some instant noodles. However, the chicken tikka, spicy mince and other stuff tastes just horrible now although it does have the calories required, thats if you can get it down. Two more days to go with a rest day today. Tomorow we do 42km, and the last day 21km with some sand dunes. Love all your messages so keep sending as my energy is falling and I am skinny. Miss you all and hope all is well.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
The penultimate stage is over - our 42.2km today felt like a breeze after the 82km overnight stage. But it was much cooler with cross winds and some light and high cloud cover. Probably a chilly mid 30's today. I am very tired, and started talking to my water bottle at some stage, but was soon joined by Paul from HK who kept me company and chatting for the last few km. Tomorrow last stage 21km - the problem being that the last 6km is across stupid sand dunes. Nights are cold but I slept like a log last night for 9 hrs and have learned to cocoon myself in the sleeping bag and did not get up for anything. Luckily the Koreans were also very tired and did not chat or re-pack their bags at 3am. My tent mates and others I have met are just great. Looking forward to warm bath, good food, seeing my family, friends, colleagues and friends at MAF. I did not realise the race would be this tough, but I am finding comfort in the fact that I will be helping people in Sarawak through you all.
Monday, April 5, 2010
Day 7 with the last 21km across huge dunes was tiring but knowing the finish line was not far off kept us all going. Back at hotel now after a 6hr bus ride from the desert. Had the most amazing shower and sleep. Typing on French keyboard which is difficult so this just to let you know I am back in civilisation.