A positively beautiful morning greeted us. We had a briefing of the day's race at 8:30 am and then an enthusiastic send off from locals. The Gods were smiling on us as they changed the first leg of the race from 31.69 miles to 18 miles. The temp was 100 (yeah) with a slight breeze in the first stage of the race. Fortunately there were alot of rocky areas, which allowed me to run the first leg. The second leg is where the soft sand began along with several inclines. It reminded me of when I was a kid at the beach, and the ice-cream man stood at the top of the dunes ringing his bell. Every kid within a 1/2 mile started running up the dune, the only difference was they weren't wearing a back pack.
Truly, I was "slogging it" up each and every dune and rise, even the flats. Checked in at Check Point 2 feeling good, now to finish the last 6 miles. One mile into the stage, I felt my insides start churning like they were in the spin cycle of a wash machine. I had six mother nature calls, trying to abide by the rules of being 100 meters from the course or otherwise being penalized. By the third time, I didn't care how much time they added on to my total. Finally I made my way over to a rock and did the unthinkable. Stopped, sat down and took off my pack. One of the jeeps with the volunteers and an NBC crew stopped and asked if I was okay, to which I unceremoniously responded by bending over and leaning over and paying homage to the ground. I was empty of everything I had carefully been feeding my body. I lay down in the shade, then moved in to the sun to ward off the chills.
Dr. Brandee pulled up and gave me some meds to help my bowels, covered me with a blanket and about an hour later I felt much better. I gather it was the "new diet" I had introduced to my body. Granted there was no alternative as there was no way I was turning around and going home just because I didn't have my own food. The salt tabs and different electrolytes along with the sweet banana gu, which I didn't like but needed to fuel on, clearly didn't agree with me. The power bars, some of which I had never tried, also weren't going down well. I had made a point of drinking every fifteen minutes, most of that liqud was the electrolytes. Clearly I should have had much more of the water. I also only wore a buff and poured water over my head occasionally, but had no hat as that was also in the missing luggage. So after feeling as if I had just been on the cup and saucer ride at the shore for an hour and a half, I got up to finish the last 5 miles. They were the longest five miles as I dared not even try the gu, had a piece of dried bread and only water. I came in last but I finished! An hour later, having had a recovery drink, and some soup for starters, I felt so much better. I had some more dinner, tea and recovery drink. Within the hour, other runners were bringing me more electrolytes and gu, the kind I used! Tomorrow promises to be better, I am certain :) Anyway, whats an ultra without a few unexpected challenges.
For those who offered to Fed Ex items to me, that is actually a great idea for a commercial, but truly as we are always on the move, I don't think the Fed Ex man would catch up with us until Saturday!
Cheers from the sands of the Sahara,