Coastal Challenge Stage 4 – The Tortoise & The Hare
As the week and race go on, the team both as a whole and individually is getting stronger. This really is a great experience to be watching and participating in.
Today was Pavel’s toughest day spending almost the entire day on his own and four hours without really seeing anyone. The challenge was magnified by there being no water available over the last 15km and many carrying 4L for that section alone.
Everyone has some pretty serious blisters but Pavel’s had them since day one. He’s otherwise really strong and pushing through the pain, heat, exhaustion and terrain. Tomorrow is the last real challenge on the course – chatting with Pavel tonight I know it’s going to e a long day for him but he’s got it covered.
Some of you may already know but Gemma had another amazing day finishing over an hour ahead of the next female. The female overall leader had a rough day so this now has Gemma with a +/- 40 minute lead. As long as she can maintain her pace tomorrow she has a great chance of winning her first ever race. She won’t exactly be regarded a “race virgin” anymore.
This moniker is not the best identifier. I haven’t detailed much about Marissa’s week yet but if you know her, well, none of this will surprise you.
When I sent the Stage 2 update Marissa had been, err, missing for a couple of hours and we were pretty worried. When everyone else got to the beach and turned left for the last 10km, Marissa turned right and ran 2 hours in the wrong direction.
She arrived into camp emotionally exhausted after realizing her mistake and falling at the feet of another racer walking along the beach.
Her feet are both now essentially blisters yet for the past two days she has covered 91.5km of distance and 4000m of elevation. She always arrows into camp ecstatic and full of energy.
I have tremendous respect for her spirit and attitude. While at times I wonder if she should push herself so hard I do realise that she is just completing what she set out to do. There’s 63km left over the next two days and I’m looking forward to Marissa getting stronger over that time.
My status is unchanged for tomorrow because I want there to be many more tomorrows and many more races. The Coles Notes version is that basically I feel like I got kicked in the nuts, but in the kidneys, and harder. For the longer version:
The past couple of nights I’ve really been able to focus on helping the team get through each day and make their individual plans. As disappointed as I am to not be out there with them I did set out with the goal if giving people a similar experience as to what I had in Nepal.
I’m hoping to run the final day of 23.7km but I really need to get my system feeling better.
I look forward to updating you in how everyone is doing tomorrow.