It has been an interesting two days to say the least. First off I need to give a special shout out to Jeff and Cathy who noticed a fellow American in the airport and went out of their way to make sure I got to my hotel safely and soundly. Your generosity did not go unnoticed!
So far, a number of people have had to drop out due to the severe heat, which has been over 100 each day. To be honest, I felt terrible after the race yesterday but luckily we are still only in the beginning stages of the week. I took a much better strategy into the race today and even though I dropped to 3rd, I feel 100x better. I finished 9 minutes behind the leader today which leaves me 20 minute behind for the week. I dont see me catching him on a short day and the only thing I can hope for at this point is him and the other top guys faltering and somehow putting in a herculean effort on the last day, which is a lot to ask for. But in reality, its not about winning.. its about soaking in the experience and everything it has to offer. In my tent are two ultramarathon veterans, one of who is doing all four desert races this year. There are also two Irish chaps who recently biked South Africa from Capetown all the way to the northern tip of the continent and another lad who walked the entire length England. And dont forget about Malcolm who knows more about ultras than anyone I know and Trish and Jane who always have a smile on their face. I mean, these are some serious adventurers. I am just happy to be in their presence. And the coolest thing is that we all have a great time together… so much so that I look forward to finishing each day just to hang out in the tent and bullshit together.
Last night our tent was consumed with flies and really hot so about 6 of us chose to take our sleeping bags outside and slept under the stars… a very wise decision on our part as everyone got a great night sleep. The one thing that has really surprised me about the desert is how windy it is. Its coming at you constantly which is great while you are on the course but difficult when you cant find a place to hide from the sand in camp. I have sand caked onto my face so thick that I can scoop it off with a spoon… very attractive, I know.
Anyway, getting tired and going to lay down but thanks to all for the great support and the comments! It has really kept me in good spirits. And EJ, thanks for telling me the Giants won… just made my night!
I will send another post tomorrow… thanks again!