Day 6 - Amboy to Fenner - 39.7 miles - Straightforward

As we started today Alex said to me “James you are from London and so you should run like a penguin but instead you run like a Kenyan”. I am confident that this is the first and last time my running will be compared to a Kenyan, I am also confident that it’s not the last time it will be compared to a Penguin.

Alex’s point and one made by many others in the organisation and race was that no one quite understood why the British guy from rainy London seemed to be resistant to the heat. This certainly is not true as I suffer the heat just like anyone else but my finish times recently have not reflected that.

Today was almost “back to work”, 40 miles is less than we should cover in an average day but the 40C+ temperatures would make up for that. Most people finished yesterday in good time to have a good rest, a proper meal and banter around the motel before bedtime.

I slept terribly, maybe because yesterday was easy. I never felt like nodding off. I could easily sleep halfway through any day of running, every time I pass some shady area I think about getting the sleep mat out and curling up for a few hours. Once the battle is over however I seem to be wide awake, as I am now writing this at 9pm when I have to be up at 4am for a drive to tomorrows start.

I think everyone was a bit stronger today for the relative rest of yesterday. We all looked like we could move along fine for the first few miles again. I settled into my “new” group of being a little behind Patrick and a little ahead of Serge who always catches me near the end anyway. Rainer was back on form and disappeared into the distance.

Today was another straight road bore, about 15 miles along, a curve, another 20 miles then a turning. Finish at a gas station. Shoe Grave

There was some early excitement though. A long climb which I walked and then a vulture (or do they call them buzzards here?) started circling above me. I don’t think I was the most likely to drop dead but I suspect I am the meatiest.

This was the first day in the desert where I felt like we got some “easy miles” in at the start. The sun didn’t seem to want to bother today and I was halfway before I got into the run-overheat-walk-spray-run routine. I said it’s not to warm to Alex’s crew and they shouted at me for saying it out loud. It still did get up to 40 but higher up there was a gentle breeze which helped.

Laurie was amazing again, stopping every 2 miles to make sure I had water and was cool. She commented that I never run off without say “thank you”. She spoke on the phone to Lesley today who will be taking over crewing for the next two days with Dave.

It did eventually get hot though not until I had broken the back of the stage. Patrick and Italo were way in front and I had no intention of keeping up with them. There wa was a lot more traffic on the road which meant I could not just jog in the middle like I had been doing yesterday.

All in all today has been quite unremarkable in terms of running. Does not make for great blogging (sorry) but I am quite happy with a day of steady paced running (I got to half way just over 4 hours and finished in 8.33 with some walking at the end). I am starting to feel adjusted to this now. I can’t imagine getting more than 5 hours sleep in the next 2 months on any night. I think I am locked in now.

Today however did end with a really sad farewell to Laurie. The organisers, other runners and crew have loved having her around as she is awesome company. She helps translate my English-English to American-English so that all those who speak German-English, French-English and Italian-English can understand.

I met Laurie last year when she agreed to crew me for Badwater. She took all of the worry away from me and lets me just concentrate on the running. I don’t even know how she does what she does but for 6 days and about 250 miles she must have made over 100 stops to give me exactly what I needed even when I didn’t know what I wanted. I am going to miss her dearly for the rest of the desert and the rest of this race. Thanks Laurie. You are AWESOME J


Boring Stuff

Weight Before 82.5kg after 81.5kg.

Food – During – coffee and chicken sandwich, 6l Gatorade, 2 cans monster, 6l water, 4 hammer gels, cliff bar, ham and cheese sandwich, AFTER – Chinese beef, 3 beers, coke, 2 cans iced tea, large bag of Cheetos

Kit – Newtons, NF Long top, Kathmandu Shorts, koga undershorts, shades, nf hat, camelpack

Injuries – left achillies ached a bit near the end but otherwise none.

Orange update – 3rd email sent, no calls back. Phone still not unlocked. Twats.