“Another one like yesterday please” was the request from most of the runners. The mileage was not much different, 41 instead of 38. However when you look up you could see stars and the moon which meant little cloud. Still it was a much cooler start and yesterday was good for resting and sleeping.
The race briefing Laure said that tomorrow we will still be in Oklahoma (I got it wrong yesterday) but that we will be entering Missouri after 10 miles of tomorrow. She actually pronounces the state “Misery”, the same way I pronounce “New Mexico”.
On starting in the dark I had a look up at the moon. I have now seen all the shapes the moon has to offer during this race and will see them all again. I love running under a clear sky and a full moon normally when back at home, switch off the head torch and let the moonlight guide you. Now I just thought that if I can see the moon then soon I’ll be able to see the Sun.
It’s hard in the dark to tell whether you are going uphill or down. It’s hard anyway on these roads but the first few miles are a gauge of how knackered you feel and if you are going uphill without knowing then you feel like you are more screwed than maybe you are. But I should know better now than to believe what my legs are telling me in the first few miles, they are bastard liars.
8 miles we ran through a large town that had a McDonalds, Breakfast it is then. I stopped and bought a egg and bacon “griddle” which looked nice but is on a sweet bread which I am not really a fan of. I should stick to the muffins next time.
Shortly after on running up a busy road two guys in a car leaned out to yell “RUN FAT BOY RUN” at me. I thought it was a little harsh from two guys who were clearly not shy of the doughnuts themselves. Perhaps I should go back on the diarrhoea diet, I managed to lose a few pounds then.
And then, as if that could not be topped, I got to the top of a hill and saw a chicken crossing a road. Why did it do that? I have no idea. I wanted to run ahead and tell Alex about it but I am not sure whether he would understand.
The support today were great again and I was behind Jenni and Italu so they had to come back to feed me. Gemma has them well versed with what I need, sandwiches (and apparently apple sauce after a sandwich). I insisted that I had just had a McDonalds and was therefore perfectly healthy.
At 23 miles we passed through another little town where some food and drink was put on for us by the owners of a museum. I stopped for a little while and bought an ice cream from a nearby gas station (fudge lolly for $1.40). I think I get silly when I have ice cream cos I then nearly missed a turning.
I started running over a creek then onwards along the road thinking that the next turn was 4 miles, when I looked at the instructions I realised that it was actually one mile. Shit. Have I gone a mile since that creek? I had no idea, I have no watch or anything. I looked around and could see no support cars or runners around so re-traced my steps. I walked almost back to the creek and could not find this road, I then walked back the other way and found the road, about 100m forward of where I was. Doh.
I was then on some old gravel track that is really part of R66 but has been preserved in it’s original state. It is quite nice to have the variety but sometimes stones can just be annoying, especially when you are only lifting your legs millimetres. It was very hot again, by 10am I saw a sign saying 95F, it got to more than 100F (around 40C) during the day. I had ice from the team but not as much as from Gemma. I felt good and could run as long as ice was touching my head but when it dried I felt too hot again and had to slow down or walk.
After this section we were on a highway, I was catching up to Jenni and when I caught up with her she said she was dropping out as her legs and arms had swollen. Her legs really did look swollen as did her left hand. I think she really needs a couple of days rest and to get her electrolytes sorted.
Serge looked strong behind me today, he has had a terrible few days with an internal blister or blood clot or something in his foot that makes every step excruciating. He has spent a few days near the back and looks like he is getting over it. His support butler made me laugh this morning, came over to me just after a turn and said “have you seen Serge?” I think he lost him somehow.
With only 3 miles to go I was thinking of the finish and easing down when a familiar car parked in front of me. It was Russ and Claire, I just can’t shake these guys off : ) Russ handed me a milkshake and promised a Subway at the end (and called Gemma to ask how I liked it). Those two really are awesome people. I think Russ is hooked on this race, he should have done it.
I ran through the town of Miami to the motel that we are staying in, I used the crossings and lack of side walk as an excuse to walk most of the last 2 miles.
So 41 miles done in 10.15, that’s 4mph which sounds like walking but it isn’t really. I was quite pleased that today felt easy. I said to Russ that I like to day the short days even easier as there is no rush to finish. On a 14 hour day every minute you save can be used in recovery, today that’s not so important.
Gemma told me that my little brother had gone to talk about me in my old school and now there is a link about this on their website. This was really nice to see and brought back memories. Especially of the “sponsored walk” we’d do every year at that place where we would walk 15 laps of the school (prob about 8 miles). I hated it and usually cheated and cut corners. What's the point of doing all that on foot?