The clocks went forward last night meaning we had less rest after a long day yesterday. I woke up long before the new 4.30 feeling more awake than usual though. The pain had subsided further and the 41 miles today felt like it was going to be comfortable.
The earlier start mean we got to start in starlight which was amazing. With no clouds and light you can see all the stars. We had to wear our lights and hi vis jacket (my reverse Serpie top was fine for this) in the early stages as we were running on roads. It felt like a much different start to the other 14 so far.
We are now deep in the Navajo desert which is a native American area in Northern Arizona. There are some impressive rock formations and what look like volcanoes. Each one is isolated and looks great on it’s own, some are really cubic and from a distance you could think it was part of a city skyline. It’s not as hot as the Mojave desert but it’s more beautiful. It didn’t matter to me that the roads were straight as there was always a wonderful panorama to enjoy.
My mind was in a really good place again today and I let it wander off as usual. I was determined not to clock watch or calculate as I did yesterday and just appreciate every mile as they passed. Early on when I was near everyone I thought about the very different styles each support team has with their runner. I never see June who crews for Rainer as they are always too far ahead. I imagine she takes about a million photos of every stage though.
Patrick’s wife sticks quite close to him in the car, he manages to keep on running when she comes to him with refreshments and it’s obviously working as he’s having a great time here. Serge’s support guy makes me laugh. I walks like a butler and holds out a tray in an outstretched palm at a perfect 90 degrees. I really want him to wear a bow-tie one of the stages.
Alex’s team are like a Ferrari pit-stop. He walks along, has his bottles changed, pictures taken, beard trimmed and anything else all within about 10 seconds. They are very slick. Dan who supports Markus is very laid back and parks the car and sits down for a while and watches the world go by. He has become my preferred supplier of toilet roll in recent days. The Japanese crews will take lots of photos and when not tending to their runner they can be seen washing their hire cars.
Philippe’s guy is quite funny too. He gets out of the car, runs half a mile to meet Philippe, jogs along and past the car for about another half mile then back to the car to meet him in 2 miles. Now correct me if I am wrong but this guy seems to be covering the same distance as Philippe?
Half way seemed to come in a breeze, the road was undulating and I felt no shame in walking up the inclines. It got a little warm but the heat was not so dry and I could actually feel the sweat on my skin.
Today at around the marathon mark we passed the 621 mile point for the race so far. It did not mean a lot to me but the Europeans went crazy for it for some reason. My support were great again, seeing me every hour though I made the mistake twice of drinking my camelpack dry. I did not drink as much today as perhaps I should but on two occasions I ran out and at this point I walked. Actually I did not feel I needed any excuse to walk, I walked a lot today, treating the whole thing like a day out. Sometimes walking just felt nicer. There was no phone reception for the whole time today which cut off one of my usual distractions but there was enough around to keep me occupied.
The finish is in a school in a very small town with a cow guarding it. I worried about having to outsprint a cow (which I know I could not do even if I was not knackered) and then have to cross a cattle guard (there have been loads of these in the recent stages and they are hard work to stumble across).
Today just felt a little too easy. My time was still within my “plan” of doing around 45 miles in 10 hours so 41 in 8.55 was actually pushing it a bit, not that I felt like I was pushing it at all. Would it be too much to ask for 55 more days like this?
It has just started to rain outside. That’s the first rain I have seen for 2 weeks. Could make tomorrow interesting. Tomorrow is independence day and I have a US flag but just been told that this would be the worst place to wave it.
YOU TUBE VIDEOS
I have just discovered that there is a LANYFOOTRACE channel on You Tube with most of the stages so far. I’ve only looked at one so far and it has footage of me walking and later of me eating a burger. Pretty representative so far. I hope to get a better look at them when I have a better internet connection.
Weight before – 79.5 after 79.5
Food – 2 cliff bars, 5l Gatorade, 2 monsters, 2 cokes, After – 2 american waters, sprite, water, noodles, beef jerky, cheese sandwich, pasta, sardines, 2 more sprites, 2 iced teas
Kit – newtons, Kathmandu shorts, kooga pants, socks, nf hat, nf long top,