Stage 1 . . .

In Uncategorized on June 20, 2012 at 1:39 am

In these races there are a variety of different types of competitors and you should be sure not to confuse them.  First, there are the folks trying to win.  They aren’t human.  Then, there are the folks trying to do really well.  They might be human, but probably aren’t.  Then, there are the folks trying to run the entire race.  They are definitely human, however they are also the naturally gifted athletes you knew in High School who played every varsity sport for four years without getting sweaty.  Then there are the folks who will run part of the race and walk part of the race.  These folks trained really hard to get this far and deserve a ton of credit for their accomplishment.  After all these folks is this guy. 

Please don’t confuse him with anyone in the previously mentioned categories.

The first stage was supposed to have been about 41 km ( metric for almost a marathon ), but was shortened to 32 km because a river we were supposed to cross became swimmable.

Each day was different, but also the same.  The course was marked with these pink flags that were set about 50-100 meters ( that’s metric for something ) apart.   They were reasonably easy to follow IF you paid attention.  Anyone who knows me, should realize I had varying levels of success with this throughout the week.

The terrain was different throughout each day.  Some of the course was dirt road, some gravel road, lot’s of dried river beds full of various sized rocks, some paved road, some hills, some bridges, some water crossings, some camels, some goats, and some random open vastness.

In a general sense, the area resembled the United States desert southwest in Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada.  It was much different, but similar enough to give you an idea of what things were like.

Checkpoints were usually 10km (metric for 6 miles ) apart.  At each check point you could get up to three half-liter ( metric for kinda small, but not ) bottles of water.  There were doctors at each checkpoint, as well as other volunteers to assist you in getting in and out.  The volunteers were awesome and deserve a ton of credit for everything they did.

This first stage wasn’t easy, but wasn’t impossible.  It was a good start and I walked the entire course in a reasonable amount of time.

At the end of Stage 1, we had a ‘Home Stay’.  So, instead of sleeping in tents, 160 people crashed on the floor of some villager’s house like a giant slumber party of homeless smelly hippies wandering aimlessly through the desert searching for a Twinkie.

Nothing says fun like a cow watching you pee.

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