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Delirious but still standing…

November 20, 2011

​This is going to be a short entry as I feel very poor and dizzy right now.  We arrived at camp one yesterday evening to a magnificent setting in the Annapurna region.  Massive snow covered 25,000 footers surrounding the lush valley our tents were assembled in.  The site was jammed with electricity....locals playing music, children dancing and competitors clearly ready to get started.  Our team unfortunately had started breaking down in the prior 24 hours.  Both Rich and Mike Perna were under the weather and their status uncertain.  Myself and Travis wasted no time getting into the fray enjoying the local culture and playing with the kids.  Then within a few hours we fell very ill as well.  Still uncertain as to why but a bug seems to be running rampant throughout camp.  I spent the night vomitting with serious stomach issues...once so bad that I woke probably half the camp as I dove out of the tent narrowly missing Ash's face as I struggled to frantically unzip the tent to take care of business.  Damm obnoxious Americans!!!  Travis had the same problem in the morning.  Neither one of us had any energy or calories in the system as we approached the starting gun....Rich and Mike still felt very poor.  We all pushed on.

As the day started the five of us ran together the first three or four miles and felt good.  Then Perna started feeling very ill and weak so I hung back with him for a while as Horvath and Bessett pushed off strong with Travis a little behind them.  After about 15 minutes Perna urged me to push ahead and catch the other guys as he promised he would fight it out and walk to the finish despite feeling awful.  Side note...he did and finished together with Rich!!!  I ran ahead and caught Travis and then caught up with Mike and Jesse.  This is where things got bad.  My stomach condition worsened as I really had trouble processing any food or water so I went down for awhile.  Then Jesse reaggravated his IT band issue forcing him to walk the rest of the way.  Horvath...not to be outdone...hurt his knee on one of the steep descents.  We continued battling to the finish but it was a very long day.  This course was 90% unrunnable with long stretches of steep climbs and even steeper descents on very narrow loose rock.  Stuff weve rarely ever trained on.  It really took a toll on us physically and emotionally.  Travis is probably looking the strongest right now physcially as he recovered from some of his problems and finished very strong despite a long stop at CheckPoint 2.  As Horvath put it earlier...this is the hardest thing he has attempted in his life and were only through the first day. I still feel very weak but did close strong today pushing the guys down the homestretch.  We finished slower than expected but the six of us are still alive.  And thats the most important thing.

Our goal is to hopefully keep some calories down tonight...get some rest and come back stronger than ever tomorrow.  Its going to be much more of the same with even more distance.  This is a punishing course but the magnificient views and the interaction with local children and so many types of animals makes it such a unique experience.  The children lined the course today as we passed from town to town wishing us Namaste and even running by our sides in some cases.  So far we've run with or past monkeys, cows, donkeys, horses, hawks, cows, goats, sheep and farrets to name a few.   

Thats all I got at this point...need some rest badly.  Very dehydrated.  Brain not functioning properly.  Stomach still very upset.  Thx again everyone for all the comments.  Cant tell you how excited we all are to read them after these brutal days.

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