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Spectacular Day…The Monster Awaits

March 09, 2011

​Today was another memorable day.  Despite being sore, cut, sunburnt, covered in salt and blood and not having brushed my teeth, showered or changed my clothes/socks in 4+ days I feel great and am ready for the big one.  Right now I’m eating everything I can get my hands on to gear up for tomorrow.  And it doesn’t matter what it is – Cliff Bars, Almonds, Chicken Tikka, Chile Con Carne, Sweet and Sour Pork, Spaghetti Bolognese, Beef and Noodles it all tastes exactly the same – like crap.  But attempting to force it down is part of the fun. 

Race is getting really exciting.  Anders and Martin have been dueling it out hard every day and tomorrow brews a legendary showdown for the top spot.   Darren, the experienced Canadian ultrarunner continues to get stronger and is poised to make a big move.  Another runner, who I’ll fail to address by name, has come out of nowhere the last two days and looks like a thoroughbred on crack.  He passed me the last two days around mile 10 as if I was standing still just laughing and hopping through the brutal terrain at an absurd pace.  Odd.  For me…while Ive fallen about an hour off the lead I feel like today might have been my best effort yet.  Felt strong all day, didn’t overdue it, and had such a great time running with the local Chilean Matias.  We ended up joining forces about halfway and ran the last 3+ hours together through the punishing salt flats pushing and supporting one another.  While my Spanish is broken and his English is choppy today we spoke the same language.  We learned about each other’s families, hometowns, our love for cervezas and how much pain we can endure.  It was awesome crossing the finish line together tied for 6th and right behind the top 5 knowing we both would have done worse individually.  Also - want to give it up for Nahila, Angelique and Sophie for kicking ass in the women’s category and making it look easy while doing so.   Not to mention this Japanese film crew is everywhere.  These guys are hysterical and will be producing a 90 minute special on the race on Japan’s #1 TV network.   Reimer like you always said – HUGE IN JAPAN!!!

So tomorrow’s the big one.   Seven minutes away from medaling in one of the toughest races on the planet.  We’ve been here before.  Surreal when you think that we’ve already covered 100+ miles in brutal conditions and tomorrow we tackle a 46 mile stage with the first 10 miles over the treacherous salt flats.  The goal is the same as always.   Positioning for the first 25…scarf down my go to meal (porridge with sultanas) at the halfway point and let the adrenaline take over on the homestretch when the weather cools and we start counting down the miles.  Hoping to experience that same indescribable moment I had in Egypt when the pain disappeared and it felt like I was running on air the last 20.  I don’t know if I have enough to overtake third but it won’t be for lack of effort.

Thanks again everyone for the comments.  I’ll keep em tight tomorrow.  BP ^

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