The Race is On
March 06, 2011
Wow. What an incredible last 24 hours. We arrived at camp 1 yesterday afternoon to one of the most dramatic landscapes ive ever seen. Mountains...ranging in color from green to brown to rust to gray surrounding us in every direction and this little tiny camp packed tightly on a bluff right in the middle. Breathtaking. Hope the pics do it justice. As i had been idle for a few days decided to loosen up and grab a couple miles with Youssef, whose rapidly becoming one of the funniest people and the biggest eater ive ever met. After a big dinner i tried to get to bed early but i was sucking wind all night from the altitude and freezing cold so I might have slept an hour...two hours tops. Obviously as we awoke today i was full of anxiety and doubt. Running at 11,000 feet when youre not fully acclimatized is extremely difficult. First 45 minutes i couldnt catch my breath. My legs were dead. We faced a number of difficult climbs prior to checkpoint 1 and i seriously doubted my place here. I pushed on. Then we descended a couple thousand feet over the next 5 or 6 miles and that extra oxygen combined with the right dose of ZZ Top and a push from Big P brought the strength back. Settled into a strong pace and started catching a number of competitors. Then as we got to mile 17 we faced a winding five mile climb to the finish. Seemed like it would never end. At this point I was in sixth place and this was probably a good time to conserve energy for the rest of the week. But thinking back at how Lance won so many tours by pulling away on the hill finishes I kept the accelerator down, trying to put some distance on the peloton and catch the competitors ahead of me. I ran about 80% of the incline passing three more guys who were struggling. I may regret this move tomorrow or the next day as im feeling more gassed than i should right now but it got me into the top three and only 12 minutes behind Anders, whose an absolute jet and current Sahara Race chamption. Think hes hurting more than hes letting on right now but we shall see. Hes a phenomenal runner.
Im pumped for tomorrows stage as were down at 8500 feet now and that makes a huge difference. But tomorrows stage is 4 miles longer and the legs surely will be a little tight. Either way...were in the thick of this thing right now and you never know whats going to happen. Thats what makes these events so risky and so fulfilling. Hopefully can fire another round under par tomorrow and put myself in position to go low on the long stage. Thank you all so much for the support and comments. I cant tell you how much it helps.
Poison-Motley Crew North Jersey this summmer. Done and done.
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