Gobi March Blogs 2023

Janet Steer



Gobi March (2023) blog posts from Janet Steer

25 June 2023 08:00 pm (GMT+08:00) Irkutsk, Ulaan Bataar

I can’t believe I’m saying this… but I think I’ve got this in the bag! Was really proud of my 42km today in under 7 hours. 4 or 5 river crossings. Wet feet. The pain was real. But after about 30km I realised that whether I walked or ran, it made no difference. The pain was the same. So I ran.
We ran in torrential rain the first 10km and I got soaked. I couldn’t bring myself to put on my poncho - my hands were too cold - so I called on my maiden Clifton 4th inspiration and pretended I was swimming. And I when I got to the first checkpoint I had to put dry clothes on - I didn’t have a hot shower to run too. I may not be a long distance, same surface, fast runner; but my yoga and cold water swimming has definitely helped me. Who would have thought.
My pack weighed over a quarter of my body weight at the start. And I still seemed to have one of the heaviest packs at the end - too much food. And tonight I was willing to share it - I couldn’t stomach it all. There is such a range in what people bring to eat. Some mainly liquid nutrition. Although I have been plant powered the whole way, I did bring 2 cans of tuna fillets in organic olive oil. A high quality imported brand - but boy was it delicious and satisfying. Worth the weight. I called on my macrobiotic teachings - one of the principles is that everything can have its place. Tuna is energetic and strong. It gave me the fighting energy I needed. Thank you Tuna.
And now tomorrow we do the final 9km to the finish line. I’ve prepped my feet and covered all the blisters. I’m an expert now. And I’m ready to finish. And have a hot shower.
(It will be delayed as it is a 6 hour bus drive from the finish to Ulaanbaatar. Going to be one stinky ride!)
Again - thank you for all the blog comments. Each and everyone of you. They are amazing to read and I’m very appreciative and touched. Also thank you for the emails - although the blog comments are the main things I’m getting. They get downloaded and put on a spreadsheet for us.

Comments: Total (0) comments

22 June 2023 09:00 pm (GMT+08:00) Irkutsk, Ulaan Bataar

So my first 80km under the belt. What a scorcher. Absolutely gruelling. But what an experience. I just kept going for 16 and half hours. I cannot describe the incredible beauty… marching through the night - alone - but feeling so safe. Horses’ eyes everywhere - catching my head lamp. Moon. Stars. I couldn’t believe I was where I was. BUT - it was torcher at times. The only way to get through was to keep going. Small determined steps. My feet are a mess. I’ve been in the medical tent today several times getting advice on how to dress the blisters… as tomorrow is another marathon. There is no ice here. We barely have water. A wash is a wet wipe rub.
BUt I’m lying as today is a rest day - as some people only came through from the long march this morning - and there is a river. I’m laughing as many people wont go near it for fear of infection - but I’m in there. Blisters and all. So incredibly invigorating.
This afternoon we had to evacuate the camp as there was a lightning storm and several ground strikes. We had to leave our tent and board the buses - which have stayed here for the week - specifically for this purpose. But the storm brought some coolness - albeit temporarily.
So tomorrow is the last LONG stretch - 42.2km. And only 10km on Day 7. Hoping I’lll be able to waddle my way to the end tomorrow. My body is sore.
Thank you to each and everyone of you who have sent me message and commented on my blog. It is so appreciated and definitely had helped me x.

Comments: Total (8) comments

Karen Williamson

Posted On: 23 Jun 2023 05:03 pm

Shew Jan! One more little trot to go. You are just too phenomenal for mere words. Best wishes and lots of love for the final push❤️❤️❤️

Se7en Se7en

Posted On: 23 Jun 2023 10:47 am

You are an absolute champ. Keep on keep on!!!

Billi Bruins

Posted On: 23 Jun 2023 10:30 am

Janet! You are so inspiring!! Only 10km to go, wooohooo :) I am smiling with you :)

Susan Bradley

Posted On: 23 Jun 2023 07:16 am

I think you’ve smashed it Jan!! Well done for todays 42 km unbelievable!! !! My hero!! 🥰

Tammy Gardner

Posted On: 23 Jun 2023 05:50 am

Janny, I'm riddled with goosebumps reading today's blog post. What a thing to walk through the Gobi at night. Mesmerising and inspiring. Go.GO.GO! One step, next step, smile from your liver! (That was a quote from a Balinese yoga teacher many moons ago). Love you

Deneal Ball

Posted On: 22 Jun 2023 07:11 pm

Dearest Janet.. Love reading your Blogs.. What an unbelievable relief today must have been. Thinking of you every day.. You almost there, wow. Sending love x

Susan Bradley

Posted On: 22 Jun 2023 06:57 pm

Hi Jan! Very well done AGAIN!! 80 km over such varied terrain! I am in awe that you have covered so much distance and are still in one piece ( besides the blisters) I hope they will be ok for your next marathon! What an amazing experience you are having , with wild horses, sheep, lightening etc all will be unforgettable!! Soo pleased you could have a “ wash” in the river!! You are almost at the end of your “ March” hang in there and clinch it!soo proud of you! Love you! ❤️

Susan Davis

Posted On: 22 Jun 2023 03:01 pm

Janet, wonderful to read of your experiences, I loved that you swam in the river swim, I would plunge in too..haha.. Im sure your pain grounds you to the moment, may the new day bring some relief. big hugs, keep smiling! xx

20 June 2023 08:30 pm (GMT+08:00) Irkutsk, Ulaan Bataar

I felt tremendous relief and gratitude on the course today. Yesterday, I thought how am I ever going to do another day with such a sore knee and swollen achilles. But the body is constantly changing and someone said last night “tomorrow you will feel different”. And I did. 

Today’s 40km stage was gruelling. It was hot and we had a lot of sand dunes to cover. We also started with an immediate climb. Strangely enough, relatively speaking, this terrain suited me better. I have realised that I am not great on long monotonous stretches. I can be slow and my body tends to rebel against the constant jarring. Variety suits me better and I don’t mind a climb. I also felt that running down the sand dunes is easier than running down any road!
I have lots of blisters and so many insect bites. I cannot stop itching. The medical tent is amazing here - tending to all the wounds. We’re in a very sandy camp tonight. Not bad - but nothing compared to the ‘luxurious’ yurts which we stayed in last night. Still sleeping on the ground, but a welcome break from a tent that can be quite crowded. We have 5 in our tent. Sadly, someone had to leave today. Go well Corrine. We will miss you.
Tomorrow is the long march. 80km. I am nervous. I just want to finish. That is my goal.
We are half way. I am starting to get tired of the same food. And the dehydrated meals are getting monotonous.
Thank you to everyone who has sent messages to me. I am receiving them loud and clear. It is just difficulty to respond privately, as I cannot hit reply; can’t remember all the email addresses; and am only aloud to send 3 a day. But thank you!

Comments: Total (13) comments

Tammy Gardner

Posted On: 22 Jun 2023 07:19 am

You've got this Jan, you have so got this. One strong step at a time. You are loved and in our prayers. Go.Go.Go.

Fusi Rosochacki

Posted On: 21 Jun 2023 08:18 pm

Jeepers Janet, you must be knackered!! Your every fibre needing every drop of rest. Well done 👏👏👏 Hope you can hear resounding wet flipper clapping from down south…. thats us 🥰❣️🦈

Lindy Esterhuyse

Posted On: 21 Jun 2023 08:07 pm

You’re doing so well! So good to read there is a medical tent , hope they can sort out your blisters and throw in a little massage too! As soon as you’re back we’re having a dinner, so think of all the lovely food we’re going to eat! We’ve been swimming in the tidal pool, now known as the Tribal pool, all week due to rough seas, and like the 3 wise men said today, ‘ons raak nou gatvol vir hierdie dam’. So we will hopefully return to the ocean tomorrow and will definitely be missing you! Hope your knee and Achilles recovers well. Like Patrick says, ‘Ice ice ice!’ Knock ‘em dead Janet!!! Lots of love Lindy

Deneal Ball

Posted On: 21 Jun 2023 07:41 pm

You finished today👏👏. You got through it no matter how long it took.. One of the toughest challenges I am sure you have e er faced but you are strong, mentally and physically. You so close now. Sending you the biggest hug. So so proud of you my friend.. All the best for tomorrow ❤️

Ruth Scholtz

Posted On: 21 Jun 2023 11:51 am

Raoul and I are in awe of you Janet ! Huge congrats on persevering so far ! If anyone can do it , it’s you , with your determination and positive attitude xx

Fusi Rosochacki

Posted On: 21 Jun 2023 08:58 am

Hi Janet, you are a potent combo of will and perseverance. Superwoman living up to your full potent-ial. Beaming you fir the 80km stunt. Thanks for writing to us all, bringing us in on your experience, can just imagine the abandon of running down sand dunes!

Elke Slinger

Posted On: 20 Jun 2023 08:48 pm

Go Go Go Janet!!! You are an inspiration!! Cheering you on all the way from Namibia! Be safe and enjoy the long march. Dala what you must and have a lekkerrrrr run! Blessings Elke Slinger Namibia🇳🇦❤️

Antonia Zechner

Posted On: 20 Jun 2023 06:37 pm

Just think of the ocean and your crazy mullets and hopefully it brings a smile and gets you through the next stage 😊

Anthea Bruwer

Posted On: 20 Jun 2023 06:02 pm

Wow wow wow ... can you believe it ... you are halfway there ... what an achievement... tomorrow will be just another day ... another day to conquer ... I am so so proud of you ... you make my heart sing. Sending you stamina lightness and heaps of love to carry through tomorrow xxx go janet ... you do know you are amazing right. Just wanted to remind you. You are amazing 🤩

Susan Bradley

Posted On: 20 Jun 2023 05:42 pm

Jan , you are amazing! I’m soo proud of you! I think of you all day every day!! You’ve completed day 3 ! What an achievement !! The scenery looks spectacular!! That’s soo true that the body keeps changing! I’m excited for tomorrow!! 80 !! Phew .. yes .. slow and steady and most of all have fun and enjoy! What a privilege to be part of this!! Your tiny little body is serving you well! Good luck Jan!! Go grab this one!! Love you!! 💕

Billi Bruins

Posted On: 20 Jun 2023 03:31 pm

Wooohooo! What an adventure! Thanks for your blogs Jan, loving the updates! Will be thinking of you tomorrow on your epic trek. Can't wait to hear about it x

Brigitte de Billot

Posted On: 20 Jun 2023 03:13 pm

Inspirational! Rooting for you, as Anthea commented; Slow n Steady! Supa Proud, you looking amazing in the pics ! Sending loads of strength, courage and stamina 💪🏼 No need to respond to each comment, just feel the energy and love! ❤️

Anthea Jackson

Posted On: 20 Jun 2023 03:11 pm

So proud of you Janet! We’re with you all the way. Remember to stay in the bubble 🩵👏🙌

18 June 2023 10:00 pm (GMT+08:00) Irkutsk, Ulaan Bataar

 I’m finally not racing the clock. Super excited to be sitting at Camp 1 after a fair 36km stage. I don’t know whether I can maintain my pace, but at least I have achieved many goals already:

- getting to Ulaanbaatar
- getting through registration (and mandatory item check) despite being the only one who had 3 bags hanging on the weigh-in scale (because I couldn’t manage to  get everything in my pack)
- getting on the bus with everything I needed (super-unpacked)
-and getting to the start line with a packed and closed pack!
My first challenge was Night 1 in Tent 16. Wind and rain resulted in the crew covering the tent with further plastic during the night. When I opened my eyes, I realised I coudn’t see a thing. Pitch black. I couldn’t tell the floor from the ceiling. I need orientation. I need a drop of light to give me perspective. I really had to calm myself; breathe deep and get through it. Super proud of myself.
Today was everything I’d hoped for. Magnificent country side. Space. Safety. Solitude. Feeling alone but not alone. Company when I needed it. Finished sooner than I expected and I don’t think I’ll sustain the pace. I’m a little tender but I’ve cleaned up with wet wipes and I feel sparkly.
Tomorrow is another day and I’ll take whatever it presents…


Comments: Total (16) comments

Arian Gardner

Posted On: 22 Jun 2023 10:10 am

Wow Jan! An inspiration 💫

Chris Roper

Posted On: 22 Jun 2023 08:01 am

Incredible stuff! Good luck out there, Janet.

Tammy Gardner

Posted On: 22 Jun 2023 06:44 am

Oh Janny! Beautiful, beautiful,beautiful. In all things.

Lindy Esterhuyse

Posted On: 20 Jun 2023 04:07 pm

So cool, Janet! The landscape looks stunning. Rooting for you all the way!!! Hope you have some nice treats in that backpack! Enjoy every moment! Lots of love, LINDY

Fusi Rosochacki

Posted On: 20 Jun 2023 03:19 pm

Dearest precious Janet, its hard to believe you are really really doing this!! Amongst so many hulks with legs like tree trunks. I bet today was gruelling. Hope you can cope, but you are our Belle Gazelle, gracious and schnell (german for fast). Sending you mountains of endurance and enough extra spark to enjoy it, this unique experience. It will become way more unique when you get home and humdrum resumes Shine, you sassy badass@ @ sending lots of love

Debbie Loots

Posted On: 20 Jun 2023 03:18 pm

You are so inspiring Janet. Dealing with all the difficulties so calmly, one by one. Not giving up. You are so strong and beyond brave. Jy is ‘n ystervrou. 💪🏻

Barbara Southworth

Posted On: 20 Jun 2023 03:06 pm

So super impressed!! We’re all rooting for you Janet!!! ❤️

Deneal Ball

Posted On: 20 Jun 2023 02:59 pm

You Unbelievable!!! You doing this.. You half way there.. We with you all the way🙏❤️🇿🇦

Sue Davis

Posted On: 20 Jun 2023 12:49 pm

Woohoo! I found you! What an incredible experience so far, enjoy and what a blessing to be able to move and flow across these soils of Pachamama! Lots of love 💚

Billi Bruins

Posted On: 20 Jun 2023 10:33 am

You are just amazing Jan!! ♡

Se7en Se7en

Posted On: 20 Jun 2023 07:48 am

Go go go… so proud of every single step you take!!!

Karen Botten

Posted On: 20 Jun 2023 04:35 am

Go Jan! We are following you all the way. Enjoy every moment 🌻

Nora Scott

Posted On: 19 Jun 2023 04:42 pm

So happy to read all about your achievements. So proud of you. Enjoy every minute . You deserve to do so well. Love you mom

Anthea Bruwer

Posted On: 19 Jun 2023 08:49 am

So proud of you Janet... you have got this ... slow and steady ... routing for you all the way ... feeling like a protective "mom". Beaming for you ... love always xxx

Susan Bradley

Posted On: 19 Jun 2023 08:32 am

Jan, I’m soo proud of you! You have achieved soo much just signing up, training, getting there , sorting out your back pack etc everything in order ! I know this is paradise for you… alone, but not alone, solitude, but company when you need it! This just sums you up! What an amazing stage 1 ! Hope today goes amazingly !! Sterkte!! X Sue

Karin Dreyer

Posted On: 19 Jun 2023 06:28 am

Super proud of you Janet You are a winner. Xxxxx