Gobi March Blogs 2019

View All Posts 2019 From : Alice Gomersall

So it’s done!

02 August 2019 10:00 pm (GMT+08:00) Irkutsk, Ulaan Bataar

Stage 5 today was HOT! There were 5 river crossings so no way to avoid wet feet which isn’t ideal blister care – but it doesn’t matter now. Only 10km tomorrow which should feel great. Today was the most beautiful scenery of all the stages. We started on the flat so was a nice easy run, then we reached the valley through and up the hills. Gorgeous wild flowers everywhere. We passed lots of children who were playing in the river, and some who ran with me briefly and gave high fives. All the local Mongolians we have met have been so friendly and smiley – we have felt very welcomed.

 

Finished with a good time today – has been great being able to run without worrying about keeping some left in the tank for the following days. Was emotional crossing the finish line and thinking about this adventure drawing to a close. I’m so happy and grateful to be here feeling strong and healthy and pushing limits to see what I can achieve – it’s so much more than I ever realised I could do. So proud of everyone for finishing strong today – some with injuries and pain, but was amazing to see everyone’s determination and share in their achievements.

 

I’ve only got the dregs left for food tonight – more macadamia nuts anyone? Nevertheless, will be a great atmosphere in camp tonight and looking forward to the celebrations tomorrow. Thanks all, for taking the time to read my updates and follow my progress J I felt all the support during the runs and it spurred me on at tough times.

Comments: Total (12) comments

Sandy Moffat

Posted On: 04 Aug 2019 11:56 pm

CONGRATULATIONS Alice, what a massive achievement and an amazing experience. You will never forgot the memories. By now you will have had your feast and be on your way back to Australia. Can't believe you will be back at work tomorrow!!! Can't wait to see you and hear some of your stories of this amazing adventure. Love Sandy

Jen Dickhead!

Posted On: 04 Aug 2019 04:05 pm

Bugger, that should have been 'bestride' of course! We love you!!

Jen and Mo

Posted On: 04 Aug 2019 04:00 pm

Why Alice, thou doth stride this narrow world like a colossus!

Tom and Sheridan Roche

Posted On: 04 Aug 2019 10:08 am

Alice, congratulations! We are so proud of you! It’s incredible to think of all the work you have put in and all the effort coming to this - an incredible finish (32nd overall and 6th out of the females)! Everything you have done makes us all proud of you but you should be most proud of yourself! Awesome!

Tom and Sheridan Roche

Posted On: 04 Aug 2019 10:08 am

Alice, congratulations! We are so proud of you! It’s incredible to think of all the work you have put in and all the effort coming to this - an incredible finish (32nd overall and 6th out of the females)! Everything you have done makes us all proud of you but you should be most proud of yourself! Awesome!

Queen Elizabeth II

Posted On: 03 Aug 2019 02:42 pm

How splendid. One is most entertained. What an achievement. Enjoy your Burger King. ER

Jim and Ben Pomeroy and Welch

Posted On: 03 Aug 2019 01:54 pm

Alice, it's impossible to know what to say that can do justice to this incredible achievement. So proud of you for just going out there and doing your thing. Obviously the running it is bloody hard but just deciding to do something like this and then getting on with training for it, going to a desert in (no offence to Mongolia, a fine country I'm sure) the middle of nowhere and finally, actually doing it!!! And also after all those worries about your speed, you have found your distance. 6th is something special. I'm envious of how delicious everything you eat and drink is going to taste tonight. Love xxx

Chris Gomersall

Posted On: 03 Aug 2019 09:30 am

Huge congratulations Alice, that's a massive effort and achievement. And sixth placed woman in your very first ultra!!!! We're all so incredibly proud, and awestruck, and pleased to hear about the wonderful cameraderie and support. Enjoy that warm shower, cold beer and blow-out feast - which none of you will ever never take for granted, ever again. Very much looking forward to your call. xxxxx

Sophie Norden

Posted On: 03 Aug 2019 07:02 am

ALICEEEEEEEE! What a CHAMP!!! You are an absolute legend, smashing this out the park! I've been refreshing your bio for days then just found this blog (all the while Andy's been reading it at work...so much for communication haha)! The BIGGEST congrats from both of us! Sounds like the most amazing experience and what an exciting way to test yourself. There's strength in all of us we never knew ... and I know you've got tenfold! Enjoy tomorrow and can't wait to hear all about it after. So proud of your grit and determination! GO GAL!! Love Sopho xoxoxo (P.S. Hope you got my emails here, given it took me so long to crack the blog)!

Dane Wassell

Posted On: 03 Aug 2019 03:33 am

Suoer proud of you Alice. What an incredible achievement. Glad to see you get to take in some of the surroundings. I hope the burger king is everything you dreamed of.

Patricia Gomersall

Posted On: 02 Aug 2019 03:53 pm

Oh Alice you little corker! You've worked it out just right! What a star! All the training has been gold dust and you bloody smashed it. Just enjoy a jolly run tomorrow and feel proud. Love you Darl as always. xxxxx

Lindsay and Phil Derry Cottier

Posted On: 02 Aug 2019 03:50 pm

Hi Alice, what a stunning achievement and what an amazing journey you've been on. It's been great to share in it via your blog (from the comfort of the study!) you've given a real sense of your adventure; we're so proud of you, love Lindsay and Phil
Long stage is done!

01 August 2019 02:00 pm (GMT+08:00) Irkutsk, Ulaan Bataar

Long stage is done! It was a very hot day and the sun was relentless so it was a slow start – trying to pace myself for 77km. I walked with friends for the majority until check point 4. We talked and fantasized about real food – making plans for all the things we’ll eat when we get back to the city – starting with Burger King.

They gave us a can of coke at check point 3 which genuinely made me cry. The heat persisted until  check point 4 - Then I ate some food and had a huge second wind and felt amazing so I ran the final 30km. I plugged my music in and got into a great headspace and it just felt like all my training runs on my own. The landscape was beautiful and once the sun wasn’t so hot, you could appreciate it so much more! Lots of wild horses and I finally saw a snake! My feet were sore but 2 paracetamol and lots of adrenaline did the job! Realising I was going to finish and feeling so strong in the last third of the race, I just felt euphoric. I’ve really never felt so proud of myself. Was in before 10pm which is great, as meant I still got a good night’s sleep. Some real troopers were pushing through all night and came in at 6am.

 

We have a rest day today, and our camp is by a stream which is lovely as it’s another scorcher. Have been able to wash clothes in the stream which is so necessary at this point.

Trying to replace calories but the freeze dried food is just awful. Nobody here is enjoying it – everyone is leaving it or swapping it with someone else. I can’t believe someone brought 4 meals of freeze dried eggs – needless to say she’s not enjoying it! The pork scratchings were gold dust yesterday – but otherwise I wish I had more plain food like plain rice or salami.

 

No injuries, just the usual tight muscles. Thought my feet would be horrific today, but carefully peeled away the tape this morning, and it’s not bad at all.

Comments: Total (8) comments

Cyril Gomersall

Posted On: 03 Aug 2019 12:32 pm

Alice,wow,well done. You must have very mixed emotions now it's all over. You did so well in all stages of the run. Now you can relax and enjoy the last day with your new friends. We are so proud of you and are pleased to have been able to share the event with you. I look forward to being able to chat with you when you get back to Oz. Lots of love, Granddad.

Sandy Moffat

Posted On: 02 Aug 2019 04:30 am

Alice thats amazing. Well done. Loved reading your account of the long day. Thats a huge achievement, 75km in one day! Enjoy your rest day. Love, Sandy

Peter Rabbit

Posted On: 01 Aug 2019 08:23 pm

Phew!!

Patricia Gomersall

Posted On: 01 Aug 2019 05:00 pm

Hey Alice, you made it through the Long March. You have done sooooo well and we're very proud of you and full of admiration. Sounds like you found second wind or third or fourth wind anyway not long to go now. We're all going to be elated when you finally reach your destination, not long now sweetheart. There's going to be some big celebrations when you finish. So, keep going Darl , you're a star!! xxxxxx

Fiona Wynde

Posted On: 01 Aug 2019 11:08 am

Wow Alice! I’ve just discovered your blog. So happy to hear you are storming this event! Best of luck for the final stages x

Chris Gomersall

Posted On: 01 Aug 2019 09:49 am

Alice, that’s EPIC! Sounds absolutely gruelling, but so pleased you cracked stage 4 in such fine fettle. We were on tenterhooks here, as we went to bed last night not knowing the results, and then the website was down when I left the house this morning. Enjoy the R&R today, and then you’re on the home run. A mere saunter. 25We’ll get the pork scratchings in for your next visit. xxxxx

Cyril Gomersall

Posted On: 01 Aug 2019 09:02 am

Well done Alice. We are all so proud of you. It must be a great relief to get so far unscathed. Enjoy your day off, have a good rest and enjoy the remaining few hours. Can't wait to see your medal. Lots of love, Grandad.

Tom and Sheridan Roche

Posted On: 01 Aug 2019 05:29 am

Alice, you are killing it! Just saw you are ranked 31 out of more than 100 - awesome! You should be proud of yourself as you indicated. You’re part Aussie now so no need to worry about snakes... enjoy the rest day - you deserve it.
The suffering really began with day 3

30 July 2019 09:00 pm (GMT+08:00) Irkutsk, Ulaan Bataar

So the suffering really began with Day 3. I probably slept 10 hours last night but still felt tired today. Dodgy stomachs going round camp too. Started the course with a very steep and technical climb/ scramble which made me feel I would throw up my freeze dried breakfast. Then came the sand dunes which were slow and exhausting and totally screwed up my feet. The sun came out and it got hot and there were flies everywere- constantly going for my ear holes! Then there was a river crossing so the feet suffered some more. It was all pretty rough but a great feeling to finish and as always, experienced such kindness and encouragement from volunteers and other competitors. Some people are only just getting in now at 7pm which is such a long and tough day for them – but its so nice that everyone gathers round to cheer them over the line. Everyone just wants everyone to finish so it’s a lovely atmosphere. The course was also breathtaking today – camels and herds of wild horses. Some people saw snakes!

 

I am nervous for tomorrow – the Long March of around 75km. My feet are not pretty but I’m hoping they’ll last. No other injuries though which is great – just the usual muscle soreness which goes away somewhat after a few km warm up (apart from the dunes where my glutes were screaming!) Expecting it will be slow tomorrow but confident that I’ll do whatever it takes to finish. No blog tomorrow as I’ll be in too late. But rest day after tomorrow so will write then.

Comments: Total (11) comments

Kate Bowring

Posted On: 31 Jul 2019 11:02 pm

Yes Alice! Loving the glimpse into your Gobi March experience. Can't wait to hear all about it! Hope you've had your feet up all rest day! xoxo

Cyril Gomersall

Posted On: 31 Jul 2019 09:28 am

Hi Alice, it sounds to be pretty rough going but I am sure that your determination will see you through. My thoughts are with you all the way together with all the family in Gy. Looking forward to speaking with you soon. Love Granddad.

Tom and Sheridan Roche

Posted On: 31 Jul 2019 09:21 am

Alice, amazing! You are going great. Hang in there. You’re halfway there already. You should be very proud!

Emily Strautins

Posted On: 31 Jul 2019 08:12 am

Alice you are a beast! You will overcome this. Savour all the best bits, so you can reminisce down the track xoxo

Sandy Moffat

Posted On: 31 Jul 2019 02:49 am

You're amazing Alice. We're cheering you on everyday here at work. And keeping each other posted with your progress. We now have a photo of you from day two of the race on our white board in the office at Essies. It sounds really tough but hopefully the camaraderie and scenery and sense of achievement will keep you going. As well as all your training and amazing stamina. Love and Hugs from all at work. Sandy xx

Phil Cottier

Posted On: 30 Jul 2019 09:34 pm

Hey Alice. I’m so impressed, I hope tomorrow is a good day and you get through it in one piece. Thinking of you. With best wishes Phil

Patrick Roche

Posted On: 30 Jul 2019 08:15 pm

Oh no your poor feet. I I hope they hold out. But hey you're past half way!!! And by the time you read this the long March is over!! Wooo! You're amazing! Well done Al! Have some pork scratchingsand take the day off to celebrate ;) I'll start running you an Epsom salts bath. Love you. Believing in you. Paddy

Peter Rabbit

Posted On: 30 Jul 2019 06:58 pm

Let's do the long walk together; I'll bring the picnic 🥕🥕🥕🥬

Patricia Gomersall

Posted On: 30 Jul 2019 05:31 pm

Hi Alice, The long March sounds like it requires respect from all those who venture to cross it, but I know you've got the grit to tackle it head on and take it in your stride! Take your time sweetheart we're all with you in spirit willing you on. Your good 'ol feet have served you well so far and I've no doubt that they'll see you through to the end. You've done great Darl. Sending you lots of hugs. Show those glutes who's the boss!! M xxxxx

Hannah Gomersall

Posted On: 30 Jul 2019 04:37 pm

Sounds pretty awful mate! Hope your blisters aren’t too terrible. Good luck with the long one tomorrow, you’ll smash it. Xxx

Chris Gomersall

Posted On: 30 Jul 2019 04:20 pm

So then Alice, apart from the tiredness, the aching limbs, nausea, sore feet, dodgy stomach, the flies and the snakes - it's all good! All the best for the Long March tomorrow, and we know you will smash it. Feel the love. xx
Day 2 was tough!

29 July 2019 09:00 pm (GMT+08:00) Irkutsk, Ulaan Bataar

Day 2 was tough! I didn’t get great sleep last night due to rain, damp sleeping bag, and people snoring! We had a big day (45km and 1000m elevation) and the first half felt very sore and exhausting. There were some big hills and then it started pouring with rain and was very windy so got pretty cold and wet which was miserable since there was still 30k + to go. Luckily, the sun came out a bit and I had a second wind after some gels and electrolytes. The doctor at check point 4 kindly taped my feet to manage a few more blisters but nothing too awful just yet. It’s good to know second winds come along since it can get pretty scary when you feel so exhausted and there’s so much left to go. Was also great buddying up with a lovely south African lady as we finished the last section together – coming into the camp to a banging drum! Always a great sense of comradery!

 

We passed a Buddhist sacred rock and a few gers. Camp tonight is also gers (Mongolian yurts) which is so cool and also good as they’ll keep us properly dry! Had a little nap just now and some delicious salty noodles! Need to take it easy tomorrow as the long stage on Wednesday is now 75k or something so pretty nervous about how I’ll hold up for that. My shoulders and back are so so sore – at least I’m eating my way through some of the weight.

 

Thanks so much for your kind messages – I just had some happy tears, feeling very loved. Talk tomorrow! xxx

Comments: Total (0) comments

Day one done!

28 July 2019 09:00 pm (GMT+08:00) Irkutsk, Ulaan Bataar

Had a great day today, it’s so beautiful here. We started last night in a cool camp by some old palace ruins which are nearly 1000 years old.

 

Just 36 km today but covering 800m elevation – it was one hell of a hill. The rucksack feels heavy but it actually weighed in just under 9k without water which is actually one of the lighter ones here – some people have up to 12 or more kilos! The course was so beautiful – we passed through valleys and hills and saw quite a few nomadic families who came out to wave at us and the children rode their horses next to us! There were a few river crossings but I amazingly managed to keep my feet dry by jumping on rocks!

Everyone is super friendly and it’s been great getting to run with other people and get to know them better. The volunteers are also so lovely and give us such big cheers as we approach each checkpoint. We started at 8 this morning and I was done by 1. Apparently I was the 5th woman to finish which is great to hear but also means I should probably slow down tomorrow as lots of the other competitors have more experience so are probably wisely saving their energy. Will be a tough day tomorrow as we cover 45km with 1000m elevation! And apparently there will be wolves tomorrow night that we will be able to hear from the camp. So that’s pretty scary!!

Feeling good and healthy so far with just a small blister on my big toe. Expecting it to get a lot worse of course but hoping I can keep my feet clean and avoid anything getting too awful. The doctors are lovely and one of them is doing a study on treating blisters so she’ll be the expert! I had a ‘wash’ with only one wet wipe – so frugal!!

Comments: Total (1) comments

Hannah Gomersall

Posted On: 01 Aug 2019 06:20 am

Lots of your blogs have just come through in one go and it’s been great fun reading them all. Congratulations on finishing the long March, and it sounds like you had a decent time. So proud of you. Keep away from the snakes and the wolves. Think of all the Burger kings (no mayo) and sweets you’re going to have when you’re done. Xxx
Made it to the taper!

09 July 2019 06:00 pm (GMT+10:00) Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney

It’s been just over a year since I decided to take on this Gobi Desert challenge. Although the main event is yet to come, as I now enter my final tapered training weeks, it is empowering to reflect on the long journey of early morning training and weekend long runs that has now drawn to a close. I’m thrilled to have finished the bulk of the training uninjured (touch wood!), and proud of myself for committing to the challenge and making all the sacrifices that come with running up to 100 kilometers a week. Of course, there are all the niggling doubts and worries that my training could have been longer or faster, but I am now trying to focus on what I have achieved and have the confidence that I am tough enough to make the distance! Ultimately, the months of training have taught me that while I certainly won’t be the fastest out there, I won’t be giving up.

I have learnt a lot while preparing for this adventure. I’ve become more in tune with my body and differentiating between good and bad pain. I’ve learnt that eating ice-cream for breakfast is an especially high risk pre run strategy! After at least a dozen attempts at finding a comfortable running shoe, the perfect sock, or the right combination of tape and Vaseline, I now have to accept that there will be no way of avoiding blisters for me. But hopefully my training has at least prepared me for how to deal with them when they do arise, and how to grit my teeth and keep on running! I have cautiously tested out the freeze dried meals, learning that there are no safe options. Spaghetti Bolognese was palatable, but if I had tasted ‘Mexican Chicken’ after 42km of running in the desert, I would have surely burst into tears. None of them are particularly delicious, but I am hoping I’ve found the right combination of high calorie, salty, fatty, sugary, and carby meals and snacks to take me to the required calories. It’s certainly more fun looking round supermarkets for the highest caloric content of foods, and discarding all the low-fat ‘only 100 calories energy bars’ which seem like futile fuel for this event. I finally settled on the Raidlight 30l pack, after many trials and tribulations, and rubbed raw collar bones. I will hopefully be attaching some extra foam on the shoulder straps to make it a touch more comfortable. I think I now have all the compulsory kit, but the question remains whether it will all fit in the pack, and how much it will weigh. I’ve run with 7kg for a few of my long runs, but this is almost certainly an optimistic estimate of how much it will weigh on the day!

I am grateful to all my family and friends who have listened to me talk endlessly about training, injuries, and kit. My partner is definitely ready for the Gobi Desert to be finished with, and warns me that he might just take up a time-consuming hobby come August, leaving me with all the household chores for a change! It sure has taken up a lot of time and mental space, but I am confident this will all have been time well spent, when I’m out on the course, and eventually crossing that finish line! I’m really looking forward to meeting all the competitors and volunteers, and experience the beautiful landscapes and culture of Mongolia. I hope to continue this blog throughout the race, posting updates of my progress, so watch this space!

Comments: Total (15) comments

Sheridan Roche

Posted On: 01 Aug 2019 04:20 am

So well done Alice. Top 10 results in the first 4 stages. I am so in awe! To finish stage 4 is such an achievement in itself. Hope the body holds out . Keep on keeping on! Lots of love Sheridan

Sophie Norden

Posted On: 27 Jul 2019 10:51 pm

I’ll cycle from Cambridge you Italy with you!! Hooray - another challenge ;) GO ALICE GO!! You are my ultimate determination champ and you should be beyond proud of yourself for all the training you’ve done and commitment you’ve shown. And now the journey. I’m sure the first day must be one hell of a day to calibrate to the desert but the first day is DONE (or so I’m told when you read this). Time will pass. So dare I say, enjoy it! Speak tomorrow, love you! Proud of your mind, body and all of you combined! Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Chris Gomersall

Posted On: 27 Jul 2019 10:22 am

I guess we shouldn't have poked fun at your idea of cycling from Cambridge to Italy - now look where it's taken you! But we know how hard you have worked for this, how much you want it, and we absolutely believe in you. You're a complete LEGEND. Hopefully you can enjoy the scenery and the wildlife along the way. Live it large! xx

Jim Pomeroy

Posted On: 27 Jul 2019 07:54 am

Ooooo it’s finally here!! How exhilarating! We are rooting for you from London where life is plainly boring in comparison with your escapade. Remember: one foot in front of the other! We are so impressed with this goal, your determination and the sheer ambition of it. Xxx N.B. I sympathise wholly with Paddy about having a partner with a time consuming hobby. Maybe make one of your famous curries to make it up to him

Jacinta Thomson

Posted On: 27 Jul 2019 04:18 am

Alice this is a phenomenal goal! You are one strong and determined individual! I'm currently 9 months pregnant and need to have a rest half way through putting a cardigan on, so I'll be living vicariously through your INCREDIBLE feat of human endurance! Brock and I will be following with intrigue xx

Tom & Sheridan Roche

Posted On: 27 Jul 2019 02:23 am

Alice All your training and hard work will pay off. You will be amazing! Enjoy the sense of satisfaction. You deserve it Thinking of you

Jordan Robinson

Posted On: 26 Jul 2019 11:52 pm

Go Alice! Gobbie desert!!

Francesca Kirby

Posted On: 26 Jul 2019 02:42 pm

All the best Alice! Looking forward to reading about your experience. Sounds like you've really put your all into the training. Franny

Cyril Gomersall

Posted On: 25 Jul 2019 07:58 am

Hi Alice, I shall be with you all the way in my thoughts. I know you have prepared yourself well for the run and I am sure that you will do your very best to succeed. I look forward to seeing your medal. All my love xxx

Cyril Gomersall

Posted On: 25 Jul 2019 07:58 am

Hi Alice, I shall be with you all the way in my thoughts. I know you have prepared yourself well for the run and I am sure that you will do your very best to succeed. I look forward to seeing your medal. All my love xxx

Dane Wassell

Posted On: 25 Jul 2019 05:42 am

Hey Alice. I can reccomend trail mix with gummi bears in it for ultra high calorific performance, even though our friends have some strong opinions on the matter. Seriously impressive effort just making it this far! I'd wish you luck but i already know your going to crush it by how much preparation you have put in. I can't wait to meet up with you and hear all about it. Happy running. Ill be following along from canada. Xx

Tess West

Posted On: 24 Jul 2019 02:16 pm

Good luck Alice. You are very brave and determined so I am sure you will complete it successfully. I look forward to following your progress. xx

Jenni Burgess

Posted On: 23 Jul 2019 02:49 pm

Aww wow! The camaraderie has already begun and the love's pouring in before you even get there! I'm completely in awe of you, have been since the day when, as a mere nipper, you took a flying leap from the bank into our little boat up at the lake, same day you ran so fast you didn't see the electric fence coming and nearly decapitated yourself! Yep, my memories leave me in no doubt of your capacity for endurance :-) Our thoughts will be with you All the way! Love, Jen and MoXX

Patricia Gomersall

Posted On: 22 Jul 2019 07:57 am

Hi Alice, we're all excited about your adventure and are willing you to do a successful run. We know you have the strength and determination not to mention training to get to the finish line with the biggest smile on your face. We love you!! xxx

Lisa Bourgogne

Posted On: 12 Jul 2019 03:20 am

Hi Alice - I am a fellow Gobi runner (and an RTP first timer) ... and yes, we’ve made it to tapering time!! Awesome stuff as I know the hard work and time that has been put in! Everything you shared completely resonated with me and I’ve also got the same Raidlight and wondering how it’ll all squeeze in there! ... looking forward to meeting you in Mongolia. Take care till then!