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Race Coverage

Race Coverage

Namib Race Blogs 2019

View All Posts 2019 From : Nancy Fudacz

2 days to go!

02 May 2019 06:00 pm (GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria

We made it through both beach day and the Long March.  It wasn’t easy. 


Beach day was, yes, nearly 20 miles – on the sand, only to end the marathon with a haul into a 30mph headwind across tough rocky terrain.  Pretty tough.  We had some fun watching our shadows floss in the desert, but it was no doubt a tough one. 


The long stage – yep, sure enough, heat was advertised and heat was there.  Over 90 degrees in the oldest desert was brutal.  We actually did a great job pacing, for fear that heat issues would be a race ender.  We did get some good tunes playing on the way, jammed to Highway to Hell – haha, and of course had plenty of Beyonce for power.   The night portion was so tough.  We were in great spirits, but the soft gravel terrain toward the end that slid your feet while you sunk into it didn’t do great things for our feet.  Every footstep for us was so painful that sometimes we would just cry out in pain, trying to keep going.  We really couldn’t move faster than a little more than 2mph!  Definitely a character builder!  The one very great consolation was the sky full of stars that we gazed at.  Those moments we will remember forever. 


One more day.  Dune day.  We are definitely nervous because our feet are so sore we can’t even walk without limping, but everyone’s comments keep us going.  


Pray for us tomorrow – we make it through and one more 10k on Saturday to the finish.  I promise the first pic I will post – other than the finish – will be the feet if you dare.  Love you all!

Comments: Total (22) comments

Maria & Marty Rapp

Posted On: 04 May 2019 08:25 pm

You guys are ABSOLUTELY amazing. Was there EVER any doubt that you'd nail this? The red carpet is being rolled out in Chicago even as we speak. WOW, WOW, WOW. Now it's time to party! :) Hugs and more hugs M & Mt57

Maria and Marty Rapp

Posted On: 04 May 2019 01:59 pm

We're wishing, hoping and praying that your spirits surge and your hardy little tootsies prevail now that you are on the downstroke. It's so close we know you can taste it! In TOTAL awe at your both....!!! M & M

Brian Smuts

Posted On: 04 May 2019 01:39 pm

Such an accomplishment!!!! So astounding. Chad and Nancy, so proud of you! ❤️ So excited to hear about your journey and experience

Gretchen Collins

Posted On: 04 May 2019 12:09 pm

You guys did it!! I'm so excited for you both and can't wait to hear every single detail! Congrats on the most amazing accomplishment!

Joey Mucha

Posted On: 04 May 2019 11:58 am

You two are amazing! Keep going strong. We are all so proud of you and can’t wait for the feet pics.

Laura Middleton

Posted On: 04 May 2019 03:31 am

I was thinking about you and your feet today wondering how you are and hoping to see your names arriving safely to next camp. And there it was! So amazing really. You didn’t come this far to only go this far. The finish is yours. You both have got this. Smile cause it’s truly incredible!!

Mary Gofen

Posted On: 04 May 2019 02:14 am

Omg I’ll even look at the feet pics to witness your heroism. Incredible job! Onward to the finish - and celebration!

Gretchen Collins

Posted On: 04 May 2019 01:42 am

I can't wait to see the feet pics for sure!!


Posted On: 04 May 2019 12:29 am

Go Nancy! Go Chad! You got this and your wine cellar is waiting for your return!! Congratulations on you progress and success. We are proud of you and hoping that you are enjoying the process.

Mary Bonome

Posted On: 03 May 2019 11:43 pm

Just a 10k..and done!

Gretchen Collins

Posted On: 03 May 2019 10:09 pm

Keep kicking ass Nan and Chad! The doggies and cat and I are all cheering you on! You got this. You guys are my heros!!!

Marta McNair

Posted On: 03 May 2019 12:37 am

The feet are you souls showing us the amazing accomplishments you continue to enjoy! So proud! Go get em! M2

Maria Armstead

Posted On: 03 May 2019 12:27 am

Couldn't miss another day without checking up on you guys! Keep it up, Nancy and Chad!

Elaine Gordon

Posted On: 02 May 2019 11:55 pm

Also, to make you laugh and hopefully bring a smile to your face, just think of all those MEPS you are racking up!!

Eric Ewan

Posted On: 02 May 2019 11:48 pm

Can't be much worse than the blistering I had, let me see it!! Get er done!

Elaine Gordon

Posted On: 02 May 2019 11:39 pm

You guys got this!! Home stretch! One foot in front of the other. Chicago is so lucky to have 2 of the most inspiring and strong people representing the city and doing great things. What a hero and a shero! Can’t wait to see those feet pics! Sending so many prayers and hugs. Onward!

Maria & Marty Rapp

Posted On: 02 May 2019 09:43 pm

OMG! You guys are animals, no scratch that, super human and super heroes. We are genuflecting at the Nancy and Chad altar we have built for you. Hugs and more hugs, M & M

Martha and Allan Ackerman

Posted On: 02 May 2019 08:00 pm

We are in DC at the African American Museum. Some words from MLK to inspire you: “If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk , crawl. But, whatever you do, KEEP MOVING FORWARD!” You got this! Love, Allan and Martha

Martha and Allan Ackerman

Posted On: 02 May 2019 08:00 pm

We are in DC at the African American Museum. Some words from MLK to inspire you: “If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk , crawl. But, whatever you do, KEEP MOVING FORWARD!” You got this! Love, Allan and Martha

John Blacketor

Posted On: 02 May 2019 07:19 pm

It has been so cool watching your development and seeing all the athletes endure this unbelievable challenge...hang in there guys, you are on the down slope and doing great!!

Chinyera Moody

Posted On: 02 May 2019 07:11 pm

Nancy and Chad we are so proud of you guys!!! Keep pushing, we are praying for your feet and rooting for you all the way!! Thanks Team Build Your Own!!

Sarah Ochsner

Posted On: 02 May 2019 05:42 pm

You guys are amazing!!! One step at a time and keep moving forward! I am not sure I can look at the feet! Yikes! So proud of you guys!! GB
Day 2 – shorter and better

29 April 2019 06:56 pm (GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria

At 21 miles and cooler and some nice flat terrain, today was a confidence builder.


Chad and I are suffering with our feet – the doc told me basically the blisters wouldn’t heal by the end of the race, so I’m just sucking it up.   


We are staying well ahead of our feared sweep and honestly it’s a little less painful to shuffle instead of walking so a very bright spot. 


To remind us why we are here, at the third checkpoint today, we met Art, a Chicago Fireman!  For real, volunteering here!  Honestly, that was just what we needed and he was so happy we were racing for Build Your Own.  


This is super hard though, and to say we are feeling great about tomorrow would be a lie.  But we take each day by checkpoints – tomorrow is full marathon with a ton of time on the beach, so we are thinking another 8 hour day – just stay ahead of the sweeps!  


Attitude generally good, still a little terrified, and 3 big days to go (one is  50 miler!)  Keep praying Chicago!!  Love you all!

Comments: Total (14) comments

Dave and Jan Feder

Posted On: 02 May 2019 12:30 am

Jan and I are so impressed and humbled by your dedication to the cause! Stay strong and we look forward to sharing a nice glass/bottle of red wine upon your return.


Posted On: 01 May 2019 01:16 pm

Keep pushing Nan and Chad - you guys are 2 of the strongest, toughest people I know and I could not be more proud of you!

Dhvanika Gandhi

Posted On: 01 May 2019 05:42 am

You're doing great! Thinking of you both! Sending good vibes!

Ashley Fromm

Posted On: 01 May 2019 02:44 am

Keep on going Nancy and Chad! Crosby and I are so proud of you guys and sending good vibes and healed feet your way!!

Ashley Fromm

Posted On: 01 May 2019 02:44 am

Keep on going Nancy and Chad! Crosby and I are so proud of you guys and sending good vibes and healed feet your way!!

Michelle Gallardo

Posted On: 01 May 2019 12:32 am

Jackie and I are at Maxwell’s cheering you guys on. Screw the blisters. You’ve got this!!! You’re our heroes!!!!! 😘🎉🎉🎉

Allan & Martha Ackerman

Posted On: 30 Apr 2019 01:42 pm

Wow! You got this! Honestly halfway -- we are inspired by you -- blisters are temporary, kids are forever!

Samantha Fanshawe

Posted On: 30 Apr 2019 07:48 am

So great to see you back in the desert!! Tears are a sign of weakness leaving your body. Keep it up, one step at a time and when it gets tough remember the cause you are running for.

Charlotte Wager

Posted On: 30 Apr 2019 03:06 am

So inspiring Nancy. You always have been and always will be. Sending love and strength and hoping those blisters are ok tomorrow. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other xxx

Brian Smuts

Posted On: 30 Apr 2019 02:01 am

You are both amazing and strong and I’m in total awe of you! We all are sending strength and support to you !!!

Linda Catalano

Posted On: 29 Apr 2019 10:21 pm

Great job ...u all own this !!! Keep Pushing I know u can!! :)

Elenne Song

Posted On: 29 Apr 2019 10:17 pm

Nancy you BEAST! I am in awe of you and Chad. You looked radiant and gorgeous after Stage 1. And, your feet are resilient and strong and will do whatever it takes to get you from checkpoint to checkpoint. You're crushing it. Love you!

Daniel T. Manoogian

Posted On: 29 Apr 2019 09:42 pm

Keep up the good work!! Proud of you both.

Kate Hardy

Posted On: 29 Apr 2019 07:19 pm

Awesome! Two days down. You’ve got this! Here’s to some good rest tonight and a solid and successful day on the beach tomorrow!
Day 1 was hard!

28 April 2019 07:01 pm (GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria

Day 1 was hard!  Thank God for the medical tent because after stage 1 we both have hamburger feet.  We know we”ll be slowing but we are pretty sure we’ll make the cutoffs to continue, but today actually made me want to cry.  

Chad is kicking ass – even through the last rocky road with headwinds so strong I couldn’t keep my hat on!

Tomorrow is a new day – pray for us Chicago (and Argentina!)

Comments: Total (7) comments

Laura Middleton

Posted On: 29 Apr 2019 12:59 pm

Nancy if anyone has the mental and physical strength to continue its you! I will pray specifically for you, your feet and a supernatural ability to draw on strengths of your past victories and mind bending accomplishments to push you on. You my friend are made of special stuff remember!!

Joey Mucha

Posted On: 29 Apr 2019 11:19 am

Congratulations !! You guys are amazing.

Carmen Curet

Posted On: 28 Apr 2019 10:31 pm

So proud of you and Chad !!!❤️❤️❤️❤️

Adella Palmore

Posted On: 28 Apr 2019 10:02 pm

C ongratulations on finishing stage 1. Go Team Build Your Own!

Elaine Gordon

Posted On: 28 Apr 2019 09:49 pm

You two are amazing and strong! Jason and I are sending lots of good vibes. Onward!

Allan and Martha Ackerman

Posted On: 28 Apr 2019 07:16 pm

Yes!!!! You are in it! We are sending lots of love!!

Sarah Ochsner

Posted On: 28 Apr 2019 06:38 pm

Congrats on Stage 1!!! You guys are amazing!!! Get some rest and I loved the picture!

24 April 2019 08:35 am (GMT-06:00) Central Time(US & Canada)

While Chad heads to get a last bit of Thai Body Work, I'm just pacing. Garmin will likely tell me I got 12,000 steps by 8am today. We spent last night with a glass of wine, packing of bags of food in a bag to carry on all the way to Namibia. It's almost 30 lbs. Yikes! I'm sure we'll make some last minute changes but with all the gear (except the charger that I am insisting we take so that we can take photos along the way, and also in case I need some emergency Beyonce to push me forward), my pack is just under 22 lbs without water and Chad is about 24 lbs. Let's see how much we really need those extra socks! It's been really fun and terrifying starting this journey over again, at 52. I'm in better shape than I've been in a few years, but there is always the doubt. The sweep pace of 24 minute/miles haunts me. If I'm walking the dogs, we have to move faster than 24 minute miles (sorry dogs!), if I walk to grab coffee, sub 24 minute miles. Every once and awhile, I'll walk slower and ask myself, how does this feel? Slow? Easy? And usually, the answer is, well, it's not THAT slow. Of course, the other wonderful thing about this journey is sharing it with my guy, Chad. Chad is built more like a linebacker than an endurance runner. The training has been grueling for him (well us both of course), but Chad dealt with swollen and painful feet, cankles that lasted a week, and calves of stone. He's pushed through every time, and I'm so proud of him. I can't wait to share this with him. The 2004 Atacama Race changed my life. That sounds crazy, right? But I went in naive, over-confident and was humbled by what I didn't know. I was in great physical shape, but my mind was not as strong. I wanted to quit every day. EVERY DAY. I'm sure if you ask any of the competitors, the one thing they will remember is my wailing at the end of the race. I honestly couldn't believe I had done it. It was awful and wonderful all at once and proved to me that I had strength that I didn't know. Strength I needed to leave a relationship, to start a new one, to find a deeper love than I had known, and to take risks in my life and career that I didn't know were possible. Now I'm sure there's more than one race that changes your life, but if you ask me now, that was the start of it all. Not that the other races were easier, but I had a confidence that I didn't have in Chile. It's funny, because I am terrified again - will I make it? Will Chad be ok? Will we be a good example for our charity and our city? How do you let go of all the things you can't control? It's funny at 52 I still worry what people will think. Will my friends from 15 years ago still accept me? Will I be the one who lets the race staff down? I guess the vast pit of self doubt never ends. This time though, it's for so much more. It's for love. It's to thank the universe for this guy who will take every step with me, the guy who held my hand in the worst moments of my Dad passing, my best moments of a personal best at the Boston Marathon, the guy who makes me laugh when I am crazy and pulls me up when I'm in the vast pit of self doubt. It's also to thank the universe for allowing me to thrive in the best city in the world, my city: CHICAGO! Although I've lived in other places and other countries, Chicago is where my heart beats. I'm so proud to be a Chicagoan, despite the winters. I also know that there is injustice in my city. I'd be in a bubble not to understand the violence that happens only a few miles from our home. I wonder often, how to be the change. It's so easy to get caught up in what we want, how the house looks, how I look, how others see us. It's such a waste of time and thought, and yet. it's there all the time. If there's one thing I guess I can do in life, it's simply, MOVE FORWARD. Using my ability to move forward to raise funds for Chicago kids who want a better life is a no brainer. 80% of Chicago Public School students live under the federal poverty line. Career and technical training in high schools had become non existent even though jobs in the trades are available NOW! We need our kids to have the opportunity to have a career in the trades - an immediate path to the middle class. We race to make sure there are NO hurdles (or sand dunes) for kids who want a career in the trades, so we raise funds for things like transportation, union fees, tools - things I am fortunate enough to take for granted, but are a life changer for our kids. Ready to donate yet? Here ya go: OK, I'm off to get my nails done (because, you know, pretty nails in the desert are the most ridiculous thing ever). Then the almost 48 hours to get to the race hotel from Chicago, carrying a bag of astronaut food. I'm crying thinking about it! Excited and nervous! See you in Namibia!

Comments: Total (11) comments

Graham Waller

Posted On: 01 May 2019 01:45 pm

A true inspiration to everyone around you! Keep your heads up and stay focused you are amazing and tough!!! You got this!!!

Mark Hancock

Posted On: 30 Apr 2019 01:38 pm

Thank you for sharing your journey. It is truly motivational. What you are accomplishing and experiencing is amazing on many levels! Stay strong!!

Mary Bonome

Posted On: 28 Apr 2019 07:10 pm

You both are so strong. Sending positive energy and no headwinds your way!bz

MARY Bonome

Posted On: 28 Apr 2019 04:32 pm

Cheering for you and Chad. Good luck, be safe and enjoy this amazing adventure! Love you guys!

Kate Hardy

Posted On: 28 Apr 2019 04:21 pm

You are my superhero Nancy! Hope Stage 1 is going well! Hugs and support from Chicago :)

John Blacketor

Posted On: 28 Apr 2019 01:58 pm

This makes me feel like a lazy self serving pig. You both motivate me to do more! Give back and push myself. You are unbelievable. Hope Chads ankles aren’t kankling!! Stay safe guys!!

Daniel Manoogian

Posted On: 28 Apr 2019 03:45 am

Sending you both good vibes and cheering for you. Amazing stuff!!!

Allan and Martha Ackerman

Posted On: 27 Apr 2019 09:05 pm

Linebacker Chad is in the medals in pack weight -- and you are adding paint weight to your fingernails -- there's a strategy in here somewhere. Enjoy the stars! xoxo Allan and Martha

Michelle Vulich

Posted On: 27 Apr 2019 07:10 pm

So impressed by you both! Can’t wait to follow along

Adella Palmore

Posted On: 26 Apr 2019 08:33 pm

You and Chad are so inspiring! Thank you for sharing your journey with the CTUF! Looking forward to celebrating with you soon!

Mary Gofen

Posted On: 25 Apr 2019 11:11 pm

All of Chicago is behind you! You got this!