Namib Race Blogs 2019

View All Posts 2019 From : Mark Stevenson

Mark Stevenson
240km done, 10km to do

03 May 2019 09:00 pm (GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria

We are back at the beach at a seasonal fishing village after a spectacular day out on the dunes. The middle section saw us ascend a massive dune and traverse its ridge for 9km. endless sand to the left (east) and the Atlantic to the right. It was blowing a gale up there and you needed both hands and feet to scale the peaks. Very hard going but amazing to be up there. Always great to have Kari greet me at a checkpoint along the way.



So happy my calf has held up and to have a good final run after the disappointment on the Long Day. Also great to come into the finish line with tent mate Simon in 26th.


240km done, 10km to do tomorrow. Lots more to write but will have to wait until after the race.


Thx again for all the messages of support.

Comments: Total (2) comments

Peter Stevenson

Posted On: 04 May 2019 01:17 pm

Hello Mark, So glad your calf held up for you; and after the difficult long march, you seem to have bounced back with super final stages. Very well done indeed - and many congratulations. The sweepers don't have an easy time either it seems, up before the runners and never resting until all runners are in camp. No doubt Kari did some sterling work. Love to both; M&D. XX

Leah Evans

Posted On: 04 May 2019 01:38 am

Hi Mark!! Just letting you know that i'm super proud of you! Sending strength and good energy your way! I'm sure Kari is the ultimate best sweeper around :) -Leah
Mark Stevenson
day 5 - back in camp after the wheels coming off yesterday

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

Yesterday was the hardest run I can recall. Not that I did much running. Bottom line is I screwed up my electrolytes on a 38C day and once you start losing sodium from your system it’s very hard to recover. At checkpoints 3,4 and 5 I felt progressively worse. As I took on more water and salt I was completely bloated by CP 5 (44km) and had to lie down due to nausea and light-headedness. I gave two Chinese runners quite the fright by projectile vomiting over them out of the rest tent. After great care from Dr Ryan, a can of medical coke and lying down for an hour, I felt a lot better.


By the time I was ready to move on, however, it was close to 6pm when you had to move in groups of at least two from CP to CP. I teamed up with Tim and Scott (from my tent) to walk the next 40km. Though I think I could have run in the cool of the evening I was just happy to be moving forward, chipping away at the kilometres bit by bit, burping along the way to get rid of my nausea.


We were treated to the most amazing night sky in the middle of the desert.


The final 40km took us another eight hours and we arrived at camp around 2:30 am, 18 hours all told. By comparison, the lead runner completed the 84km in nine! It was a little emotional to see Kari around 1am as she was on the way back from sweeping the back of packers.


Today I feel my normal self and we have all been recuperating in camp in readiness for our final big run tomorrow, a 38km jaunt in the massive sand dunes further along the coast. All of my tent have made it through with Joasia the leading lady.

Comments: Total (2) comments

Mo Tobin

Posted On: 03 May 2019 02:15 pm

Hello Mark ! I just found your blog. It is fascinating to hear some details. Have been following you and thinking positive thoughts for you every day. Was so relieved to see you got thru the Long March. Today, I see you are already done w/Stage 5. Way to bounce back ! Huge congrats & hello to Kari. MO

clancy Johannsen

Posted On: 02 May 2019 05:14 pm

Dear Mark: You are in the videos and the pictures - all with you lying down! Thought you were there for the running. ;-) Good going on the Long March and persevering through it all. Can't wait to read the final details when you return. xx
Mark Stevenson
Stage 3 - definitely the hardest and most interesting day so far

30 April 2019 05:56 pm (GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria

Definitely the hardest and most interesting day so far.


My left calf has held up ok due to some fancy strapping the med tent gave me. I made the mistake, however, of strapping it too tight this morning to the extent I couldn’t extend my gait when we got onto some firmer gound to run on. I had to roll it down my ankle as it was anchored below my foot. It would cause more problems later on in the run…


We hit he beach after about 5km. Huge Atlantic rollers coming in as we ran along in the moning fog. Beautiful. Trying to find hard sand was a challenge but the first leg to check point at 11km went well. It was  a treat to see Kari there and my left leg felt good. Another 11km up the beach to CP2 where we came across one of the largest sea lion colonies anywhere. This is the primary prey for lions and other pedators in the desert. The beach is littered with skeletons and rotting carcases. The colony stretches s far as the eye can see. Quite spectacular.


The last 5km on the beach (23km in total) were brutal. By this time my left foot was going numb. I shouk hve stopped to addres it at CP3 but I figured the last 10km to camp would be easy. How wrong I was.. it was blowing a gale into our faces and the longest 10km I can remember. The strapping was so tight it had nipped a nerve. All being well it shoukd be all good for the long day tomorrow. Fingers crossed. Temps may get above 38C tomorrow so we’ll all be taking easy.


Thanks for all your messages and emails of support.


M x

Comments: Total (5) comments

Hadley Stevenson

Posted On: 02 May 2019 09:29 am

Hey Dad! Sounds like things are going well despite your calf! Very proud to see how well you are doing! Exciting news... GUESS WHO GOT HER LICENSE!! Meeeeeee!!!! Also finished you know what. This is my exam week so it’s been stressful. Clementine is doing well and I’m looking forward to being able to video chat you once you’ve finished up. If you have the energy!! Love you and miss you loads. Say hi to Kari for me! Tell her to keep up the good work!

Peter Stevenson

Posted On: 30 Apr 2019 08:25 pm

We look forward to your blog each day - thanks for taking the time to write it. You are still doing amazingly well despite your pulled calf muscle. Hope the tight strapping doesn't have any residual effects for tomorrow. You've obviously seen some more very interesting sights - rarely seen by 'outsiders'; you're very lucky. There is evidence that you and Kari have sent some photos - but I haven't been able to open them yet. Any suggestions?? Thank you for them anyway. Kari seems to be doing a variety of jobs - a great experience for her. Hope she is enjoying it and coping with the conditions OK. M & D X

Helen Stevenson

Posted On: 30 Apr 2019 07:44 pm

Just discovered the blog! Great to get more detail about how you are getting on. Hope calf doesn’t play up too much more. Take care! Lots of love xx Ps a couple of my lovely colleagues at Skipton have sponsored you 👍

Helen Stevenson

Posted On: 30 Apr 2019 07:44 pm

Just discovered the blog! Great to get more detail about how you are getting on. Hope calf doesn’t play up too much more. Take care! Lots of love xx Ps a couple of my lovely colleagues at Skipton have sponsored you 👍

elizabeth moller

Posted On: 30 Apr 2019 04:14 pm

Well done Mark ! Thank you for the great blog, we can't wait to read "something" at the end of the day, just to know all are well with all of you.Keep it up and look after that calve.
Mark Stevenson
Day 2

29 April 2019 08:05 pm (GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria


Today’s run was shortened to 32km but that didn’t seem to make it any easier and they will add 10km for another leg. We started off along the beach heading North for a few kms before cutting inland across a vast plateau of dark brown sand as far as the eye could see. This is a true desert in every sense. There is simply nothing here.


I strapped my left calf which helped but something is pulled and it’s hard to see me getting any quicker from here unfortunately.


After checkpoint 2 at around 19 km we hit another nasty salt flat but we did get to see a lonely hyena lolloping along going who knows where to try and find who knows what to eat. We later learnt that the massive seal colony, which we will pass by tomorrow, is the major source of food for lions and hyena.


It was great to see Kari manning the finish line at the end of the race. Our camp tonight is nestled in dunes just off the beach with an amazing vista looking north. Fortunately it hasn’t been too hot but that is set to change tomorrow.




Comments: Total (2) comments

Clancy Johannsen

Posted On: 30 Apr 2019 01:44 am

Bummer about the calf but what would a race be like without a bit of pain. Saw your pics today, like the face scruff. Keep it up. Remember you don’t have to out run the hyenas, just the person behind you!

Peter Stevenson

Posted On: 29 Apr 2019 07:56 pm

You're still doing very well despite your calf problem. Hope it doesn't get any worse. The scenery looks quite fantastic; and you would never see it without taking part in a 4deserts race. Good fotos of you today. D & M.
Mark Stevenson
Day 1 in the books.

28 April 2019 07:05 pm (GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria

Day 1 in the books. We are camped down on a very windy beach about 20 miles inside the Skeleton Coast Natl Park. Today’s run was hard and as the day went on, hot and v windy. Much to my surprise, I managed to come in 18th but my lower left calf is very sore so we will see what tomorrow’s leg along the beach brings.


I am in a great tent with a couple of former winners from the US (Scott) and Scotland (Joasia) as well as an Indian (Sumanth) and two other brits (Simon & Muz). Jo won the womwn’s leg today. there’s a great vibe in the camp.


Kari had a baptism of fire today working as a sweeper picking up the flags and helping some runners who were having a tough time with blisters and keeping up with the pace. She’s settled into the role and having fun. It’s been great to see so much of her.


Kari saw a super venomous viper and Jo a black scorpion today. As we get further into the park we hope to see hyena, springbok an oryx. They changed the route today s lions had been sighted nearby!


Thanks again for everyone’s support and generous donations to ShelterBox


Gary: Dougie and Aileen who were just with you in the Atlas Mountains say hello


More tomorrow



Comments: Total (5) comments

Jessica Bickham

Posted On: 29 Apr 2019 08:53 am

Well done Mark on getting through your first day, we hope you don't run into anymore lions! I am a member of the supporter care team here at ShelterBox, thank you so much for your support and from all of us here at ShelterBox HQ we wish you good luck for the rest of your amazing challenge. We will be reading your blog and cheering you on as you go. Once again, thank you. Jess

Clancy Johannsen

Posted On: 28 Apr 2019 11:03 pm

Good going Mark! Hope your calf holds up. Please tell Jo that we are sending a high five, hug from us Johannsens. Can’t wait to read your updates. Xx

Alison Stevenson

Posted On: 28 Apr 2019 08:58 pm

Very well done! Hope your leg isnt too painful tomorrow. Lots of love, Mum.

elizabeth moller

Posted On: 28 Apr 2019 07:33 pm

Well done on your result ! Keep going x x

Aileen Richards

Posted On: 28 Apr 2019 07:06 pm

Great result today Mark- well done!! I hope your calf is ok tomorrow. Aileen