Namib Race Blogs 2019
30 April 2019 05:48 pm (GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria
Hi there sport fans!
A cracking stage today and I felt like we got into ‘Namibia proper’. The 1st section took us onto the famous Skeleton Coast and we had to run along the beach which was bloody hard work but was worth it to be in such a stunning environment.
The coast is completely wild and desolate – amazing to run in – and plenty to look at and keep your mind off the running. One of the check points was at an old wreck site and we also ran through a huge seal colony which for a geeky zoologist like me was wonderful. They are cape fur seals and it was quite an experience to see them all, “fousands of ‘em”, as Michael Caine would say. They weren’t too fussed about us so you could get quite close, that’s if you could bear the smell. Turns out that the cape fur seal is the only thing in Namibia which smells worse than my race t-shirt, and that honks!
My main achievement of today was to actually keep Florian in sight for most of the stage. That’s primarily down to 2 factors:
1- Visibility along the beach and across the final section was about 10km so I could see miles ahead!
2- On the last section I was really struggling to see the marker flags (as the wind was blowing them directly towards to me) so I had to keep him in sight otherwise I was buggered! Amazing what the fear of being lost in the desert does for your motivation!
I did have an early chance to steal a march on the leader but my Britishness got in the way. Early in the first section Florian wasn’t too far ahead and I saw him heading off in the wrong direction. Before I could help myself, I politely called out and suggested he went the correct way. Opportunty gone. Being honest, he could get lost for hours and still win it!
The last section into camp was tough today. As we came off the beach we turned directly into a vicious headwind and were instructed to run 11kms straight into it across a barren, featureless plain. It was horrible and the wind was like cross between a very hot hairdryer and a pebble-dashing machine as the sand and grit was whipped into your face. Misery.
So tomorrow is the Long March – 80kms through the Namib Desert in the interior of Namibia. Its going to be a scorcher!
Thanks to everyone for the messages and emails – lovely to hear from you all – and I’ll check in some time tomorrow I hope!
Love to all