The Bushmen – ancient people that roamed the deserts with the awesome ability to hunt by literally running their prey to death. How apt. This stage is a killer.
55km in total, starting with a relatively simple route across some amazing open desert with Spitzkoppe and the saddle we used for yesterdays navigation in the backdrop, we even had an early morning mist making the whole desert look even more amazing! With the early start the runners had a good chance to see some wildlife en-route, especially as we’re now out of the farming region. Ostrich, Kudo and Spring-Bok were the order of the day.
This being a Beyond the Ultimate race we saved a little surprise for the end – a 13km slog through a roasting river bed with deep, soft sand, followed by a rocky section that would not look out of place on Mars! Anyone with blistered feet felt every painful step as they dropped down in to base camp for the night.
Luckily the river bed is also one of the most stunning sections of the stage. Beautiful rock formations, pine trees that look totally out of place and the odd wild horse or two.
Today everyone was a winner. All runners managed themselves extremely well and came through the stage. Mimi Anderson & George Evetts started at CP2, George obviously carrying a pretty painful injury after his fall and both came through with a huge smile, George is doing especially well.
Neal Roche, fresh back from his rescue from the desert on Sunday has been passed fit and allowed to start, completing the entire stage, coming over the finish line and a smile – yes Neal this is what the finish line looks like! We’ve had news from the hospital that Patrick Singh has been released and is now enjoying Namibia before heading off on a safari, and Dennis Grune has been assessed after his adventure in to the unknown and been passed fit ready to return.
The front-runners are starting to bunch up now, Raphael Fuchsgruber putting in one hell of a performance completing the entire stage by 13:00. Shortly behind was fellow countryman Michele Ufer and overall leader Allan Leed, all looking very fresh. A special mention for Henrik Kornum – this is his second BTU race having completed the Jungle last year, it is literally impossible to find this guy without a smile. He puts in 100% everyday and is a joy to watch compete.
The last remaining lady is Camilla Gry-Elmann. Camilla found todays stage very tough, but forced herself over the finish line to give herself a chance to run tomorrow. Camilla was a little dehydrated when she came in and is being monitored throughout the night. All other runners are in great condition and looking to hammer tomorrow’s relatively short stage out in preparation for their toughest test yet, out 100km stage around Brandberg and the Doris Crater, no doubt we’ll have a few more surprises and challenges for the runners to overcome before they reach the finish line Thursday and Friday.