The White Lady Marathon started at 8:30am this morning and all runners took to the line. The medics were busy this morning from sun-up patching up ruined feet and checking in on runners who’d found yesterday particularly tough. As always the Exile Medics team have worked wonders keeping this battered group of ultra-runners on course.
A decent breeze early on raised hopes that the heat might not be too bad today but the breeze didn’t reach much of the middle section of the stage and the sun beat down hard on the trail. The massive and monolithic Brandberg mountains dominated the skyline for the whole of the day but it was the searing heat which held everyone’s attention.
Four runners called it a day today by around the half way point. Dale Thomas, Emile Schutgens and Johnathan Raymond are each hoping to take to the trail again tomorrow after a night of rest and recuperation. The generally indestructible Karl Riegl, who has podiumed on 2 of our races, has been forced out however, a stomach problem has stopped him taking in enough fuel to continue. All 4 are safe and well and at camp with the rest of the team.
For the rest, despite the shorter distance compared to the previous two stages, the going was seriously tough. There are no mountain climbs on this race, undulations and low hills are as steep as the terrain gets, but when it’s circling 40 degrees long slow climbs like the one from CP 2 to CP 3 are strength sapping, mentally and physically. The reward for this though was an equally long and steady descent from CP4 to tonight’s camp.
Tonight’s Base is particularly beautiful. The Brandberg mountains line the horizon to the west, filling the skyline in that direction. On all other sides this dusty drive river bed is surrounded by outcrops of rocks and boulders which must stand as islands when this river runs. The runners and race team have passed the evening clambering up them and taking pictures of what has been the most beautiful sunset yet.
The last runner came in a little over an hour ago as dusk broke and the temperature dropped to something much more pleasant. There was a round of applause from the whole camp as he crossed the line. Pete is determined and upbeat despite the niggling injuries slowing him down.
At the front of the pack Vicente came into the lead winning by a little under an hour again. He was followed today by Toby Hoyle and, not long afterwards, Si Bayliff and Majo Srnik. For Ranger’s runner Sarah Watson remains first female and is looking stronger by the day.
There are old elephant tracks and, frankly, a lot of droppings around this river bed. The local crew tell us they’re a few weeks old but we remain hopeful of a desert elephant encounter in the days to come.
Tomorrow the runners will leave camp at 11am with only 22km of trail ahead of them. This leaves them some extra time to sleep and eat before and after their day on the trail. Plenty of preparation time for the long day that awaits them.
[arve url=”https://youtu.be/NPFj-KLbicI” title=”Desert Ultra Interviews – Majo Srnik” /]
|Name||Stage 1||Stage 2||Stage 3||Stage 4||OVERALL|
|Ann Evans||07:14:10||07:32:00||09:07||Short Course||Short Course|
|Anthony Hyde||04:23:45||06:41:00||06:30||Short Course||Short Course|
|Anthony Sheridan||08:38:00||09:17:00||09:07||Short Course||Short Course|
|Brad Carson||08:01:30||08:19:00||09:20||Short Course||Short Course|
|Calvin Barnard||06:34:00||07:44:00||10:24||Short Course||Short Course|
|Dietmar Rosenau||05:54:01||06:48:00||07:20||Short Course||Short Course|
|Hiro Takayama||09:51:00||11:12:00||10:49||Short Course||Short Course|
|Jacqui Burke||06:37:19||07:18:00||08:25||Short Course||Short Course|
|Jon Howard||06:39:15||08:11:00||07:51||Short Course||Short Course|
|Juan Jordan||07:53:11||10:25:00||Short Course||Short Course||Short Course|
|Lee Quinn||05:16:03||05:37:00||05:57||Short Course||Short Course|
|Lewis Remsey||05:34:41||06:53:00||09:17||Short Course||Short Course|
|Mark Entwistle||07:53:11||08:48:00||08:27||Short Course||Short Course|
|Paul Harris||04:49:22||05:33:00||06:13||Short Course||Short Course|
|Pete Ryan||06:39:15||08:11:00||Short Course||Short Course||Short Course|
|Peter Godbehere||05:51:00||06:25:00||06:49:21||Short Course||Short Course|
|Sallyann Smith||08:38:00||09:50:00||Short Course||Short Course||Short Course|
|Sarah Draper||07:14:10||07:32:00||09:07||Short Course||Short Course|
|Takashi Okada||09:51:00||11:12:00||10:59||Short Course||Short Course|
|Tia Beckman||06:08:12||07:22:00||09:07||Short Course||Short Course|
|Tyrone Storer||07:14:00||07:19:00||08:27:10||Short Course||Short Course|
|Yoshinari Ito||08:16:00||09:50:00||08:42:40||Short Course||Short Course|