STAGE 5 | THE LONG ONE
And they’ve made it. The last runner has crossed the final finish line of the 2015 Jungle Ultra. There were hugs and laughter and a tears as adrenaline reserves gave out and the runners felt the full weight of their overwhelming experience. It’s been an incredible journey over the last 5 days and an incredibly trying day today for the runners and our team. These ultra-athletes deserve a little celebration now.
We maintain there is nothing tougher than Beyond the Ultimate and that is a maxim we would apply to every aspect of these epic journeys. There is nothing tougher as a runner, there are no tougher competitors than those who join us and there is no event tougher to keep on track.
The cause isn’t yet clear, but in the early stages of today’s race it became apparent that a couple of important track markers had been removed just before the start (by persons currently unknown). This created a situation in which the field was split at a fork in the trail with one group progressing to the next check point and another, on realising that they were now on the wrong route, being forced to turn back and return to the last visible marker. At this point our team had to transport them to the next CP to avoid them falling too far behind.
Bad luck turned to worse as rivers in the area suddenly rose in depth by almost a meter inside 10 minutes and continued to steadily swell. At this point, whilst the runners were again on the move, our team were called into action and orchestrated a rapid restructuring of the course. 2 supply vehicles were temporarily stranded in high waters during the operation but the race was rerouted sticking to the easily accessible logging roads around Pilcopata. This ensured that the race could continue but also shaved approximately 20km off the stage.
The perseverance and courage showed by these runners throughout every step of this stage and the race as a whole is something they should all be proud of, whether they made it to the end or were among the few forced to retire through fatigue and dehydration; each and every one of them gave everything they had to this immensely challenging race.
We can only apologise again for the lack of race results posted on line. The team have been collating them on a daily basis but haven’t found a strong enough internet connection in the jungle to do anything more than send a line or two of text and monitor the GPS trackers. Though we now have an idea, here at BTU HQ, of how the leader-board will look we feel it important not to give out any information which could later turn out to be inaccurate once the final times have been calculated.
We can confirm, however, that the race results are being finalised ready for a Mayoral presentation early tomorrow and our team have assured us that we will receive all of this information very shortly afterwards. We will then pass it on to you.
A special mention has to be made of the Peruvian runners who unofficially joined the race at the beginning of stage 1. With scant provisions, some ingenious homemade kit and local knowledge they have kept pace and often times come in ahead of our runners. Though 3 have been forced to withdraw due to exhaustion, 6 have crossed the final finish line to great celebration.
Race results, photos and videos will appear on our website and on social media in the coming days and weeks as we compile and publish all that our team has collected in Peru (and bring it back to a place with fast internet!). We hope you’ll stay with us to see more of the story unfold.
Here in the UK, we’d like to congratulate all of JU2015’s amazing competitors and to thank all those who have watched the race unfolding with us.