STAGE 4 | THE LULL
Stage 4 has a reputation for being particularly tough. Relatively short though it may be, it contains some of the toughest terrain of the entire race all squeezed into a little over 30km. Throw into the mix today’s relentless rain and the stage took on the aspect of a mud bath.
In such gruelling conditions race times were stretched beyond what was expected and 6 runners unfortunately missed the cut-off time for arrival at CP3; the gateway to the King of the Hill, a severe 2hr ascent and descent and last section of the stage. They were instead escorted back to camp via a much shorter route, arriving as darkness began to set in. This was to ensure that nobody was left out on the course at night, when the wildlife takes over the jungle again.
The medical team were busy last night tending to war torn feet and ensuring everybody was well nourished and hydrated ready for today’s test. 2 runners however felt that they were not able to compete and remained at camp and another retired at CP1 this morning. At the time of writing 2 more runners are being brought back to camp after arriving at CP2 and being treated for dehydration. Both are fine, having been taken care of by our skilled Check Point Medics.
The logistics and Medical teams have been through their own training regime prior to the Jungle Ultra and the preparation time is paying off. The team on the ground are confident despite the challenges and have been successfully dealing with the obstacles put in their way throughout the stages. In some cases literally as when they were called on earlier to organise a detour of the race route while the race was underway. This was due to a mudslide brought on by the rain. As the competitors set off from the start line this morning our team had raced ahead and were busy cutting out another trail and erecting markers ready for the front-runners to arrive. Also, our medical teams at all the check points have been rapidly making any fatigued and dehydrated athletes feel comfortable again and, when required, ready for the logistical team to transport them safely back to rest at camp.
The thick jungle canopy has made it particularly difficult to track the runners on the website today but we would like to reassure you all that, even if your friend or loved one disappears from the website, our team in Peru are still watching over them as they run and have at least Satellite Phone contact with us here in the UK at all times.
Tomorrow ‘The Long One’ begins. 90+ kilometres stand between the remaining ultra-athletes and the end of the race. There really is nothing tougher.
With a number of runners coming in so late this evening it remains to be seen how many people will attempt to complete The Long One in one day, it is expected that some will opt to split the stage and finish the following morning. The runners will rest tonight, treat their weary feet and mull over this decision. We at BTU – UK will continue to pass on all the information we can as it comes in.
It’s been an amazing journey so far. We look forward to us all (runners, friends, families and our team in Peru) finishing the journey together.