STAGE 1 AND 2 | CLOUD 9 AND AMAZONIA
There is ‘Nothing Tougher’ than Beyond the Ultimate’s races. Or so we thought. It turns out, however, that finding an internet connection in the Jungle is tougher. Much tougher. However, our Satellite Phones are in fully working order and we managed to get a brief update from our team in Peru less than an hour ago as they stood watching the runners cross the line at the end of stage 2.
Stage 1 of the race proved that the Jungle Ultra is tough from the first step to the last as one competitor suffered a fall within the first kilometre and, in desperately unlucky circumstances, became the first person to pull out. 3 runners have been forced to drop out of the race so far; all of them are now safe and well and their families have been informed. We wish them well and look forward to seeing them run another day.
Another thing that may be tougher than Beyond the Ultimate is the competitor who closed day 1 on a saline drip and unsure of whether they were about to join the other runners who could not continue only to rise this morning and put in a strong time on stage 2.
Stage 2 has seen the runners emerge from the thick canopy cover and run on open ground away from the suffocating humidity. However, a cloudy start to the day turned into a scorcher and the runners left the jungle cover only to find soaring temperatures out in the sunshine. Staying hydrated and pressing on through the heat has been an added challenge on an already difficult trail but the stage has gone off with barely a hitch. The current front-runner posted an incredible time of 3 hours and 19 minutes.
As a surprising last minute addition, 9 local runners have appeared in the race having arrived at the start line yesterday carrying almost no provisions and heading out into the Cloud Forest, seemingly determined to show the visiting competitors how it’s done. So far they are posting excellent times, though one has been forced to drop out and return home and there is a lingering suspicion that they may have local knowledge of some useful short cuts along the way.
The competitors arrived at Amazonia’s finishing line to find a cool river flowing past their camp for the night and as we post this they are currently rehydrating and soaking weary feet in the water as the sunsets over Peru. There may be nothing tougher than beyond the ultimate but every day brings it’s own little treats.
The runners will rest tonight and recuperate ready for stages 3, 4 and 5 where the real test begins. We will continue to try and get images through from the jungle and post updates as often as we can.