Race Eve Eve
It’s 16:30 local time and Team BTU are currently sitting at Wayqecha Biological Research Station, the home of Cloud Forest Base Camp. Our runners will arrive here tomorrow and their hammock stations are ready and waiting for them. Though the accommodation for the runners may be modest there is no overstating how luxurious the views are from this place.
Before they begin their 230km scramble across the Manu National Park they will have a chance to watch the sun set and rise over a valley of outstanding natural beauty. We’d show you but the wifi connection here won’t allow for it.
The heads of the Peruvian Race Team, JC, Bertha and Alfredo have briefed their drivers and sent a team out into the jungle who are, as I type, leaving the trail markers that will keep the racers on course.
All is calm at Base Camp tonight. We’ll watch the sky turn red over the boiling and billowing clouds which cover the thick canopy below us. Tomorrow, around midday, the runners arrive and this quiet, serene place will be a hive of activity!
We woke up to a beautiful sunny morning. Pink skies over the canopy faded to reveal a clear view the length of the valley below. The feeling around camp was one of growing excitement and a sense of this morning being the calm before the storm. By 11am the whole team was gathered restlessly by the roadside next to base camp ready to receive them.
There was little rest for the runners as they climbed out of the vehicles which have carried them over the Andes from Cusco. Even as they stretched their legs after the rough, 5-hour drive, they were being ushered to their campsite to set up their new homes, compelled to string up hammocks, dismantle their kit bags for checking and to sign the registration papers that will seal their fates as competitors in the Jungle Ultra 2017.
As evening descends it seems only fair to leave them with a little time to explore their new home and take a few minutes to drink in the view of the valley below us.
These runners have traveled from all around the world and some flight delays have meant that we have runners out there who are already pretty heavily sleep deprived. It’s a chilly night up here in the clouds too. There’ll be some restless runners in those hammocks tonight as temperatures fall and they contemplate the next 5 days. They’ll need to try and find as much sleep as they can.
Stage One begins at 9am local time (that’s 3pm BST) and the trackers will come on line an hour or so before hand. Get ready for some serious dot watching over the next few days.