We’re back in one of our favourite places in the world, the beautiful Wayqecha Biolodge. Our Base Camp is now completely submerged in cloud. Looking out into the Kosnipata Valley, where our runners will be racing in the morning, is like looking off the edge of the world.
Earlier though, the weather was glorious and as they hung their hammocks our runners were treated to a view which rivals any on earth.
The day began on the cobbled streets of Cusco at 4:30am. Our convoy of minibuses were loaded with runners and kit bags in a flurry of organised chaos before we headed out into Peru. Over the course of the journey the runners get to watch the sun rise over the Andes, though some prefer not to look out of the windows due to the alarming looking drops along the winding mountain roads.
We made our usual pit stop at the market town of Puarcatambo to refuel and stretch legs. Peruvian coffee, fried egg sandwiches and fresh fruit smoothies were the order of the day before we took to the road again.
By midday the runners were faced with their first challenge, bagging the best hammock spot and erecting their accommodation for the night. For some this was the first time they’d hung their hammock outside of their back gardens, and with rain forecast for tonight, getting this right could make or break the start of their race. It is the nature of a self-sufficient race like this that half of the battle is managing kit, and camping skills.
Their beds made, the runners headed for the viewing platform outside Wayqecha’s main building for the race and medical briefings. There’s a lot to talk through before a race like this. The runners need to be prepared for what they’re going to face in the coming days, from managing snake encounters, to working our GPS trackers, managing their hydration in near 100% humidity and much more. The briefings can be a sobering experience but they have not dampened the spirits around camp at all.
The hammock stations are full of chatter as the sun goes down. It’ll be a nervous night but this is a friendly group and they’re all keeping each other entertained. They’ll need to try and bag as much sleep as possible tonight ahead of the start of their adventure tomorrow.
The race begins at 8am Peruvian time, which is 2pm UTC. You’ll be able to follow the action live on the homepage of our website.
Over the coming days we’ll be heading further from civilisation and finding good internet access may be tough, but we will work our hardest to get news out to you as and when we are able.