Oh, it rained overnight. Incessantly. Fat drops of rain that seemed to coat everything. Hammocks were tested to their limits last night and the bedraggled runners were already mentally stretched by the time it came to waking up and organising themselves this morning. The sunrise has incredible restorative powers though and as the first rays warmed the camp, spirits began to lift. Not that the sunrise brought with it a change in the weather. The rain kept on coming into the mid-afternoon, to be replaced by sunshine again only in time for a stunning sunset.
The tough stretch through the jungle yesterday had pushed some runners particularly hard and a handful were unable to start this morning. Most are still with us though, staying at camp and remaining a part of the adventure nonetheless.
Today’s stage was brand new, these runners were the first to tackle this route. The rain overnight had brought up the water level of the rivers they had to cross and made the ascent and descent of today’s brutal climb in the early part of the day a slippery proposition. They came to meet the jungle and they were face to face this morning. Feedback so far seems to indicate that we’ve created an appropriately brutal route. One more runner succumbed to the jungle in the shape of Rena Mutaguchi who had worked so hard to keep going over the last two stages.
Prior to even beginning the stage this morning, our runners had to cross a river and take a zipwire over another much larger, much faster-flowing river further along. They then started in staggered fashion on reaching the other side, beginning with the slowest runners and ending with the fastest. Despite this apparent handicap, the first runner to reach the finish line today was once again Jon Shield. Sergey Shcherbakov once again grabbed 2nd position with Bert Gossey in 3rd. This trio also forms the overall top 3 in the same order, though Jon has a sizeable lead.
The first woman back at camp today was Sheila Sanei, a name you may remember as the winning woman in Ice Ultra 2022 Race #1 in February, followed by Veronique Levein and Marie-Louise Pharoany. In the overall standings, Sheila holds the lead over Rebecca Emslie, who slowed today due to some niggles in her legs. Third is Veronique who seems to be somehow getting stronger as the week goes on.
As the afternoon wore on, the sun finally burned away the thick clouds and the rain gave way to scorching sunshine. It afforded a valuable opportunity to dry kit and mix together in the open rather than huddling in their hammocks. They’ll be hoping hard for good weather overnight though the forecasts suggest otherwise. See the picture above for a look at tonight’s camp, in the village of Santa Rosa de Huacaria, nestled in the jungle.
Tomorrow is The Lull. Stage Four. Though relatively short in length, this is arguably the toughest single stage on any BTU event. They’ll be in thick jungle, fighting mud, bugs and humidity for the entirety of the stage. It’s a stunningly beautiful stage with incredible sites around most corners, but it is also riddled with steep muddy climbs and endless water crossings. There’ll be a cut-off in place where those who do not reach CP3 by an allotted time will take a short route to camp. Those who reach CP3 in time will be rewarded with an opportunity to take on a hill just as, if not more challenging than this morning’s.
Stage Three Results:
|Race #||Name||Time of Finish||Stage Time||Start Time|
|Race #||Name||Stage One||Stage Two||Stage Three||Overall|