A beautiful sunrise greeted our competitors this morning, rising up over Mount Crested Butte with a sliver of ground fog rising from the grasslands that surrounded us.
Last night was very cold, the clear skies meant that the temperature dipped down to as low as 5°C at times, far colder than our predicted 10°C – 15°C. None the less, everyone woke up with a spring in their step and a completely different look to yesterday morning, the smiles and jokes were back and the thousand mile stare replaced with a look of determination.
Unfortunately we had an early morning withdrawal, Pierre Caron had been suffering with AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) throughout stage 1, battling though to the end. Overnight he had not managed to recover and pulled himself from the race. Yesterday’s biggest concern was Tommaso, Tommaso has been suffering with a resurgence of a Shingles like virus and had been feeling pretty unwell to say the least, but this morning he seemed in better spirits and had already decided to push through the pain barrier and start stage 2.
Today’s stage went through Crested Butte Town for about a mile before diving down a dirt road towards Paradise. Extreme rocky trails with technical descents are the name of the day, competitors have been warned to watch their step, indeed we have a safety CP in place to make sure all competitors are coordinated enough to negotiate these awesome sections. It’s always a great relief when base camp receives the Sat Phone check in that all are through and able to continue.
Simon and Jonas came through 1st at 11:40, 4hrs 35 mins after the start, a truly amazing performance – you have to remember these guys live at sea level and are against high altitude runners. Roberto Fusaro came in after 6hrs 41 mins with the biggest smile of the day (it was tough to call between Mimi and Roberto), he seems to be going from strength to strength – a tough competitor. As we just mentioned Mimi had her smile back today and used it to full effect coming over the finish line – You could tell she has now acclimatised a little and is well and truly back on form, go Mimi! Leading lady is Camilla Gry Elmann – we have a new game, try and spot Camilla without a smile, it’s impossible!
Last to finish today was Alex Flynn, Alex looked much better than yesterday and had a laugh and joke with us on his was down to join his running partner for the day Hugh for a dip in the ice cold river running through camp. The good news for Pierre followers? He’s in for tomorrow – he is going to attack stage 3 and is feeling much better. Stage 3 is one of the toughest in the race, certainly the toughest so far. The stage starts at 6:00aam with a shuttle ride to Crystal Mill before the runners start the 1st mammoth climb of the day. We’ll keep you posted on the stage and how everyone is felling about the big one, the 80km stage called Aspen.