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Namibia 250km Desert Race May 17-23, 2009

The Aftermath The race was hellish – minefields of rocks to be mindful of, mountainous dunes of sand, spiteful heat and devastatingly long hours of trudging. It was a desert race, what do you expect? A week later, I still have trouble walking… though the moment-to-moment pains of the race have already faded. I wonder how my friends are, for though this was a competition, it was not so much a competition with others as one with ourselves and our demons. Beyond that, it was a chance to meet others of like mind and forge friendships as we forge ourselves. Steeled against the obstacles, we left...
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Day 3 – Huns Mountains

AKA “Like a Rolling Stone” 35 km The letter for today, kids, is R for “rolling rock” – yeah, I know it’s a beer, so what! Today began with a backpack sprint. The crowd surged forward with purpose, and me with it, pack bouncing along happily. Unlike the previous two days, it started without wind, the heat quickly rising. The path for the first stage was (for once) runable and we took advantage of its flow, the Hun Mountains in the distance. Though I struggled with the speed, I was determined to stay in a good place. Starting out as the “Easy Day” it soon turned out to be “Too hot,...
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Day 2 – Leopard and Cheetahs

AKA “Dung Beetles and Prehistoric Grasshoppers” 40.8 km I had high hopes for today, heard it was forecast to be “moderate” across the board but the reality was far from it. YouTube – At the start The day began cold and windy so we started off with warmer clothes. In the beginning excitement, I tried to race off, but found my shoes untying themselves in a unilateral effort to slow my progress. Shortly after the start, a couple of hundred meters in, a tall German fellow pointed to the ground with his walking pole as we raced by shouting Puff Adder. The crowd was flooding past...
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Day 1 – Fish River Canyon

AKA “Dangerous Descents and Dastardly Dryness” 39 km Tired from the long night’s lack of sleep (due to a chorus of voices dark and dismal in a cacophony of sound emanating from at least three of my tent mates, none in any sort of rhythm that we could get used to), I rose early, drank my ginseng and ate my oatmeal. A local Khaosan tribe came out in colorful garb to bless our exodus into the desert with a couple of holy ritual dances and beautiful song​​​​​​​​​​​​​s​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​...
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Day 0 – Bus to Fish River Canyon

Camp 1 on the cliffs Rising at 4:30 to get breakfast before the 6 am sharp departure to Fish River Canyon, Teddy and I stuffed ourselves with as much honey, sweet breakfast and other snacks as we could before the 9-hour bus ride into the unknown of the oldest desert in the world. We boarded the bus by tents so I was able to meet our tent mates and those around us. It seems nearly everybody on the race is in the insurance business and though they are from England, Ireland, Australia, etc. most are based in Hong Kong. The conversation flowed as few people could sleep in the excitement and anticipation...
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