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 open our soft spots for each other. To all the competitors of this and other RacingthePlanet runs, I congratulate you for attempting the seemingly impossible and for opening your hearts to others.

As to the seven men I shared a tent with (full of testosterone), they were one and all an inspiration. Ever kind to each other and always ready for a good laugh, I’d like to quote Fordy’s blog as he summed us up so well:

“I have also been remiss in mentioning my intrepid tent mates, who are all legends. Frenchy (heart the size of Phar Lap, back like the Straw Man), Julian “William” Wallace, Alex Chapman the chomping machine), English Nick, who is as I write this at 3.20 pm is still out on the course somewhere and a real tough nut, Peter our token yank, who has just continually toughed it out all week long through heat issues, Irish Joe, purveyor of fine ibuprofen patches, and Ian “The Oracle” who has done six of these events before – we hang on his every word like groupies. All in all, a tough hard seasoned group of men. So you’d expect our tent would be called “Lions” or “Leopards”, or even “Cheetahs”, right? No. We are the Flamingoes.”

To this, I’ll add that Fordy, full of grit and determination, he was the cement that bonded us. To his cause we flocked, both for his charity and for helping him overcome his personal obstacles. Though his will was solid, his knee was not. Fordy, you’re an inspiration! Get well soon.

2 Responses to “Namibia 250km Desert Race May 17-23, 2009”

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