Yesterday I did the long 80k stage in about 13 hours and 20 minutes, good enough to finish 31st. I felt great and run most of It and the last 30k hard. Camp as usual looks like a war zone with people limping and walking around looking shell shocked. The first finisher crossed the finish line in a about 6 and half hours and the last finisher finished in about 28 hours.
I love camp the day after, people have amazing stories to tell, and if It's your first time doing and event of such, people go home changed. It's amazing how the boundaries of what's possible expand.
This race had a lot of first timers so emotions where raw everyday, It really feels unnatural to push your body so hard, and mentally the struggle is even bigger. We experience pain as an alert mecanism to prevent injury or death, the problem is that it shows up way before there is any damage, sort of like the empty gast tank on a car shows up before you run out of gas. The trick is to know how far is too far.
There are many amazing stories of courage, one in particular will linger with me because She happens to be my tent mate and I watched her go through the pain and the doubt. When she walked to camp the first day, people probably bet She was going to drop out just like the way She looks, sort of the Susan Boyle syndrome, Hanna Sandlings is an UK TV personality so She is extremely beautiful, her skin looks like it has never seeing the sun. But day after day She pushed trough and did it, She was ready to quit after the first day but I wouldnt let her, I know that all she needed was somebody to believe She could do it, I could see She was starting to doubt, my advise was to take it one check point at a time, never to think that she had 250k, if She had enough to get to the next check point then She had to to it, then ask herself that question over and over again, You never want to go home thinking that You had 10 more kilometres on You.
I had a great run yesterday, I crossed the finish line 31st overall and second female again, I just looked at the results and I am currently at 3 place 27 minutes behind second place giving that is only 9k tomorrow it seems that that will be the final results. Way beyond my wildest dream, I though at most was going to place first on my age group. Ray Zahab my coach and founder of impossible2possible did predicted top three, I have to say that I though He was nuts when He told me that after Namibia, but that's why He is Canada's top ultrarunner and one of the top in the world.
Tonight is the last night on camp, then We run only 9k in Kashgar, the mood is light and fun, in our minds we have done it, talks revolve around what We are doing as soon as we get to town for me is a nice long bath, changing into clean clothes then laying on clean sheets, for other is a beer, or pizza.
Gobi March race a trully unique experience, We are in such remote towns that foreigns arent allowed, so its truly an experience of a lifetime.