Monday, 24 August 2009

Day 1 - night in camp and comments

We’ve just returned from dinner and today’s awards proceedings. Tons of prizes were given by Gore-Tex and Salomon to the various category podium positions. There’s Open Men and Women, 80+ Men and Women (this is where the ages of both team members adds up to more than 80yrs) and Mixed pairs. We then saw two great slideshows of images from the two race photographers and also a fabulous video of footage from today.

What is really cool with the prizes too is that the mid-field teams also get a prize from Salomon. They hadn’t worked it out yet so it wasn’t announced tonight. We’re not far off mid-field; may have missed it by four or five places.

What we did score was a runner-up position for our Salomon Photo competition entry! But, not the Dead End sign one, another where Lisa W hung from a branch of a tree. She won a Salomon backpack, which is well-timed because she needed a bigger one. We’re going to aim to get in to the competition again tomorrow – the theme for the day will be announced then.

We’ve been spoilt again by the event’s sponsors. Gore-Tex gave us all flash lights, for our overnight camp and Salomon gave us branded tin mugs, which we can use at meal times for drinks – more environmentally friendly than the plastic cups we’ve been using. Great idea. Gore-Tex also gave us mittens, which will be great tomorrow if the weather moves in.

The sponsors are also very involved in the event. Most of the water stations are manned by Gore-Tex staff – and the stations are superb. The Salomon guys are all over the place. They have a whole Salomon Relax zone at the camps. Tonight they are doing hot choc and smores (gram cracker, Hersheys choc and marshmallows) and they’ve got party lights and a camp fire all setup. We’re party poopers, choosing to head back to our tent, rub down our legs, prep our packs for tomorrow and to get an early night.

On the sponsor involvement theme – tomorrow night, in camp, Saltsticks – another of the event’s sponsors – is hosting a pool party. Isn’t this cool.

We start tomorrow at 08h30. Breakfast is from 06h00 and we’ve got a 07h30 shuttle through to the start. The first two kays are flat, on dirt road. We then turn right and head up, up, up. We climb 2900 feet over 2.5 miles. And then we drop down, down, down. Yay! We’ll definitely be walking the up at a good pace.

As a comment and observation… there are so many women at this race. I would hazard to say that it looks like there are more women here than men. Usually women are in the minority – but not here. This is really great to see and it also means that the women’s category is very competitive. In terms of the top female teams, we were probably an hour behind them today.

In reference to how we’re doing, our position is 9th in the women’s team category – and there are lots of women’s teams. We’re about 68th of the 126 teams overall.

Physically Lisa and I are A-ok. She’s got two tiny blisters, which we treated today and they will hopefully be gone by morning. My feet are great – no hotspots nor blisters and they’re feeling good. Shortly, before going to bed, I’ll do my usual Arnica oil foot and leg massage. We both took in a lot of fluids today, we had a big dinner and we’re looking forward to the stage tomorrow.


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