Hello from the desert. Literally right in the middle, and nestled along a picturesque lake camp site. We woke up early this morning for our race briefing, followed by bag weigh in, food and and electrolyte count and grabbed our race bib. The guy who weighed my bag had to brace himself and I noticed on the sheet I had one of the heaviest bags! 29lbs without water! lol. Never fear my experienced team mates came to the rescue and helped me reduce weight by 4 lbs, taking out some carbs and using some tricks (wrapping tape around pill tubes and ditching the rest) and taking out things I might use. Many people who have run before were targetting 8.5kg (just under 20lbs) opposed to my 12kg. I learned some things along the way listetning to others, some taking out the sleeping pad completely and just putting the sleeping bag on the tent floor. This time round (and no comittment to next time yet) I am sticking to what I think I need and have trained for until I feel later in the race I can do without.
At 130pm we left the hotel for the bus trip to the desert on a 3.5 hour journey weaving through Cairo. Since the revolution, the police force is a fraction of what it used to be (our guide informed us) leaving no traffic police on highways to manage very heavy traffic and taking what used to be short commutes to long hours in gridlock. Our 3.5 hour jont in work days, could take 6 hours. Days off or weekend here is Friday and Saturday.
The bus ride was very interesting, we went right by the pyramids as they were nestled behind residential neighborhoods. How would that be for a backyard? Surprisingly there were many lakes once we got out of town and we saw a great vistas and towns, barren and tree covered and lush greenery. Half way through the ride as everyone was hydrating up, we had a bathroom break mid desert. Think 150 random people pee/squat road side desert. In addition, we were carbing up all the way along, storing up glycogen through breads and sugars. Some brought raisin bread, others went down the street to the bakery and grabbed two big french bagettes, while I took the last ten pieces (and shared) of walnut banana bread from the morning buffet! I was hungry every hour, like the mind was telling the body to get ready for not alot next few days.
We arrived at camp, a beautiful horshoe camp set among some sandy rocks along a picturesque lake to the sound of bedouin drums and were welcomed into camp. We set up our tent with my 7 Canadian team mates and had some laughs as we got arranged and spread out our gear. It was 540pm and people said the sun went down around 6pm, even though it was very light, and sure enough 20 min later sun was down and our headlamps on. From there we broke out the tape and started prepping for the morning by put taping on our lower backs (to prevent chaufing), shoulders, and over our nips. As me being one of the harier people, I am told a replay of the scene from “40 year old virgin” will be playing at my hotel next weekend. I am a little ahead of the game and have a sub tape under the “lukotape” which is like ducktape and will make it a little easier to reduce the whole taping job. In addition, we took part in a foot taping and blister study by the head doctor lead out of Standford Univ. to test a new method on one foot. I will tape the other like I have been previously.
Other than that, some freeze dried “bbq chicken and rice for dinner” followed by Bison Pemican and Saskatoon Berry Jerky. Will be heading to grab my water for tomorrow, and hitting to the tent to organize and tape my other foot. Its 9pm right now, planning for bed before 10pm with 5am wake up time, 615am race brief and 7am away we go. Each day will be between 37-45km with the long one over 80-85km. I believe tomo is shortest and relatively
flat, with the next couple days getting more difficult with many dunes. I think the dunes will be cool…until i am over them, like zebras on safari!
Thats all for now, catch up with you tomo night desert time!
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