All posts filed under: Iceland 2013

Iceland — Day 6 ~ No Easy Lay Up

Unlike the final day on Gobi, which was 16km and a pretty flat and enjoyable course, the final 10km in Iceland was much less enjoyable for me. It was 7km of some of the hilliest terrain across “soft” green moss, underpinned by mid sized rocks and boulders. George from our tent graciously let me borrow his polls for the day and it served two purposes. Being a big help getting me through the day and giving me experience on what polls can offer in these types of races. Both positive. I was moving very slowly and each step was painful, I knew it would be a slow slog, just like the long day and better when I got to the flat black gravel. In Gobi the final stage was very emotional as I was not sure I would finish until I got through that final day. I had woken unable to walk well in China as well, however I found a way to run as it was flat. If I compare the two, I had …

Iceland — Day 5 ~ Belief

Physically this was the toughest day of my life. The terrain over 6 checkpoints was a mix of undulating moss and rock, across narrow horse trails, up one side of a moutain and down the other. Running along a black sand beach, and a slippery rock ledge as wind and rain pelted against you from the ocean, down country roads, along horse trails until I finished at 1am in the morning. There were times that I raised my fist to the sky and screamed at the wind and rain and asked if that’s all they could bring. All I can say is don’t tempt the gods. When they responded I was reduced to tears. Yesterday morning I woke up in camp at 6 am after running and scrambling 175km through the mountains in Iceland over the previous four days. I could barely stand or walk to the start line. I started with one step and then another. Over 17 hours I completed 65km of the long stage of the race in high winds and pouring …

Iceland — Day 4

Stage 4 was a monster. I was hobbled to start with and made for a very long day. 10 hours. I basically ran walk the first stage, hobbled the second and miraculously once the pain killers kicked in I managed to run almost the entire 3rd stage. I felt a gust of wind behind my back and decided I would not stop until the checkpoint. It was my test for preparing to see what I could do in advance of the long stage. The last check point was up and down mountain side in stiff wind and hurt like hell. I focused on every step i made to reduce the chance of injury. My goal was to finish stage 4 and give myself a chance at the long stage 5. Mission accomplished. Thanks for all your well wishes they really mean a lot. Mar used your playlist today and was great! Tristan, had you on my shoulder to finish this one up just like Gobi. Checkpoint to checkpoint.

Iceland — Day 4 ~ Bend, Don’t Break

Left leg is shot. Knee pain, tendinitis in shin and knee pain in right starting. I ran more than walked today as it was painful to walk and didn’t want to be out there all day. Upside it was a beautiful day out. Ran in tights and t shirt and after getting crushed yesterday in the wind. When we moved slow we enjoyed the scenery. The last stage I got some motivation and attacked the last stage until we hit 5km of jeep track with mid sized stones. Hurt like hell. Especially the downhill to camp. I’m ok going up hill, going down is crushing on my shin. After drinking recovery drink and putting feet up to reduce swelling I could barely move. Went to med tent and blisters are minor, knee is ok and just have to deal with the pain tomorrow. My goal was finish the day. Same tomorrow. If I can get to start of the long day, I can make it. Loading up on food and bed early. Chat on the …

Iceland — Day 2

Last night was cold as F! The tent whipped relentless all night and it was colder than the night before. Fully clothed in our bags again and I considered wrapping my bivvy/space blanket over my sleeping bags as a couple others with lighter sleeping bags did! I think I invented three new sleeping positions to try and make the knee feel more comfortable. 47km and five checkpoints today. 7.5 hours on course. 90 km under our belt and the two longest single days done Jessie and I teamed from start to finish both having our moments of challenge. We ran most the first three stages when flat or downhill and then ran/walk hobbled the rest. Met a guy from Germany/USA that recently did the idiserod in Alaska (dog sled race) on foot and took him 28 days. Some incredibly accomplished people here. Ran a little w Chris from USA/Hong Kong from the GOBI, was great to see him again. We saw some epic views today, scaling up the side of a mountain into crazy winds …

Iceland — Day 1

We arrived at camp one last night after a five hour drive from Reykjavik. A couple of my running mates including Super Hiro from Gobi last year had some luggage issues, some not getting until the morning before we left or not at all, having to run into town and buy new gear and run in brand new shoes. An early challenge in the race for them, all part of the experience they will share when they are done. They moved camp one because of the weather and when we arrived there was whipping winds that almost blew us off the bridge as we crossed over to camp. It’s a cold wet humid wind here similar to Toronto. We are situated not to far away from two big glaciers so its frosty here. In addition, it was so cold over night that we slept fully clothed! Morning was cold and foggy and they decided to move the water crossing (apparently up to the short ones) to another stage as they thought it would be a …