Monday, 16 April 2018 17:07

Updates from KEV during The Marathon des Sables '18 (blog #29)

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LIVE updates compiled

This blog update is compiled of Kev's 'live' or as near as he could get during this year's Marathon des Sables

Update 1

I cant tell you just how good it is to be back in the Sahara again. This race means so much to me, it was the only thing on my bucket list and now i have started it thrice. As ever my tent is an eclectic mix representing England, Wales, South Africa, Holland and Germany. Just to get us ready, the Sahara threw a sand storm at us last night with tents blown down and everything covered in sand. today however has been beautiful, a relatively easy day with a shortish 30k day 1, that said it was still hot, sandy and a bit hilly however all my tent mates finished which is the important thing. Have already witnessed a few people not coping so I wonder how many will actually make the start line tomorrow. The organisers said that more dropped out before the start than usual so there was just under 1,000 starters. I found it harder than last year although the course is all the same (i am 53 now !) so am under no illusion that finishing is not a given but will try.

Update 2

Day 2 done, slow,not that hot but bigger dunes,a gorge and a big Jebel. All my tent have finished which is good for morale. I feel far less fit this year, i was hoping it wasjust yesterday but more of the same today,virtually walked the whole way. Big blister on my heel yesterday that was lanced and today i think i will lose my big toe nail from running down the dunes and rocks. shoulders are raw, i never learn about the weight of my pack, maybe next year! thank you all for the emails last night, they really picked me up. Everyone in the tent loved the non pc jokes (thanks ian!). Looking forward to a massive sleep tonight although the wind is picking up again and there may be another sand storm on its way. What always amazes me is that some runners are wearing costumes, we have two storm troopers, a strawberry, a melon(both Japanese!) plus others in gear that can only make every day harder. Thanks for your support

Update 3

Day 3 done, a day to remember. Feeling good I discovered on the first big climb of 4 that my tent mate Lloyd had extreme vertigo so much that it nearly paralised him. So i just slowed up and helped him over every climb, along the two breathtaking ridge runs with sheer drops either side. Yes it made me slower but thats why i love the MDS, you will do almost anything for anyone on the race. lloyd, another tent mte Drummond and i finished together and even managed a coreographed dance for the web cam at the end.
Last night was the sand storm from hell, all the tents blew down, we ended up sleeping with tent flat on our faces, there was no point getting up as we would have been sand blasted. This mornig, the site was like a herd of camels hade been there! No email tomorrw as I will be on the double marathon (88k) day so wont finish until about 5-00am thursday. Thanks so much for your emails, blown away by your kind words and bad jokes, enjoy today 4me

Update 4

What a brutal day that was, over 50c in the sun but day 4 done, 200k in total, 50k to go. This year I just kept going through the check points and beat last years 21 hours by over 2 hours in bed 3-30am. All my tent are now back but everyones feet are in pieces, I am off to the doctors after this as I have about 7 blisters some massive. There were 20 drop outs yesterday and some are still out there, they have 35 hours in total. Sadly the storm trooper was evacuated by helecopter with heart issues, the strawberry is still out there, most in fancy dress have pulled out, this is not a race to take lightly like a fun run road marathon. Thank you all for your jokes and emails, I have not seen yesterdays yet but i know they will distract me from my feat and the heat.
I am looking forward to proper food and a real bed mostly. Hope that i have inspired you to get out this weekend and do something awsome 4u that makes others day too!

Update 5

Emotional, never thought three and a half years ago I would still be here to write that I have just completed my third Marathon Des Sables. As before the race pushed me to my limit. By this morning 80 had been pulled out from just under 1,000 starters. Seeing the finish line from 5k away running though an abandoned lead mine high on a hill surrounded by dunes is an incredible sight. Todays race was made harder by a sandstorm headwind in my face for the whole race. I think it will take some time in the shower to discover and remove all the sand from me but that has to wait as tomorrow I have the last stage, its not timed and its only 7.7k but its over the biggest dunes in this part of the Sahara, then a 6 hour coach ride back to the hotel and then shower and beer! I don’t think you can send me any more emails now but the 100's I have received have meant so much thank you thank you. Not seen my just giving total but if you have not and are able to support PCUK please dig deep, thank you.


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