Woke up earlier today, at 3:00 am. We were being taken by minivan to the race starting point. With a length of 35 km and a climb of 2000 m, this was the day with the most climbing.
Even though the start was at 5:30 and it was barely light enough to see, it felt very hot. Climbed on dirt roads up to checkpoint 1, where we entered the jungle.
This section was crazy steep. With no GPS, I had no idea how far we went and how much longer we had to climb. I didn’t even have a watch and, since time is perceived subjectively, it was passing really slowly during this climb.
At one moment, somebody about 20 meters in front told me something:
“& $$&#%#% the trail”
“&#&&&#%#@ at that marking”
“I don’t understand”
“#&&#%#%&# wasps at that marking”
“Wasps, like bees”
But before I got the chance to respond, I felt a sharp pain at my ankle. The guys behind me started shouting. We all went running uphill, with the end of the trail being just ahead. Now in a clearing, we got rid of the wasps stinging us. Mine stung me through the gater and the sock. It was a sharp pain, but it lasted only 30 minutes or so.
The route continued on trails and dirt roads at higher elevation – between 700 and 1000 m. Because of this, the air was a lot cooler. Don’t think it was actually cool, just that you weren’t being slowly cooked in your own sweat.
Had another section up a river – great for cooling off.
The final descent was very steep and technical. A trail through a forest, with vines to stumble on, then a grassy trail that made it difficult to see where to step (reminded me of Retezat Sky Race). Loved it! Ran all the way down, even though I was overheating.
After two more km on road, I finally made it to the finish line. Final time: 7h50′.
A minivan took us to today’s camping spot. We were staying next to a river. Apparently, somebody saw a crocodile in there. I didn’t manage to see any, but there were some big parrots flying around, as well as ants and those mosquitoes everybody is stressing about.
Had the usual visit to the doctor. Besides the four blisters and beaten toenail, I now had another blister and a pulled muscle. Really curious how I’ll manage with that muscle on the following day.