After yesterday’s effort, my ankles swelling had subsided to probably the lowest amount since the incident. I did have a small hope that this would happen. Ace!
Anyway, enough of the excuses (just for a minute). I don’t think anyone slept well overnight. I’m guessing that we will adapt to this and the advantage of being utterly exhausted will help. The routine is that the lights go on at 4am, Breakfast at 5, then the slower runners (calculated from the day befores results) leave at 6 followed an hour later by the fast boys at 7. Thankfully I was in the slower group, meaning that I would get further down the road before the forecasted heat would hit. After a great breakfast, my body begun to feel a little less broken. Ready to run!
We lined up and the Japanese took another couple hundred photos, before we were on the road again. Soon we were leaving the village and were striding down the road. The sun was hidden by the clouds but I was heating up already. I’m pretty rubbish in the heat, so I’d better look after myself. Soon we were off the road and were heading through a beautiful woodland on a trail. I was cautious with my ankle, but it seemed to be coping fine. Amazing that I can do almost no running for 12 weeks and then do two days of ultras and it responds by feeling better. Long may it last!
After spending a few km in the woodland we were out on the road again, there was a cycle track which makes it nice and safe, but I’d prefer to be on the back roads. The sun was beginning to work its way through the overcast morning, and with it came the heat. We were mostly unsheltered so it was quite tough for the ginger. I drank well and just about kept on top of it all. At around the 40km point the traffic became heavier, and the buildings more numerous. We were heading into Aarborg. I recognised a few buildings from from the coach journey a few days previously. The signage was it’s normal incredidibly fool proof self, making it simple to run through the city with no doubt. I was now with Christian. Christian is Swiss and can speak excellent English so we had a great chat as we fought our way out of the Southern end of the city. I wanted to get off this road now, and just before the next cp we swung left and were suddenly on the quite roads I already think of when I think of Danish roads.
The heat was blazing now, so I made sure that I drank plenty and topped up my bladder before walking off while eating some food. So far, so good. I considered my thoughts around two weeks ago, and it was pretty grim. I was honestly not expecting to get through the first day, but here I was closing in on the finish line for the second day. A drop in the ocean maybe, but a huge mental barrier has been smashed down.
The next cp offered a bucket of water with a sponge in it. Heaven! My head was coated in salt and dust so the luke warm, dirty water was bliss. It was just 7km in to the finish now. One last push.
We finished together just under 8 hrs. Excellent! I am again as stiff as hell, but I don’t care. I just had a lovely shower and am about to go and stuff my face at dinner. Tomorrow is nearly 67 km. Longer again. I hope but don’t expect any sleep again, and will most definitely be very stiff as I try to get up off the gym floor in the morning, but I don’t care, as I’m still in the game.
I hope to write with a similar report tomorrow