Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Day 4 (TCC2014): Jungle Fever

Jungle Shanny
In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the runners sweat todaaaaaay!! Hahaha, well this day was sure in the jungle for us! To continue our super powers we wore our superhero shirts again.. dont worry, we washed them!! Morning started like every other morning.. we smelt beans and rice and eggs.. THE staple diet here. Beans and rice will haunt our dreams i think. lol. Today we were to all bus out to the start line so we hopped onto the crammed shuttle.. which obviously didn't have enough room for everyone because who would have organized transportation for all the runners? That's crazy. lol. Joel and a few other runners had to either stand in the middle row or sit on the floor of the bus. Safety first folks! Remember to hold on tight! After making it to the start, we busted down a dirt road right off the highway and took a decent placing. We knew we would have a while of flatter dirt road before we hit the hill that we were looking forward to as we had discovered hills are a great strength of ours. Our plan was to warm up and then destroy the hill before taking a step off the gas as we would have made gains on the other runners with our hill climbing awesomeness. Oh yea.. we also managed to pull of some uphill Ninja kicks!! Hiiiiya!!!

Misty Sunbeams featuring Spiderman (aka. Joel)
The hill came and it was even more jungle that we thought!! I think the locals had cleared the path with machetes the day before!! There were vines grabbing at your feet and branches hitting you. I think i got slapped in the face by at least 10 palm tree leaves, but that's pretty cool- or at least better than being slapped by cacti! We cracked a fast pace up the mountain side and held ranks with some of the stronger Expedition runners. I got stung climbing over a log that seemed to be a hot spot as a lot of others reported getting stung there too!! Luckily the run was a lot in the shade covered by the jungle, but once we hit the summit we were back on the gravel road.

Shanny's alter ego: Superman! with my Flower Power!
It could have been a lot worse, but since it was so early still there was a morning mist in the air that kept it cooler and refreshing (aka.. not suffocatingly hot!) lol The road undulated giving us lots of time to use our different leg muscles and we threw our plan of slowing down to the panthers as we motored our canadian bums as fast as we could across the mountain ridge. It was hot, fast and steep in some places but we persevered and kept our speed! This was the only day that we had a large group of us running together. There was about 6 of us that stuck closer together. It made the time go by a lot faster to be chatting and encouraging each other on. We were able to help one of our fellow runners by giving him some of my sunscreen and joel's hat as we knew he would be running for hours longer than us as he was in the longer race.

Spiderman, Spiderman! 
A couple cows later.. Shannon moo-ed and they all came running up to the fence to get fed.. feeling guilty, we picked up the pace and ran away so they wouldn't be angry at us for teasing them. Mooooooooooo!  (okay.. maybe Shannon was the only one moo-ing. :P)

Before we knew it we were at the end of our race, kicking butt as we flew into the finish line with our first place finish! Hurrraaaah! 20km done! As we waited for others to finish, we cheered the Expedition runners in and chatted to the aid station volunteers. The lovely Italian lady who came in shortly after us announced that she had just seen a big black animal on the corner we had just made minutes earlier... according the the local volunteers it could have been a panther. :S and NOT the Pink Panther like one of the other runners was joking about.

Superheroes and Mark lovin the hill
About and hour and a half later, we got shuttled off the mountain with Tim to the finish line of the Expedition to catch another shuttle that some of those runners had already been waiting an hour and a half for. Good thing runners have mental strength to be patient. Lol. Joel.. maybe not. But better than before! Tehehehe.

Gravel Road Ridge Running
Finally, we made it to our campsite at the Sierpe river. It wasn't the finest place to stay.. the river looked like it was full of crocodiles, there wasnt enough toilets or showers for the runners and half the time they weren't working. BUT there was cold beer and pizza for those who wanted it! We settled in for another night to prepare for our next day, running to Drake Bay- what was to be our second longest day of the race. We knew we had to prep for this day as it was going to be a lot.

Day 5 to come,
Shanny and Joel, a Couple of Runners

Joel's Frosty beer! 

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