"I've got blisters on my blisters."
Ann has managed to speak with Gavin briefly as he ran through a patch of phone reception.
She says he is fine if emotional,
"but that's to be expected - this event has been a long time coming, and he is so close to achieving his dream! He says he has blisters on top of blisters and he maintains he'll never do anything like it again......but I'm not so sure!!"
Report direct from Gavin himself -
"That's the marathon finished. Phew! I felt ok this morning so "blasted" through in just over 7hrs!! I even managed to run the last km at speed.
The finishing line is better than morphine for masking the pain!!!
Unfortunately during my rest day yesterday I have been bitten by some novel beastie and now have one hand very swollen. No knuckles to see. It's very itchy so am off to doc to get some antihistamines.
Tomorrow is last day with a simple half marathon through huge dunes. Some are several hundred feet high so that will be murder, or interesting!
The mood in the camp is very different now as most people will finish. Around 100 abandons so far. Really feel for these guys. Spoke to some people who have done several MDS before, and they tell me that this is by far the hardest!! Listened to ipod today and a song came on the kids once did at school. Very nearly greetin' but it did improve my speed during a very hard stoney section which was slowly shredding feet!! 3 more days til home!"
Marathon des Sables Press Release . . . . . . .
A marathon within THE Marathon.
08.45am. Like an age old ceremony, the 926 competitors still in the race get into position for kick off. To walk the hundred metres separating the half-dismantled bivouac from the arch of the start line, some shuffle their feet, some seem to be walking in slow motion. Still smiling, despite their injuries “Funnily” enough, those who are injured, those who walk with a limp, would probably be on sick leave in their respective countries. But here, at the Sultan Marathon des Sables, they get ready to walk or run 42.2 km.