Friday, 9 April 2010

The Sandy Man CAN!

From Ann :
Yesterday we posted Gav's position for stage 4 on the blog.  The website also says he is now sitting in 472nd place overall (after stage 4) which is great!  I knew he wouldn't be able to email me last night as he didn't get in til 2.31am (!) but I received an unexpected text this morning from him, sent via his tent mate's sat-phone (He is one of two Maltese competitors who are sending daily blogs to The Maltese Times, so he has been issued with a sat-phone for this purpose).  It was short and sweet, saying that although he had a couple of really hard periods yesterday,  he was very pleased with his time for the 50 mile stage.

I am just so relieved that he's got the longest stage under his belt now.  He was very nervous about it as he hadn't had an opportunity to do that distance in training due to all his niggling injuries.  But he planned to just keep plodding on for as long as possible before stopping, and it appears that that's what he's done. As a result, he got a very respectable place and he hasn't had to do any running today!  Hopefully he's been able to take a well earned rest and tend to his feet before embarking on the next two day's marathon and half marathon stages.

From Gavin:

Yesterday was a big one. 82km starting at 9am. 
One on the guys has a thermometer and it was 35 at 8.15. I had a bit of a wobble between 1st-2nd CP when there was no wind, the temp above 50 and hill climbs. Very hard, but once I got past mid day things improved. 
The leaders set of 3hrs after pack and they started to pass me after 5hrs at incredible speed . They are unbelievable. 
Once the dark set in it was down to mid 20s and I felt really good, passing loads of people and must have been going 7km/hr but the wheels came off 10 miles from end, when i hit the wall!  Faint, staggery and slow, but I hung onto 2 people in front and made it to CP7. Had 20 min sleep, some food and felt better. Again got speed up and finished a couple of minutes after 2.30am. 2nd into tent again. 
More than 100 withdrawls so far which suggests that this is one of the toughest races ever. I was REALLY pleased with time this morning! Feet now tenderised/blistered but servicable. Marathon next!!