Marathon Des Sables Race Day 3

I’m starting to think I may have brought too much food out with me so as I type this I’m tucking into a packet of shortbread... the stuff tastes even better out here! I’m also sitting in the middle of a sandstorm that’s taken over camp.

The good news is that day three is done...the bad news is that tomorrow is the dreaded 50 mile run that will see me running into the night which means I won’t be blogging tomorrow. Anyway, enough about day 4 and back to day 3...

It was a mixed bag today; it felt really long at times but was really fun at times too. The day started at 8.30am but it didn’t feel as cool as yesterday. I started with my usual run but the rucksack was feeling heavier than ever, probably a mixture of tiredness and sore back and neck. So it was back to a run-walk over the first leg which was a pretty flat 12km.

Along the way I bumped into Clare and Ben who I had chatted with on email before I’d come out to Morocco. We took it in turns to overtake each other and having a quick chat. By checkpoint 1 we’d decided to just run together. First 12km done we were offered 3 litres of water rather than the usual 1.5... this was an indication that the next leg was going to be a tough one, but not wanting to carry an extra bottle, I drank some of it and dumped the rest...a decision I’d later regret!

marathon des sables
The second leg, 13.4km, was the toughest part of the race so far...a slow sandy ascent to the foot of a mountain, and then a steep climb to the top really took it out of the legs and left the blisters screaming! At the top was a view of endless sand dunes...as beautiful as it looked I knew that this was going to be a toughy. The pain didn’t stop there though, sand dunes done there were more climbs through mountains, more sand hills and the relief inbetween was hard rock filled flats, that played havoc with the blisters. The stage was never ending but my water unfortunately wasn’t. With 5km to go, I had a few sips left...this really started playing on my mind but Ben and Clare kept me busy with chat and we even jogged most of the way so we’d get to checkpoint 2 quicker.

A quick stop and it was leg 3...a final 9km push, with the blisters killing we decided to start running again...the pain was just as bad running or walking. Soon we had a good pace going, stopping every few minutes for respite from the sun.

But as the finish came into sight...almost 5k away we decided to run the whole way. We started off at a slow pace but I was leading and decided to slowly pick up the pace. My legs felt fresh from all the walking and suddenly I was enjoying myself so I went faster still. I was running properly...not the shuffle of the last few days...in fact I was almost sprinting, and I was loving it! Suddenly, I remembered how much I love running. With 1km to go, Ben and I decided to race to the finish...it was my favourite part of the race so far, as we crossed at exactly the same time.

It was a real high after the tough leg 2 of the race. I was grinning and ready to face the long day.

The bad news is that one of my tent mates, Stan...the George Clooney one, has dropped out today. He suffered from heatstroke yesterday and decided to stop at checkpoint 1 today. He’s done it twice before, the legend, so it’s not all bad. So far, at least 28 competitors have dropped out...and the day isn’t over!

With the toughest day tomorrow...I hope I won’t be one of them! Keep your fingers crossed for me and keep the messages of support and celeb gossip-news coming!

Devinder will be live blogging from the MdS…check this blog every day to follow her progress.

You can send her messages of support by e-mailing her through the Marathon des Sables website. Click on ‘write to a competitor’ and start the message with: Devinder Bains and running number 665. Don't forget to leave a message in the comments below too

Devinder is sponsored by Lights by Tena

Follow Dee on twitter: @devinderbains

 

Posted

Well done. Best of luck for tomorrow's long stage. At least you should get some respite from the warmth whilst running at night :o)

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Good luck for tomorrow! I am enjoying reading the blogs, it sounds like it will be achievable, just keep pacing it and look after  your feet! I met someone last year who did it and I think that advice might have come from her!  :)

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Been following ur blogs on facebook ur an inspiration to all of us, keep  it going looking forward to ur next post

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Posted

Wow, awesome. Well done. Keep at it. Pain is temporary, the memory will live forever!!

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Well done Dee, keep going. Hope you get some decent rest and the blisters stop screaming at you!! Good luck for tomorrow :-)

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I'm so impressed, you're making it sound a breeze and I know it's not.  Well done - good luck tomorrow - sending blessing to your feet! :-)

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Hey Dee

So hopefully you are now reading this having completed the longest run of your life, in a desert, in the dark!!  I also hope, despite the sore feet you probably have, you are smiling ear to ear - you dam well should be. It won't be long until you see Patrick waiting to give you a big french hug on the finish line!!

Top work on the blogging by the way - all I could do after each day was lie down with my legs in the air (for the swelling naturally) ;-)

Chris

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16 minutes ago