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Day 4 to Purnie Bore

22 Apr

I’m getting into a groove by about now. Suse would wake me in the morning, we’d given up on the Just Right and gone for an Up and Go and get outta here attitude. She was upping her distance to 25 kms and feeling pretty psyched about what she was achieving.

We’d had dingos around the previous night and made sure our shoes were in our tent. Didn’t need to lose a shoe about now.

We left camp and finally enjoyed the softer terrain underfoot. Those first 30kms were so welcome.

Garry and Janet were lurking in their car more than usual and I radioed to find out if they were waiting to get a photo of me dropping my pants to pee……

The dingos were hot on the scent of some small person……..

Beautiful photo by Garry Tapper.

The crew were so fabulous. Not once did they question what I was doing, if I could do it, did they know better? Nup. They were totally committed to helping me achieve my goal… and they trusted my judgement. I had a race plan and I stuck to distances like glue. Never once did they suggest that I was over stepping limits, should slow down, speed up, take a day off… They totally believed I knew what I was doing…… did I tell you that they’d never met me before??

So the temperature was steadily dropping. Only a top of 42 C today. My legs felt fine, my heel blisters were no worse. I popped them every night, dried them with an alcowipe and left them to dry out overnight before Friars Balsam and hyperfix did their charm all day. I reckon I was winning.

Our maps suggested that Purnie Bore was only 68kms away but I’d done some web search and guessed over 70kms.

My back was still hurting… my calves, quads and hammys were feeling fresh ………  the sand dunes had appeared and I was happy to see them. Crew saw some emus, I just wanted to see Purnie Bore….

72 kms of running and there she was. How exciting…. a drop toilet that I wasn’t going to touch after seeing the beady rat eyes staring up at me last year….

How stupid that a place like Purnie Bore can be a landmark to get excited about. 72km day….

278 kms done.


Better safe than sober?

24 Sep

Race abandoned after Day 8 due to fires in the desert.

Simpson Desert closed to all vehicles until at least Tuesday. Had to abandon lots of gear after 352 km to get back to Purni Bore. Spent Thursday night tentless there sleeping with rats under the stars – highlight was pair of beady eyes staring up from the bottom of honeypot. Race organisers staying out there to recover gear some time next week – tents/food/chairs/table – all sitting out in the desert until at least Tuesday. The rest of us spent last night at Mt Dare drinking our sorrows at the bar.

All runners devastated as we were all running as a team for the next 300km. No injuries, feeling fresh as a daisy.

Last thing we expected when we started was to see so much vegetation in the desert from so much rain beforehand. These fires will probably turn it back into the Red Centre. Won day 8 for SIDS in 7:19 – slow across the dunes from the massive heat, over 40 degrees. My drink bladder was nasty like hot bathwater.

Absolutely gutted, we were all so prepared to just finish. There was no way any of us wouldn’t just finish. We’d already all decided that when we got to Birdsville we’d all go have just one drink before showering. Fantastic thing to find 4 awesome new running mates. One of them reckons I’m a bloke dressed up as a girl  : )

All of us wanto to come back and do this again. All the support guys and the 4WD Club drivers have just been magic, and even the St. John’s ambos want another go.

Still, gutted.

Thanks for everyone’s support throughout. Sorry for communications not being 100% from the desert, but our 18-year-old communications guy Alex Turner has been setting up satellite dish every night and doing a great job when he’s not busy defacing my Facebook ; )

More soon – back in Sydney Tuesday and will share a bunch of pics and videos then.

Day one done

15 Sep

Got 44kms out of the way today in 5:23. Probs about an hour faster than I expected, but it was an easy day. Don’t expect any of the next 14 to be that fast. Heating up out here 10kms past Finke. Set up camp already and chilling out. Feeling positive after day 1. 🙂

Landing in Alice

13 Sep

Spent the afternoon glueing velcro to my shoes and getting to know the other idiots. My tent reached 50 celcius today. Others are talking about running in long sleeves… I want to SPF50 and singlet it.

May be a stupid idea but I am talking about me 🙂