Words: Lisa de Speville | Photo: Bruce Viaene
I’ve been out of touch with the front teams for more than a day but I did ask race organiser Heidi Muller about them.
She commented on Seagate‘s hurried calm in transition. They move efficiently with each person knowing their roles and doing what needs to be done. They move swiftly, getting in and out of transition like no other.
Tecnu and Haglofs Silva are similar and little time is wasted in transition.
Veronica Bravo in Painted Wolf has been taking strain and to get through to the end, with assistance and support from her team mates, is going to be a matter of survival. She is strong and she has taken the physical punishment of this course and fast pace of her team without complaint.
Merrell Adventure Addicts and Cyanosis seem to be sucking up the wear-and-tear to keep moving swiftly.
I arrived at T5 as Olympus were leaving to start the trek. I only saw Alex Wagner and Tim Deane. Alex, their navigator, is looking quite sleepy and he’s fighting the sleep monsters. He said they’d probably sleep out for a bit tonight.
We’re waiting for Cinnober, the next team on the way. The team is on the water and heading for T5. We don’t expect to see them before 05h00 (Wednesday).
On Day 1, Laura de Haast (Castle Lite) had a nasty on the abseil when she lost her balance and swung into the rocks, bashing her face. Coming out of the canyon she was looking far better than we expected. “It healed amazingly fast,” she said.
One of the guys in Bad Medicine, not Mark Human, received a bad cut to the flesh near the ankle either during Sunday night or on Monday morning. Mark, an orthopedic surgeon, requested suturing equipment so that he could stitch up his team mate. This has been successfully done (on Tuesday morning, I think). More than this I don’t know. They have hooked up with Luna Chicks and are currently in the canyon.
“We made such a mistake last night, ” says Steve Burnett from Rustproof. “We slept for 9hrs in the canyon. It was meant to be five. It was too long.” They had a decent sleep and made it through the canyon in good time. They didn’t stop to sleep in T3.
Sportotal made a big mistake getting to Magwa Falls. They took a path from Mboyti that looked like it went to CP17. But it didn’t. They wasted five hours trying to get through on what seems to be a foot path. They had to turn around and take the main road, which everyone has done.