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Day 3 Tough – 42 degrees C.

Despite everybody saying on yesterday’s finish line that Death Valley lived up to its name, the talk at supper was about how tough the last 6k were. Unfortunately Genis had to withdraw after finishing due to a medical condition. His wife, Tanya, also withdrew so she could be with him.

At breakfast I learnt that Patrick Hobbs had been telling his mushroom joke in the tent. (It is about the early demise of his three wives – I never tire listening to Patrick telling it. If you want to hear it you will have to enter KAEM). Hong Tan doesn’t under English humour. I couldn’t help wonder whether she thought she was with a triple murderer when he caught up with her sorting out her shoes in Death Valley.

We saw the benevolent side of Estienne today. The route was mostly on firm tracks and rocky 4 x 4 routes. Every time the track came to a river bed I expected to “Turn left or right along the sandy river bed but no, we went straight across. The sandman is losing his touch. We did see the evil side of Estienne about 3k after checkpoint 3 he sent us up a very steep and long hill. There was a breeze that cooled the runners a little. Without it, some of us would have been toast. Later the breeze turn to a hot wind; a little bit of cloud cover prevented us getting cooked.

Epic fail of the day: Annie left CP 1 heading in the wrong direction, despite their being two big arrows on the floor showing the way. To be fair to her, she was probably looking up, as per Estienne’s instructions at the briefing, to see the markers. Later Annie came skipping past me leaving the lovely scent of her perfume in her wake. She truly is the queen of the Kalahari.

Harry also took a wrong turning and led Ian astray. Harry will never live this down. The least said about it the better.

Results

Men

1st Hylton Dunn

2nd Russell Nugent

3rd John Williamson

Ladies

1st Helen Buley

2nd Erica Terblanche

3rd Annabelle Latz

No quotes from runners to day. Somebody (she will remain nameless) forgot to hand out the little notebooks. So instead some thoughts from me.

My highlight of the day was when Erica caught up with me held my hand and walked with me for a while chatting. That sort of support from an elite runner means a lot.

Morgan also walked with me for a while pointing out interesting rocks and giving me a geology lesson.